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
Location 945 North Broadway Yonkers, New York
Coordinates 40°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
Area 16 acres (6.5 ha)
Built 1899
Architect William W. Bosworth and Charles Wellford Leavitt [2]
Architectural style Beaux Arts
NRHP Reference #

74002263

[1]
Added to NRHP May 31, 1974

Untermyer Park (also known as Untermyer Gardens, previously part of an estate known as "Greystone") is a historic park of 43 acres, situated in Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, just north of New York City. Untermyer Park is on a hillside above the Hudson River and 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, when the area now enclosed by the park was less than a third of an 150-acre site that was the estate of the lawyer and civic leader Samuel Untermyer. The 150-acre estate was known as "Greystone".

"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 Nation, 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; this parcel of land, which was the core of the gardens, was renamed Untermyer Park in his honor.[3] The 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 piece of land then 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 Nation, 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, the core of the gardens, 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.

The 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]

References[edit]

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