Tuckahoe residents, developers debate fate of Ward House at Historic Preservation Commission meeting

Both sides presented their arguments to the board at the Historic Preservation Commission meeting about why they felt the home known as the Ward House in Tuckahoe should or should not be demolished.

News 12 Staff

May 25, 2023, 2:27 AM

Updated 359 days ago

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A Westchester village moved one step closer to deciding whether a developer can demolish a historic home built in the 1700s that's still standing.
Both sides presented their arguments to the board at the Historic Preservation Commission meeting about why they felt the home known as the Ward House in Tuckahoe should or should not be demolished.
Attorneys for the developer argue the home is beyond repair because of major structural issues to load-bearing walls and the foundation.
"Our evidence is unrefuted as to the structure, the engineering, and instability of the structure,” says developer attorney Lee Lefkowitz.
But community members who want the house preserved claim the home is not in as bad of a shape as the developer claims.
"Not only is this house not in imminent danger of falling down, but it's also historically significant,” says Sal Provenzano, president of the group Friends of the Ward House.
The board must ultimately decide whether or not the home presents a clear and imminent threat to the public by letting it stand.
This is a battle that has been consuming the small village since the developer bought the home in 2021 after Concordia College, which owned the home, shut its doors.
The attorneys for the developer have three weeks to submit a written response to Wednesday night's public comment meeting.
The board could set a meeting date to vote as early as next month. The developer will have the opportunity to re-apply if the board votes its application down the first time.


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