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2011 LHS House Tour May 15th

The House Tour takes place today – Sunday May 15th – from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  There have been intermittent brief rain showers but the houses are all within a brief walking distance, so bring an umbrella and enjoy the tour.

Online Ticket Purchasing is now closed. You can purchase your tickets and House Tour Journal at the corner of Mayhew Avenue and Stuyvesant Avenue. Look for the historically-dressed firefighters. You can pay with cash, check or credit card.

The Tour is open to Historical Society members and the public. The following are the ticket prices:

  • House Tour and Reception: Members $45, Guests $55

Ticket Pick-up: If you purchased your tickets online or by mail, you can pick up your tickets and House Tour Journal at the corner of Mayhew Avenue and Stuyvesant Avenue at the time of the House Tour. Look for the historically-dressed firefighters.

  • House Tour Sunday May 15th, 1:00-5:00 pm
  • Reception: Sunday May 15th, 3:00-6:00 pm

Click here for more information: - LHS House Tour Tickets.


Updating the LHS Constitution

Notice is hereby given that changes are proposed to be made updating the Constitution of the Larchmont Historical Society.  Such changes will be considered and acted upon at a meeting of the Members to be held at 8 PM on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 85 Larchmont Avenue in Larchmont, NY.

Anyone wishing to see a copy of the proposed revised Constitution prior to the meeting may request a copy from Colette Rodbell, the President of the Larchmont Historical Society, at: president@larchmonthistory.org.


LHS Annual Meeting

It was a perfect summer evening to gather at one of the glorious birthplaces of Larchmont, Horseshoe Harbor Yacht Club in Manor Park.

Each year, the Larchmont Historical Society’s Board of Trustees, members and interested residents are invited to attend an open meeting to review and acknowledge the accomplishments of the LHS over the last year. It is also a time where we say farewell to retiring board members and welcome new ones. The LHS is truly blessed to have the support of so many talented, accomplished and committed board members.

President Colette Rodbell kicked off the annual meeting with a “State of Society” address which gave highlights of the many programs and events over the last year. Colette also gave a moving and heartfelt farewell to retiring board members Manuel Delgado, Lauren Gottfried, Peggy Kahn, Kate Kelly, Melissa Schoen and Roberta Warren. Their “big shoes” will be hard to fill and we will miss all their energy, talents and support. Kate Kelly donated all rights and proceeds of her book “The Great Marble Match” to LHS. In special thanks, a donor’s plaque will be placed at the Larchmont Library to acknowledge Kate’s generous gift.

Each officer and committee member then provided updates of his or her individual committee’s past accomplishments and future aspirations. There was a lot to review, starting with the
fabulous house tour and moving on to our Oral History Project, Membership Initiatives, Programs, Storefront Signage, the Fire Truck Restoration, Walking Tours and the Archives. We all enjoyed lots of laughter and a positive sense of accomplishment reviewing what this group has achieved over the last year.

Known more for our conviviality than formality, we then proceeded to learn the proper protocol of nominating and confirming new and re-elected officers and board members: I believe we all now can say “all in favor-say AYE!!” The following “official” confirmations were announced, confirmed and “Ayed”: Nancy White as First Vice President, Membership, for the term 2010-2012; re-election of second term board members: Colette Rodbell, President, Patricia Roberts, Second Vice President, Programs and Jim Sweeney, Treasurer. Margi Gristina was also reelected to the board for the term 2010-2013.

Drum roll please…. the newly formed and official 2010 Nominating Committee of Laura Hoffman, Nancy White and Pier Witek then introduced the following new and returning board members: Beth Belisle, Ned Benton, Susan Emery, Jim Fleming, Monica Foster, Rick Lefever and Katherine Ann Samon. Both Susan Emery and Ned Benton had taken a year off (not really, their fingerprints are all over many undertakings of the last year). Rick Lefever, an architect specializing in historic preservation became a new “pillar” of our society by rescuing and securing an errant poster being showcased for display in empty storefronts. Beth Belisle’s skill and contributions were already apparent with her help this year with the House Tour.

