MAMARONECK, N.Y. The fight for the preservation of the Gedney Farm House is at its end, and so is the chipped blue house on 734 E. Boston Post Road, said to date back to 1790.
The Rye Neck School District owns the property and has spent two years studying the costs and benefits of demolishing it, said schools Superintendent Robert Mustich. At its Feb. 15 board of education meeting, the bid for demolition was awarded to Yonkers-based Garito Contracting, Inc., which was the low bidder at $104,980.
In response to the move to remove the house, Carol Akin and Jen Northrup have spearheaded a local group called Concerned Citizens for the Preservation of the Gedney Farmhouse, and consider it one of the most historically significant homes in Mamaroneck.
The home is not in the National Register of Historic Places and the archeological reviews the school had done, Mustich said, didn't find it to be historically significant. Village of Mamaroneck Historian Gloria Pritts said she believes the Gedney family moved to Mamaroneck sometime in the 1700s from Salem, Mass.
Only a small portion of the house, Mustich said, "allegedly" dates back to 1790. He added that the farm behind the house was put up by the school in the 1900s.
"It had been a school back in the 1930s, but at this point it's no longer viable," Mustich said. "The renovation needs were in excess of $1.5 million, so it doesn't make sense for us to keep the property."
Akin appeared at the Feb. 15 school board meeting, but did not speak. Earlier that week, she did address the Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees at its Feb. 13 meeting to ask for the use of land in Harbor Island to relocate the farm house all together. To fix the house and move it would cost roughly between $85,000 and $100,000, Akin estimated at the meeting.
Over the course of this lengthy process, the local group has explored seeking contributions to rent the house, or an individual to rent it for the price of $2,500 per month. But, the board has taken that option off the table, due to the costs of repairs.
"We anticipate they will start asbestos removal next week, with the intent that the children will be out of school so there won't be any issues there," Mustich said. "And then hopefully within the next three weeks, the building will be removed."
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