PELHAM - Susan Mutti attended a book signing in 2011 featuring Joshua David and Robert Hammond, pioneers of Manhattan's High Line Park, a greenway thriving on abandoned train tracks above city streets.
David and Hammond's 1.45-mile linear public space inspired Mutti to bring something similar to the 1-square-mile village of Pelham, where she now serves as deputy mayor.
The only realistic option for
such a space in Pelham is a former railroad right of way and its trestle
above Highbrook Avenue, a reinforced concrete-arch structure built in
1911 and abandoned since 1942. The bridge is part of 1.93 acres of
village-owned land on the defunct New York, Westchester and Boston
Railway — which represents 22 percent of the village's open space — that
Mutti hopes to convert into parkland... (click link for full article)
On August 2, 2016, the New York, Westchester & Boston Railway and Highbrook Avenue Bridge in
Pelham were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A ceremony will be scheduled later
this fall. This past March, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the property was listed on the
NY State Register. “These landmarks are a part of our rich and storied history and helped define
what it means to be a New Yorker,” Governor Cuomo said.
The concrete arch railroad bridge was designed by Alfred Fellheimer, a nationally well-known
railroad architect who headed the design committee for Grand Central Terminal. It was erected with
the approval of financier J.P. Morgan under the management of Leverett S. Miller, President of the
NYW&B. The historic rail line, completed in 1912 as state of the art transport, was abandoned in
1937. The bridge stands as the largest work of public art in the village.
In October 2015, the Village Board of Pelham passed a resolution designating a portion of the old
New York Westchester and Boston (NYW&B) Railway site, which contains the Highbrook Avenue
Bridge, as parkland. The parkland designation was endorsed by Westchester Land Trust and the
Lower Hudson Sierra Club.
The Friends of Highbrook Highline (FHH) were assisted by rail fans Robert Bang, Otto Vondrak and
historian Dr. Roger Wines. They provided historical photographs and research, which helped with
public outreach as well as preparation for the application for listing on the National Register of
Historic Places. One third of the NYW&B site was opened as a passive park in 2012 through a joint
effort by the Village of Pelham, FHH, a grant by the Junior League of Pelham and support by
Pelham Preservation & Garden Society acting as fiscal sponsor. With a landscape company and
volunteers, the field near Young Avenue was remediated of contaminated soil and then planted with
trees, shrubs and flowers.
The entire NYW&B property represents 22% of Pelham Village’s open space. The FHH and the
Village of Pelham are seeking grants to restore the bridge and open a trail with gardens through the
property, a rails-to-trails park.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 10/28/2015 by Friends of Highbrook Highline email@example.com
Village of Pelham Designates a Portion of NYW&B Railway as Parkland
On October 20, 2015, the Village Board of Pelham passed a resolution designating a portion of the
old New York Westchester and Boston (NYW&B) Railway site, which contains the Highbrook
Avenue Bridge, as parkland (approx. 1.5 acres). For decades, groups of neighbors have mobilized to
consider uses for the space. The most recent concept to pursue parkland designation arose from a
board appointed committee 5 years ago, chaired by Trustee Joe Marty, to research options for the
land. The Friends of Highbrook Highline (FHH) evolved from this effort and includes board
members Ann Dumas-Swanson, Emily Freidberg, Susan Mutti and Sue Seither. Susan Mutti, as
Deputy Mayor, introduced the successful resolution... (read the full press release below)
New York, Westchester & Boston Railway (NYW&B) Centennial Celebration - July 14, 2012 - New Rochelle,NYThe New York, Westchester & Boston Railway (NYW&B) opened to the public on May 29, 1912, stretching 21 miles from White Plains in suburban Westchester County to Harlem River Terminal in the Bronx. For twenty five years, "The Westchester" carried the faithful in growing numbers until the economic realities of the 1930s caught up with the railroad that was built ahead of its time. The NYW&B passed into the history books on the last day of 1937, but the last chapter of this storied line has yet to be told...
Thanks to the New Rochelle Public Library We will be using the Theatre and Meeting Room at the New Rochelle Public Library to host our event. Join us for a day of informative and commemorative presentations, followed by bus tours.
For more information, visit http://www.nywbry.com/nywb100.php
The Loop - April 9, 2012
The dream of creating a Highbrook Highline in Pelham is closer to reality with the designation of the Highbrook Bridge as eligible for the National Registry of Historic Places.
Click Link to read full article.
The New York State Division for Historic Preservation has determined that the Highbrook Avenue Bridge in the Village of Pelham, New York is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Please read the attached letter, dated March 27, 2012.
Please check out our new Facebook Page: Friends of Highbrook Highline
This is where you can find out the latest information about our efforts.
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Dr. Wines' Report "Some Tax Implications of Creating a Greenspace or Passive Park on the NYW&B Site"
Dr. Roger Wines discusses tax implications that creating a Highbrook Bridge Trail and Greenspace would produce long term financial and intangible benefits for the village is now posted on our "Letters & Resources"
Letters & Resources"