To the Editor:
This letter is written to offer support for the preservation of the historic Ardsley on Hudson Train Station and to encourage others to voice their support as well. This station not only possesses attractive architecture with its graceful tower and gabled arches but was literally and figuratively a front door to the Gilded Age where luminaries walked through the station and yacht dock to visit the Ardsley Casino Clubhouse and surrounding elegant estates. One interesting living example of this era is that the 1993 film “Age of Innocence” was filmed at the historic Nuits (Cottenet-Brown) Villa which is steps from the station.
While the MTA continues to work with the current tenant of the station, it is important to establish that this building is not an obsolete object to be sold off willy-nilly. Instead, it is a valid historical property that deserves thoughtful real estate analysis, as many preservation restrictions as possible along with progressive ownership that will care for it. A serious, if not prohibitive financial challenge to rail station preservation is that while it is desirable to seek private sector stewards, the reality is that these small stations contain far more repair and maintenance costs than rental revenues.
Irvington resident and attorney Chet Kerr has worked valiantly with the MTA and our village government to strengthen and codify preservation rules and standards so that this valuable property is protected and maintained. Chet deserves our gratitude and continued support so that this elegant depot will prosper and continue to offer a living example of our past.
While demolition is a strong term to use, it is worth mentioning because demolition occurs not just from a wrecking ball but through decay, neglect or in phases. Many will remember the 2010 loss of the historic foot bridge from the Ardsley station up to the former Ardsley Casino due to a truck accident. The Ardsley Station should not experience any additional harm to its structural charm and integrity. It is hoped many will communicate their support for this special building to our local, county and state representatives.
Terry was a former 42 year resident of Irvington and currently resides in Amherst MA.