Monday, June 18, 2012


Welcome to Everything Croton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON. 

A summary of Cornelia Cotton’s recent remarks to the Croton Board of Trustees on HARMON RE-ZONING. 

Related: For a summary of the law as it currently stands now, i.e., currently under an injunction and cannot be implemented until ALL litigation is resolved, see the Gazette article link at the end of Ms. Cotton's remarks:

"I want to emphasize that in my remarks I am not taking sides in the controversy about the Harmon re-zoning, but rather addressing an issue that is highlighted by this debate. It is the urgent need for a historic preservation ordinance -- a need that has existed for a long time, and one that we should deal with before we lose any more of our precious historic legacy. 

In particular, I am concerned with the former Wood-Harmon real estate office at the corner of Riverside and Benedict, the oldest and most significant building in Harmon, which is located in the area that will be affected by the new law.  There is now, under the current zoning law, nothing to prevent owners to tear down this building and to replace it with another structure.  Under the new law, the problem will be the same -- owners will be able to demolish it and to replace it with another building.  I understand that the former Harmon office is not in good shape, that it has been allowed to deteriorate.  This is what worries me. There will be an incentive to tear it down -- but we should not make laws and then add exceptions -- we should enact an ordinance before we rezone.

When we moved to Croton, in 1953, the Van Cortlandt Manor was in a sorry state.  The two aged descendants of the family who lived there had not been able to maintain the property and had sold it to Jerome Britchey, who was going to tear it down and transform it into a parking lot for train commuters.  Fortunately, the Rockefeller Family stepped in and saved the Manor.  I wonder whether there is a patron who will come forward to buy and restore the Wood-Harmon office building?

While I am addressing my remarks to the entire board, I am particularly aiming them at Dr. Schmidt.  I heard you say that you are not seeking another term on the Board.  I am asking you -- challenging you -- that you consider initiating a historic preservation ordinance as an apt legacy of your many years of service to this community by calling together a committee of interested citizens selected from members of the Croton Historical Society and the Friends of History.  We are blessed in this community with not one but two history groups.  That committee would then identify those historic buildings or groups of buildings or places that should be given a special status.  They need our love and protection."  END OF MS. COTTON'S SUMMATION

Additional links you may have an interest in:

--LETTER FROM THE CROTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY ON THE HARMON SALES OFFICE; please note that while unavailable ONLINE, the Croton Friends of History, also wrote a letter supporting the Historical Society which appeared in a past edition of THE GAZETTE


  1. Sorry to see not even cornelia could move them. Then again, this was a done deal.I'm not one for lawsuits but thank God for the Art. 78.

  2. An impartial third party will make the decision in the end so there's no point worrying for now.

  3. Thank you Cornelia for all you tried to do here. Hope to see you soon. Thanks also for all your hard work with Tom at the exhibit.

  4. Nice to see that these people have been ignored. The businesses could care less about the rezoning. As for what's coming to the Nappy property, you'll see and it ain't gonna be no international food court and bazaar.