We also welcomed Jim Fleming (unfortunately not present) as an architectural historian, Monica Foster, an antique rug specialist who also brings much creative talents as a film producer and writer and Katherine Ann Samon a published author, writer and trendspotter. Wow, we are again so lucky to attract the interest and devotion of such incredible talent. Lots of “all in favors” and ayes in unison ended this years 2010 Annual Board Meeting at 8:20 pm.

We all look forward to another productive and exciting year in fulfilling the Larchmont Historical Society’s Mission which is: “to discover, preserve and disseminate information concerning the natural, social and civic history of Larchmont and to promote the preservation of historical sites and structures”. Many thanks one and all for being such a fun and “can do” group!


New Board Members

Beth Belisle has lived in Larchmont for nine years.  Prior to that,  she lived in Forest Hills Gardens, where she was active in that community’s historical preservation, while also working in theater, television and public relations.

Upon moving to our Village in 2001, Beth has been busy with her three children, and pursuing her interests in mid-century art and furniture.

Her passion for houses and design has led her to begin a new business this past year in home staging and decorating.  She is also working with the artistic directors of the White Plains Performing Arts Center, publicizing the new musical drama Wallenberg, as well as the other shows in the 2010/2011 inaugural season.

Beth is very excited to be working with the LHS, having been a long-time member and volunteering in past years on many LHS functions.  She will be working on the Spring 2011 House Tour and reception, as well as helping with PR and other events throughout the year.

She lives on Mayhew Avenue with her husband Chris, and kids, Jack, Lindsey and David.

Ned Benton (returning member) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and serves as Director of the MPA Inspector General Program, which is the only Master of Public Administration program in the United States that concentrates expressly on inspection and oversight and the role of Inspectors General. He serves as the Monitor in United States of America v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Monitor reports on compliance with a consent decree about youth corrections in Puerto Rico. Nominated by both parties in the case and appointed by the United States District Court, Benton’s position is independent of the parties in the case. Before joining the faculty at John Jay College, Benton served as Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections from 1975-1979, and as the Director of Planning for the National Clearinghouse for Criminal Justice Planning and Architecture from 1972-1975.

Locally, Ned was a member of the Historical Society Board from 2002-2009 so he is returning for a third term. He was Larchmont Village Trustee from 1998-2002.

Susan Emery (returning member) was on the board of the Larchmont Historical Society for six years and was chairperson of the house tour during those years.  Last year, while off the board, she served as “chair emerita” and advisor to Laura Hoffman in her role as the chairperson of the 2010 house tour.

Susan has worked at such places as Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Pace Gallery and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Jim Fleming (returning member) is returning to the Larchmont Historical Society Board having previously served as a vice president. Jim is a Larchmont native, and an architect by profession. In addition to a natural interest in the village of his upbringing, and basing his professional work here in Larchmont, Jim has worked on many of the areas historical structures, and that typically involves research of the origins and development of each structure and its relevant architectural style and application.

Jim also paints and draws his surroundings and has Larchmont as one of the most beautiful places along the Sound from which to draw inspiration. Jim  has written the architectural descriptions for LHS’s House Calls, as well as serving as the visiting LHS program speaker liaison.

Monica Foster is married to a movie and theater producer and the proud mother of a son who grew up too quickly and now attends college. She shares her  home with Ruby, an adorable, energetic Labradoodle who has finally learned to respect a fine carpet.

She too was a movie producer for quite some time which is where her flair for the dramatic expressed itself. Leaving Hollywood behind, she has embraced her love for drama and beauty through the traditional, but no less exciting art of antique rugs.

Rick Lefever is the founder and president of Facade MD Architects & Engineers, a professional firm specializing in the restoration and historic preservation of building exteriors. Since 1986, he has led the design and projects primarily in New York City, but reaching as far afield as Boston, Miami and New Orleans.

His designs have resulted in major awards at local, state and national levels. This includes major restoration projects resulting from the September 11 terrorist attack in New York, and from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Katherine Ann Samon is the author of Ranch House Style, the first history since 1948 of suburban ranch houses, and includes eighteen homes across the U.S.

She’s also author of Ethan Allen Style, and (from another life passage) Dates from Hell and More Dates from Hell. Among her freelance clients is Patch.com for whom she writes the bimonthly “Historical Wonders’ and “Home & Gardens” columns. She’s lived in Larchmont with her son since 1998.