Untermyer Park

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Untermyer Park
Garden in Untermyer Park, Yonkers, NY.JPG
Untermyer Park is located in New York
Untermyer Park
Untermyer Park is located in the US
Untermyer Park
Location945 North Broadway Yonkers, New York
Coordinates40°58′0″N 73°53′16″W / 40.96667°N 73.88778°W / 40.96667; -73.88778Coordinates: 40°58′0″N 73°53′16″W / 40.96667°N 73.88778°W / 40.96667; -73.88778
Area43 acres (17 ha)
Built1899
ArchitectWilliam W. Bosworth and Charles Wellford Leavitt [2]
Architectural styleBeaux Arts
NRHP reference #74002263 [1]
Added to NRHPMay 31, 1974

Untermyer Park is a historic 43 acre park, located in Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, just north of New York City. Also known as Untermyer Gardens, the park was previously part of an estate known as Greystone. Situated on a hillside above the Hudson River, the park features a "Grecian garden" (actually a Persian Paradise garden), a small Grecian-style amphitheater, a classical pavilion, pergola, statuary, a rock and water feature called the "Temple of Love" and a "Vista" staircase. To the west, the park has views of the Hudson River and the Palisades.

The gardens were developed during the first 40 years of the 20th century by prominent lawyer and civic leader, Samuel Untermyer. Untermyer devoted approximately one third of what was then Greystone's 150-acres to its gardens, which were considered among the finest in America.

"Greystone" was previously owned by the defeated Presidential candidate Samuel Tilden, winner of the popular vote in 1876. Untermyer purchased "Greystone" when Tilden died in 1899. When Untermyer himself died in 1940, he had hoped to donate the whole estate to the United States, or the State of New York, or at least to the City of Yonkers. Eventually the city of Yonkers agreed to accept part of the estate. The parcel, which was the core of the gardens, was renamed Untermyer Park in his honor.[3] Untermyer Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[1]

History[edit]

Image of the Persian paradise garden from circa 1900

The land that is now known as Untermyer Park was originally part of a large (150 acre) estate known as "Greystone", which had first been set up in 1864 by John T. Waring, a hat manufacturer. In 1879 Waring sold the estate to Samuel J. Tilden (1814-1886).[4] Tilden died at "Greystone" on August 4, 1886.[5]

The 150-acre parcel was then purchased by, and became the estate of, lawyer and civic leader Samuel Untermyer (1858–1940). Untermyer developed elaborate gardens in the Beaux Arts style during the years 1899 to 1940. He died in 1940. Untermyer had wished to give the gardens to the United States, to New York State or failing that, to the City of Yonkers, but because of the great cost of the upkeep of the gardens, which were not accompanied by an endowment, the bequest was initially refused by all three bodies. Finally, in 1946, part of the land was accepted as a gift by the City of Yonkers, and became a public park.[6] However a large part of the 48 acre site was not maintained as gardens, and a number of structures in these areas gradually fell into disrepair, and much of the site became overgrown, and reverted to woodland.

Untermyer Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[1] Since 2011, the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, a non-profit, has been working on restoring the gardens.[7]

Satanic Rituals[edit]

This park was the site of satanic rituals in the mid to late 1970's by a cult known as the "22 Disciples of Hell". This cult was responsible for murders that took place in the New York Yonkers area by the Son of Sam serial killer. Around 12 dogs were found buried in the park, after two young boys reported a dogs grave to the police.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ http://www.yonkersghostinvestigators.com/untermyer-park.html
  3. ^ "Untermyer park". Retrieved 2007-01-11.
  4. ^ http://nynjctbotany.org/lgtofc/nyuntrmy.html
  5. ^ New York: A Guide to the Empire State (1940), p. 374, at Google Books
  6. ^ "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)" (Searchable database). New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2016-07-01. Note: This includes Lynn Beebe Weaver (December 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Untermyer Park" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-01. and Accompanying six photographs
  7. ^ http://www.untermyergardens.org

External links[edit]