Web based journal created to document environmental and architectural conditions in Scarsdale. Read articles Scarsdale10583.com or the local newspaper The Scarsdale Inquirer will not publish! Come to Scarsdale New York, see what a beautiful town this is. Now, we need your help. Funds or time, whatever you can, whenever you can will be appreciated. See the PayPal icon below or email me at Lika@Save-Scarsdale.org. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

11 Dolma Road

 The Village no longer has an in-house attorney, after Wayne Esannason retired June 30th, 2018.

The Village hired the firm McCarthy, Fingar LLP of White Plains, New York and specifically Daniel Pozin is now in charge of the Appeal process regarding 11 Dolma. There is a good article in Scarsdale10583 about this:

11 Dolma - Scarsdale10583

The home-owners typically want the house demolished so they can sell or so they can build the house of their choice. An old house is viewed as a handicap...

The list of players play like a deja-vu of 76 Birchall... Emily Cooperman is again the "expert" presenting that the renovations belittled the house, that the architect Julius Gregory in the case of 11 Dolma is not the work of a master, etc., etc. 

September 20, 2022 is the next CHP meeting. We will see if 76 Birchall will be on the agenda.

The CHP and the Trustees voted to preserve 11 Dolma. The home-owners appealed. The Judge Susan Cacace of the Westchester County Supreme Court ruled in favor of the home-owners to demolish this house. Now the Village is appealing this decision. 

I spoke a couple of weeks ago with Daniel Pozin. He said opposition papers are due September 15, 2022.

We are looking forward to a win by the Village to underscore our efforts to preserve our Village beauties. As they say, they do not make them like this any more. Once gone, they are in a dump somewhere...

On the other hand, look at 5 Heathcote next time you drive on Heathcote Road.

Another oldie, but goldie.

During a casual conversation with Frank Donati of the Building Department, Frank noted 11 Dolma was the first ever too have climbed up the ladder, if you will of preservation this far, in his 21 year tenure. 

Shall we say, finally ?....

Last revised Wednesday , August 10th 1:53 p.m. EDT, USA.

August 9, 2022 meeting at Village Hall - "Faire un trou dans l'eau" - the French...

The French have a more succinct way of saying it: No one makes a hole in water... Your efforts amounted to nothing...

That is the expression that comes to mind after attending last night's meeting at Rutherford Hall on the topic of Scarsdale Village Center Strategic Mobility and Placemaking Study - sounds as important as the SALT treaty...In other words how to spend taxpayer's money on useless studies...

The meeting was held via Zoom ( and Doom ) as well as in person by those of us who had nothing better to do than attend a six p.m. meeting at Rutherford Hall. There were about nine individuals who had dragged themselves for the entertainment.

The consultants hired are FHI Studios, a Hartford based group. How, why they were chosen remains a mystery. The Village usually hires consultants to hire consultants. A good way to run to the ground the surplus they have...

The presenters appeared via Zoom with on site helpers. The presentation was confusing and certainly not user friendly. 

As I indicated in a letter sent to the Scarsdale Inquirer earlier in the day on Tuesday, the fact that this was the second meeting after one in June did not bode well. They say they seek public input, yet they hold meetings when the majority of the public is away. What kind of answers do they want ? One they can skew any which way ?... No one worth his or her salt is around in August in Scarsdale, especially after the forced incarceration of the past two years courtesy of Covid. Unless you are a sexagenarian plus, empty-nester devoted to this town.

Lynn Clark and her husband spoke of their difficulty crossing Popham Road now that hey live on Popham. They fear for their lives as they try to cross to East Parkway or Overhill Road.

Max Grudin of Overhill Neighborhood Association elaborated on a letter he had sent to the Trustees - another one of those private conversations.

I made my points regarding the timing of the meetings and the need to have an in person nuts and bolts presentation - none of this Zoom and Doom..

A Trustee ( since there are no pictures for trustees, I do not know her name ) spoke of the need to make trial adjustments of the proposed changes so that we did not have to invest only to divest if the said traffic configuration did not work.

Mayor Veron, in her calming soothing voice ( she should read lullabies with that voice... )  assured there would be more meetings in the Fall.

I left at about seven p.m. after what seemed like the end had come to comments from the floor and Zoom commenters would be heard next.

For those of us who have been in this town longer than the next fad, this is a recurrent theme in this Village, they want to do better...They hire consultants, conduct studies, hold meetings in the dead of August seeking public input when the public is not here...Beyond the facade is the ugly reality.

