Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Where in the World Is Pelham's "Clovelly" Neighborhood?

There is in Pelham a lovely neighborhood known as the "Clovelly-in-Pelham" section and "Clovelly" (for short).  Where is this section?  What is its story?

Clovelly is a neighborhood in Pelham Heights in the area around the Clovelly-in-Pelham development bounded by today's Parkway Drive, Brookside Avenue, Carol Avenue, and Hillside Avenue.  The initial section of the Clovelly-in-Pelham development was created in 1927 after local contractor (and then former member of the Town Board) Manning Stires battled the Village of Pelham Planning Board in Court and won a decision permitting him to build so-called "multi-plex" housing units consisting of attached -- rather than free-standing -- single family homes despite local zoning ordinances banning such construction.  Stires slowly expanded the small development and continued to battle the Village of Pelham (Pelham Heights) and the local zoning board for years as he attempted to expand his development efforts.  

Slowly the area adjacent to Clovelly-in-Pelham became known, colloquially, as "Clovelly."  The name became so ingrained locally that the residents of Carol Avenue reportedly successfully petitioned the Village to permit them to change the name of Carol Avenue to "Clovelly Place."  A local newspaper report indicates that the Village Board actually changed the name of the street to Clovelly Place at a meeting held the evening of Wednesday, February 19, 1930.  The name of the street today, of course, is Carol Avenue.  Research has not revealed how or why the name reverted to Carol Avenue, assuming that the decision to change its name to Clovelly Place was actually implemented.

The map detail from a map published in 1929 below shows "Clovelly-in-Pelham" and the Clovelly section that surrounds it.  

Detail From 1929 Map Showing Clovelly Development That Became
Known as Clovelly-in-Pelham and the Clovelly Section.  Source:  G.M.
Volumes, Vol. 1, p. 4 (Philadelphia, PA:  G. M. Hopkins Co., 1929).
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

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Builder of Clovelly Proposes Another Multi-Plex Group In Pelham Heights.  Zoning Board of Appeals Refuses To Allow Him To Build Within Two Feet Of Property Line.  Judge Menkel's Questions Antagonize Him.  Board Upholds Attorney's Action

Blocked in his attempt to break for a second time the Pelham Heights zoning restrictions, Manning Stires, former member of the Town Board, quit the meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeal, Tuesday night, when he resented cross examination by Village Attorney Anthony M. Menkel.  Mr. Stires withdrew, stating that as he considered the attitude of the board unfair, he would take the matter to court, where he hoped to gain a more favorable decision.

Mr. Stires won a similar case in the Supreme Court two years ago, effecting a change in the zoning ordinance which permitted the construction of the multi-plex house group which is known as Clovelly-in-Pelham.  The zoning ordinance has since been reenacted and the zoning board feels confident that Mr. Stires will not meet with the same decision in court.

Later in the evening, B. H. Simonson, architect for Mr. Stires, appeared before the board and was told of certain modifications in the plans which were advised by the zoning board.  These will be submitted to Mr. Stires for his consideration.  The zoning board adjourned the matter without date.

Mr. Stires proposes to construct a group of eight houses in a single unit on a plot of ground with 150 foot front on Manning Circle, adjacent to the Clovelly section.  The plan is so laid out as to violate the setback rule both on the front and rear lines of the property.  At one place only two feet is allowed at the rear of the building.  The members of the Zoning Board objected to this inasmuch as it would set a precedent whereby the owner of adjacent property could construct a building within two feet of the line also, creating a hazardous condition with two buildings only four feet apart.

Attorney Menkel put a few questions to Mr. Stires relative to the legal points of the matter and the former answered some of them, but apparently considering the cross questioning as an indication of a dissenting attitude of the board, refused to go further with his application, and retired.

After his withdrawal the zoning board approved the action of the village attorney.

Mr. Stires told The Pelham Sun that he had no statement to make at this time.

Objection to the proposed houses was made by Mrs. Weston Roberts, of No. 159 Sparks avenue, who told the zoning board that Mr. Stires had told her when she purchased her property from him that there would never be anything but one-family houses on his property.  She would make no official protest."

Source:  STIRES RESENTS EXAMINATION AT ZONING BOARD HEARING; RETIRES THREATENING ANOTHER ZONING SUIT -- Builder of Clovelly Proposes Another Multi-Plex Group In Pelham Heights.  Zoning Board of Appeals Refuses To Allow Him To Build Within Two Feet Of Property Line.  Judge Menkel's Questions Antagonize Him.  Board Upholds Attorney's Action, The Pelham Sun, May 3, 1929, Vol. 20, No. 5, p. 1, cols. 6-7.


The name Carol avenue has been changed to Clovelly Place.  The change was made by the village board at a meeting held Wednesday night at Pelham village hall".

Source:  NO LONGER CAROL AVENUE, The Pelham Sun, Feb. 21, 1930, p. 1, col. 2.  

"Ten New Houses To Be Built In Pelham Heights

Plans for another real estate development in Pelham Heights were announced this week with the purchase of ten lots on Brookside avenue by the Bergenwood Realty Corporation of New York City.  Ten attractive brick and stucco dwelling houses are to be constructed on the property, each with an individual value of $10,000,000.00.

The transfer of the property was made this week by Gordon E. Ferguson.  The trustees of the Westchester Title Company received $9,000 for the property which has 250 feet frontage on Brookside avenue.

The new development which overlooks the Hutchinson River Parkway, is the third such undertaking to be announced for the section of Pelham Heights known as Clovelly, within the last few weeks.  Manning Stires, who built the first Clovelly houses will soon file plans for another group of buildings on Manning Circle.  Building permits have already been issued for two houses to be constructed by the Gramatan Construction Company, one on Manning Circle and another on Sparks avenue."

Source:  Ten New Houses To Be Built In Pelham Heights, The Pelham Sun, Nov. 1, 1935, Vol. 26, No. 30, p. 1, col. 2.  


The Pelham Heights Zoning Board of Appeals will meet Wednesday night September 14, to hear the application of Manning Stires, developer of the Clovelly-in-Pelham section for a variance to permit the erection of another unit of multiplex house on the northerly side of Manning Circle in the Sparks avenue section of the village.  Mr. Stires has filed tentative plans for four six-room houses.  A permit has been denied by Building Inspector R. I. Dodge, because the property is zoned for single-family unattached dwelling houses.

Variance was granted Mr. Stires in the construction of the previous units of the Clovelly development."

Source:  SEEK VARIANCE FOR 4 MULTIPLEX HOMES IN HEIGHTS, The Pelham Sun, Sep. 9, 1938, Vol. 28, No. 23, p. 1, col. 6.

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