Westchester County Board of Supervisors Decided To Extend the Hutchinson River Parkway Through Pelham in 1923
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In 1923, the Westchester County Board of Supervisors formally requested the Westchester County Parks Commission to extend what was then the planned parkway called the "Hutchinson River Boulevard" from its planned termination at East Lincoln Avenue "all the way to Pelham Bay Park in New York City." The following year, the Westchester County Parks Commission recommended construction of the parkway, with initial plans to extend it to Boston Post Road in Pelham. (The parkway, of course, was subsequently extended at both its north and south ends, becoming the major roadway that it remains today.)
Construction of the Hutchinson River Parkway began in 1924. In December, 1927, construction crews completed an initial two-mile stretch of the Hutchinson River Parkway in Pelham. During the next ten months, the completed stretch was expanded to the full eleven-mile section that ended at Boston Post Road.
Interestingly, the development of the Hutchinson River Parkway was closely tied to a water supply system that included Pelham Reservoir and the waterworks and filter beds that once were located there. Care was taken to preserve the water supply system even though planners understood that the system was nearing the end of its useful life and would have to be replaced with more reliable and safe alternatives.
Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog transcribes the text of an article that appeared in the July 6, 1923 issue of The Pelham Sun announcing the decision of the Westchester County Board of Supervisors to request the Westchester County Park Commission to extend the parkway from its termination at Lincoln Avenue to Pelham Bay Park.
To learn more about the history of the Hutchinson River Parkway and to see the source from which certain quotes and information relied upon above have been taken, see Eastern Roads, Hutchinson River Parkway - Historic Overview (visited Aug. 25, 2014).
"River Parkway To Go Through Three Villages
Board Of Supervisors Also Want Glen Island Bought For Bathing Park
Definite Course Of Road Through Pelham Not Yet Determined But Surveyors Are Now At Work
River Parkway to go Through
At a joint meeting held in White Plains on Monday, the County Board of Supervisors formally requested the Park Commission to extend the proposed Hutchinson River Boulevard from its termination at East Lincoln Avenue all the way to Pelham Bay Park in New York City.
The exact course of the parkway has not yet been determined, but engineers are now surveying and the Parks Commission will soon begin to look over the property for the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Glen Island, if the request of the Board of Supervisors is complied with, will be purchased and turned into a public park. A large bathing beach will be constructed and in all probability a bridge will be built from the mainland to the island.
The report of the Commission to the Board of Supervisors met with such favor that the Board went further and requested that the Hutchinson Parkway be extended and that Glen Island be purchased. Part of the report follows:
Another project of county-wide importance and of particular interest to the Pelhams, the cities of Mount Vernon and New Rochelle and the town of Eastchester, includes a protective strip along the Hutchinson River from Lincoln Avenue, Mount
(Continued on page 3)
Hutchinson River Parkway Approved
(Continued from page 1)
Vernon to Eastchester Road and from thence a considerable portion of the lands in the Hutchinson River Valley now used for water supply purposes extending to Drake Road in the village of Scarsdale and connecting with the Bronx River Parkway at the New Rochelle Water Company's crossing between Crestwood and Scarsdale.
The Commission has no doubt of the desirability of acquiring between 800 and 900 acres in this section. The lands are particularly beautiful and for the most part already developed as a park. The three lakes or reservoirs are splendid park features. However, these lands and lakes now constitute the greater part of an important water supply system, furnishing water to the city of New Rochelle, the town of Eastchester and the villages of Bronxville and Tuckahoe.
While there is no question of the desirability of acquiring these lands for park use, it would not be feasible to interfere with the water supply at this time. The important thing is to insure that this picturesque tract will eventually be available as a public park. The Commission is, therefore, negotiating with the New Rochelle Water Company for the purchase of these lands on the basis of the Water Company's retaining the right to use the same for water supply purposes for a period of twelve to fifteen years, by which time it is assumed that the population will have so increased as to affect the purity of the water supply and at the same time the demand for park spaces will be more urgent. Such an arrangement would operate to materially reduce the purchase price to the county and at the same time insure in value during the fifteen year period. Negotiation to this end are [sic] in progress and if satisfactory arrangements can be concluded with the Water Company, the Commission will recommend to your Board the acquisition of this tract."
Source: River Parkway To Go Through Three Villages, The Pelham Sun, Jul. 6, 1923, p. 1, col. 6 & p. 3, col. 5.