There was an elephant of course in the room. They were diverting attention talking about right turn or left turn on Popham Road, when the developer is turning any which way (s)he chooses paying no attention to rules or procedures every day and night in Village Hall. None of  our land use boards are preserving this Village.

Consider 24-26 Overhill and the bloodshed there. Murder on High Street pales in comparison. The developer presented plans for both houses, he got one approved and is now in front of the BAR again on August 15th for 26 Overhill Road. He is presenting the same house over and over again in total defiance of BAR recommendations, public comments. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Rutherford Hall. 

Don't bother attending. They hold useless public meetings, ignore resident comments. Better be that ostrich and bury your head, if you are lucky enough to find a  tiny grass patch in this sorry Village...

If you are seeking a more balanced reporting of the night's events, you may visit: Scarsdale10583's reporting here by JOANNE WALLENSTEIN Scarsdale10583 or Scarsdale Inquirer's selective, skewed reporting here:Scarsdale Inquirer

For me it was another Zoom and Doom in the dead of August.

How do you fire volunteers ? This is our broken system in Scarsdale.

Last revised 8:10 a.m. EDT, USA. Friday August 12, 2022.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

CHP Meeting of July 19, 2022 - Scarsdale, New York

Dear interested parties,

I  was a participant via Zoom last night at the CHP hearing for the various applicants among which there was 76 Birchall. Due to a Zoom issue I was told this morning by the Building Department, once you hang up from the Zoom meeting you cannot log back on, as I wanted to hear the other applicants' hearings. We hope this issue will be fixed.

In the meanwhile, I can report 76 Birchall's fate was postponed to the CHP meeting on September 20, 2022. The committee was finally waking up to the importance of Simon Zelnik after an individual ( I am getting more information on this ) had tracked down Simon's Zelnik's architect grandson, Bryan Zelnik and  brought him to testify via Zoom audio participation. More about him here: https://bzarch.com

We learned so much about Simon Zelnik behind 76 Birchall and so many other buildings, but still some CHP members remained indignant calling him not worthy of the Master designation. That seemed short of shadenfreude.

Some other members did not consider the Milstein family worthy. Maybe they have been living on Mars.

You can find more about the Milsteins on my previous post on this website.

Yet others seemed sorry they had sent another Zelnik masterpiece at 70 Morris to the landfill. What do you do now, take it back from the landfill ? Once gone, designated detritus and flung away, it is gone - forever. As opposed to saved forever... Fill the landfill when it did not have to be there at all. Or get shipped away somewhere, as I am told it happens to our garbage...

More will be reported as available. 

In the meanwhile, if you wish to contact me please feel: lika@save-scarsdale.org.

Thank you all for your interest in preserving our treasures from the zealous developers who do not wink at sending these to their respective landfills and condemning them to an untimely death to serve their material ends.

Last revision July 27, 7:28 a.m., EDT, USA.

Monday, July 18, 2022

76 Birchall Drive - An Important House to Preserve -

This is the criteria under which the CHP of Scarsdale makes it decisions: 

This is the architect behind 76 Birchall: Simon Zelnik

This is from Cooper Union Alumni Association:

Sorry, we were having technical difficulties posting the article itself here, but you can read below "He had his own practice from 1932 on.  He designed multiple office and apartment buildings in New York City, stores, theaters and synagogues"...

"One of his original buildings was surviving now known as the Joyce Theatre...

He taught and lectured at NYU as well as Adelphi College."

This is why, we think 76 Birchall should be preserved.

It is a) The work of a Master,

       b) The building embodies the distinctive characteristics of the post-modern era and is unique and emblematic of the era. This building should not be lost to history nor can be gulped into the fierce teeth of the bulldozer.

      c) By satisfying a and b above or 3 and 4 of the criteria above, the building clearly satisfies criteria 5. 

So, since it satisfies the majority of the criteria, 76 Birchall should be preserved forever. 

We should consider ourselves lucky to have such a building in Scarsdale.

Below, the first two are pictures of 76 Birchall, the third picture of another Zelnik design at 70 Morris Lane which was in front of the CHP in the Fall of 2020 and subsequently demolished, while the last one is a  picture of the neighboring property, clearly a very different house.

Above picture taken from Scarsdale10583 site of 70 Morris Lane, a Zelnik design

The following partially redacted ( for privacy reasons ) additional letter was sent to CHP Chair and members via Scarsdale Building Department this morning July 19, 2022:

Dear CHP Chair and Members,
I wish to address you one more time regarding the above house further to my e-mail of yesterday as important facts have come to my attention:
1. According to the Scarsdale10583 site:  Ruth Farkas Ambassador to Luxembourg lived here, as well as the Milsteins major benefactors in New York City from hospital wings to the whale wing at the American Museum of Natural History to divisions at the New York Public Library. 
To my knowledge the Milsteins continue to live in Scarsdale. Therefore these facts satisfy item 1 of the CHP Criteria for preservation or that "the building is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to broad patterns of Village, regional, state or national history.
2. From 1 above it is clear, that the second criteria with the "building being associated with the life of a person or persons of historical significance" is also satisfied.
3. Criteria 3, 4 and 5 have been established per my previous e-mail and post on my website Save-Scarsdale.org.
Thus it is very clear this is a very special house that satisfies all five of the CHP criteria with flying colors.  Therefore 76 Birchall has to  be preserved .
Further, even though not a It has also been noted that this house remains now one of the few if not the only Zelnik house in Scarsdale since unfortunately 70 Morris Lane was demolished not too long ago.
I thank you for all your work and appreciate what you do to preserve our beautiful Village.
Lika L. Levi
Resident since 1991.

Last revision Wednesday, July 20 at 10:57 a.m. EDT, USA.

Friday, July 15, 2022

BAR Listens to Developers not Residents, again !!! May 5 and July 11 meetings...

My letter to the Scarsdale Inquirer is published in its July15, 2022 edition:

Here below is my letter as published in today's paper, and further below my letter sent in an e-mail and further still partially, as the letter appears online if you have a digital subscription to Scarsdale News:

This is what was sent to the Editor:

Dear Editor,

I would like to bring your attention to the practices of the BAR that leave quite a bit to be desired to put it mildly.

I attended the the last two sessions of the BAR as it reviewed the applications for 24 and 26 Overhill Road.

On May 5th, residents expressed concerns ranging from the placement of the garages to the materials used, to the bulkiness and size of the two houses planned in this suburban, otherwise leafy, old, established neighborhood with homes going back to almost 100 years….

On July 5th we received a mailing from the applicant, that the houses would be reviewed once again at the July 11th meeting of the BAR. I am one of the residents who received the mailing. I tried to look at the applications on line, but when I could not see enough detail ventured too Village Hall for what I hoped would be a more detailed look at the renderings. No, there was none to be found. 

Another neighbor and developer Paul Diamond happened to stop by at the same time. With the help of Marshely ( not sure of spelling )  from the Building Department we tried to locate same. No, there was none. There were no pictures submitted as to what the buildings would look like finally.

Instead at the meeting we were hurriedly introduced to the final renderings. The developer was not reprimanded for submitting an incomplete application, even though I voiced my disappointment at same. 

No residents are treated like second class citizens while developers rceive the red-carpet treatment. Clearly it should be the other way around.

I have been documenting this and other practices on my website Save-Scarsdale. org from about 2013-2018 with a couple of entries lately.

A resident with the same 200ft. notification zone,  voiced the same concerns after it was clear that the developer or the architect had not made any to the changes requested at the former meeting. Instead the BAR listened again to the developer who agonized over the placement of the garage and said that a one car driveway flaring to a two car garage would not sell. Market conditions were favored over esthetics. The BAR approved with conditions... one of the houses with the other being held over. AS of this writing at 12:20 p.m. Wednesday afternoon we. Were not able to get a copy of the said conditions to approval.

This, I must point out came after extensive review of another two house application much like these at Overhill. At Fayette and Carthage the same story is going on with different cast. An empty lot and an adjacent lot are being developed at the same time. A double insult, if you will…Those two houses received the same kind of objections. Too big houses, we can’t do anything about it, etc. etc. Since these were for new buildings, they have to come to the BAR a second time.

Later theses same members of the BAR talked about esthetics after approving bear sized houses on mouse sized lots.

It behooves us all to be served with this kind of volunteers. They are volunteering their  time taking our Village down the drain. 

Scarsdale is going to the dogs. Welcome to Dogs- dale… It is scary. If you prefer, welcome to Scare-sdale. It is getting to be a scary experience living here….


Thursday, May 12, 2022

6 Fenimore Road, May 12, 2022 - Saved !!!

I was interested in visiting a home I had featured here in 2018.

I was happy to see it renovated, still standing !!!

Saving starts one house at a time !

Revised May 13, 2022 8:12 p.m. EDT, USA

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Post COVID Manhattan, May 5th 2022

Around Rockefeller Center. 

New York City is up and running better than ever.

Construction, tourists, eateries, Mothers' Day celebrations all were in order.


Revised May 12, 9:28 a.m. EDT, USA