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Progress and its Price: The New York State Thruway and its impact on Ardsley
By: Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber
The Buddhists say that, “It is not the destination that is important but rather the journey.” Roads are the arteries and veins that pump the blood of modern civilization, automobile traffic, around this country and thereby keep our American Journey flowing. With this in mind, the Interstate Highway System is our national circulatory system.
Built in the 1950s, The New York State Thruway, more formally known as, “The Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway, “is one of the oldest parts of that system(https://www.thruway.ny.gov/oursystem/overview.html).The mainline of the Thruway is 426 miles long and goes from New York City to Buffalo (https://www.thruway.ny.gov/oursystem/overview.html). On this journey, it passes through Greenburgh. Like other significant roads to pass through Greenburgh, its impact should be examined.
Part of this road runs through Greenburgh’s Village of Ardsley. How has it impacted this village? Ardsley Historical Society President Pete Marcus says, “Prior to the thruway Ardsley had a very walkable downtown with a main street and many businesses on each side of that street similar to what Dobbs Ferry and Hastings have. The Thruway is one of the most significant events ever to happen to Ardsley because it decimated all of that! Hundreds of people had to relocate their homes and hundreds of businesses had to close down or relocate. “(Personal Communication from Ardsley Historical Society President Pete Marcus)
Evidence supporting Mr. Marcus’ statement can be found in Patricia B. Arone & Fred N. Arone’s book Pictures of The Past Ardsley, N.Y. where many pictures of destroyed: homes, businesses, and streets can be found.
See the before and after map below: