It has now been just one week since I started this blog and 10 days since I started our petition on the petition site. To be exact April 25 for petition start date and April 28th for blog start date.
Thank you for spreading the word, signing up, etc. It is clear to me, even in just a week of attention to this, there is a lot at stake not just for us locally but for the whole world globally. It is a beautiful town being gnawed at relentlessly day and night, 24/7, as we speak, as I write this...
You would not think Scarsdale needs saving. (( Save Our Scarsdale- the SOS movement... ) Yes, it is an SOS situation...)
We are used to hear of Darfur that needs saving, or Bosnia-Herzegovina, but what is happening here is in a way much more tragic: It is happening right in front of our eyes, when we have legislation to prevent it, when we have volunteers and professional staff that should safeguard these values that are all too well known in the world allover, let alone in America. Yet, the world is preserving while America is destroying its own legacy, history. We are going to the Amazon to save the monkey there, while the cotton tail in Scarsdale is facing extinction as that bulldozer lands again in its nest, every day !
Granted in this town, we are not going to find Roman ruins to preserve. What we will find is homes built in 1950, in 1920, etc. The current criteria for historic preservation is basically requiring that George Washington slept there. If not, it goes... That is what the developer wants, this is what the village is preferring, because they can then raise taxes. This is hurting us all: we are losing our architectural heritage as well as the fight to preserve our environment.
I drove a bit around Scarsdale this past week. The streets I drove through with new houses feel artificial, soulless, temporary even ghost like. There is no depth, no anchor, no permanence, no character. It all seems to float: here today, gone tomorrow style in cyber space as it were and not in real space.
This is happening mostly at the periphery of our town: Archer Lane, Aspen Road, Ardmore Road...But go drive through Axtell Drive or Autenrieth Road and you will feel the difference. At least the difference was clear to me. Of course, I grew up in Istanbul or Constantinople where some say history in Turkey, dates back to the Neolithic, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Istanbul. That is about 12,000 years of history in Turkey, where I grew up and have been visiting for the past 35 years ! As opposed to the 300 years plus in Scarsdale... I am 40 times sensitized to this situation !
No wonder it is in my DNA ! No wonder I cannot stand this ! No wonder I think we have to stop this !
Coming back to Scarsdale, I was captivated by parts of Fox Meadow where old homes sit on cultivated gardens, stately and grand: Hampton Road, Chesterfield Road, Cohawney Road, Tompkins Road. Granted these are $ 4 Mil. homes, where great care is taken to preserve. But it is Scarsdale and all of this town needs to be preserved. Otherwise, the nice areas will get smaller and smaller, there will be an island surrounded by mediocrity. We cannot let this happen.
I do not mean to play favorites, there are many great streets that are still standing. But there is also Ardmore Road where homes are being demolished and new ones coming up in total discord. It is these homes, these areas we have to conserve. Parts of Corell Road, Wildwood Road are still nice, but huge homes are being built. Spruce Lane is a planning mistake and a disgrace, yet their plans to build yet two more homes on a tiny lot right there was discussed at two consecutive meetings of the Planning Board: March and April. This is not acceptable if not deplorable in America, in Scarsdale in 2013.
For example, at the last Planning Board meeting 15 Circle Road had an application to divert a water stream. I thought, oh well sounds pretty benign, what can be wrong with a water stream diversion ? Well, it turned out every thing is wrong... This home is near my home, so I took a walk there yesterday.
This is 15 Circle and the water way, it was trickling yesterday and you know how long it has been since our last rain. If you watch the movie clip, below, you can even hear the water the trickling...But the environmentalist who testified said "There is no water, I didn't see much, it just gathers after a storm"... Of course, the meeting is recorded. So, we can all see if my memory is correct...
The neighbor I talked to Sue Woodward of 31 Wright Place confirmed it does pile up after a storm and she concurred that it does flow and go down to the Bronx River, probably...
This is how it looked this past Saturday:
|15 Circle Road, isn't this big enough ?...|
|The home next door.|