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The original item was published from 12/17/2020 1:56:36 PM to 12/26/2020 12:00:00 AM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: December 19, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Greenburgh Slice of History

A Truly Trailblazing Road: Historic Roads in Greenburgh Part I- The Bronx River Parkway



Picture 1

1922(nearing completion)                                       Present Day


A Truly Trailblazing Road: Historic Roads in Greenburgh Part I- The Bronx River Parkway 

By: Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber






There are many historic places in Greenburgh. Most of the time, when one thinks of a “historic place,” one thinks of a historic house like: The Odell House, Lyndhurst, or Sunnyside, but historic places are not always houses. Sometimes they aren’t even buildings at all. The Buddhists say that, “It is not the destination that is important but rather the journey.” With this Buddhist proverb in mind, let us turn our attention away from the destinations like those historic houses and towards the journey which is Greenburgh’s historic roads. For our first foray into Greenburgh’s historic roads we would like to examine one of the central arteries that pump the blood of modern civilization, automobile traffic, from Westchester to The City That Never Sleeps and back. This road spans 23.9 miles ( Of those 23.9 miles, 13.2 are in Westchester ( Of that 13.2 miles, 2.3 fall within unincorporated  Greenburgh.(Greenburgh Department of Public Works). We are speaking of course of The Bronx River Parkway. Many of you may be asking, “Why is this road historic?” The answer to that question is it was a first in many categories.


Birth of a Road:


In order to lessen pollution of the Bronx River, it was necessary to direct traffic from Westchester and the Bronx around it ( To accomplish this goal, construction of the Bronx River Parkway began in 1907 ( Further to accomplish this goal, the builders of the road did something that had never been done before, they created  a median strip to separate opposing lanes ( It was also the first highway to run through a park The name of this park is the Bronx River Parkway Reservation (




It was completed in 1925 ( Upon completion, it became the first parkway in the country ( Also upon completion, it became the first highway where intersecting streets crossed over bridges ( As a result of all these firsts, it is on the National Register of Historic Places (




In conclusion, there are many historic places in Greenburgh and some of these are roads. Roads are the arteries and veins that pump the blood of modern civilization, automobile traffic, around this country. Therefore, any road that has a historic significance should be examined in detail. The Bronx River Parkway is one such historic road in Greenburgh. What makes the Bronx River Parkway historic is that: 


  1. It was the first parkway in the country.
  2. It was the first highway to use a median strip to separate opposing lanes.
  3. It was the first highway where intersecting streets crossed over bridges.
  4. It was the first highway to run through a park.



Previous Slices of History include:


  1. Greenburgh’s BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF AND TRUTH: A History of The Freemasons in Greenburgh (9/12/18)



  1. A Final Resting Place for “Man’s Best Friend”: The Peaceable Kingdom (9/29/18)


  1. Greenburgh’s Hall of Heroes: Ferncliff Cemetery Where Memories Live Forever (10/12/18)


  1. Greenburgh at The Great American Crossroads: Greenburgh's Civil War Story(10/19/18)


  1. A Different Kind of Rebel: Greenburgh’s Contributions to the Underground Railroad (10/27/18)


  1. "The Disappearing Railroad Blues" in Greenburgh: The Fate of the Putnam Railroad Line and the old Putnam Trail  (11/6/18)


  1. A Thousand Words Which You Never Knew: The Forgotten Story of the Seal of Greenburgh (11/17/18)


  1. How a Flat Tire led to a Happy Escape: The Story of Carvel in Greenburgh (12/11/18)


  1. The Guardians of History: Greenburgh’s Historical Societies (1/6/19)


  1. A Small House, an Important Meeting, a Huge Victory: The Story of the Odell House (1/12/2019)


  1. The Intersection of Banking, Ballet, and School: Greenburgh’s Warburg Estate (Updated) (10/22/19) 




  1. The Power of Wealth and Humility: A Reflection on Two Highly Influential African Americans (2/18/19)


  1. Greenburgh Under the Hollywood Lights: The TV shows and movies Filmed in Greenburgh Part I (2/23/19)


  1. Oh, The Places Your Mail has Gone: A History of The Hartsdale Post Office (3/9/2019)



  1. Greenburgh Under the Hollywood Lights: The TV shows and Movies Filmed in Greenburgh Part II (3/29/19)


  1. From Chasing Rabbits to Setting Records: The Amazing Story of Larry James (4/7/2019)


  1. From Fixing Cars to building Infrastructure: How Massaro Park Got its name (4/13/2019)


  1. There is no church here, but “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated” this ground: The Story of The Little White Church Cemetery (4/27/19)


  1. Irvington in Chains and our Process A History of Slavery in Irvington and A look at how Slices of History are made (and our interview with historian Robert Marchant) (5/11/2019)


  1. From Farmland to Shopping District: The Rise of Central Avenue  (5/25/2019)


  1. Like a long lost friend”: The story of how summer recreation has evolved in Greenburgh (6/7/2019)


  1. Abandon Ship!!! The Story of United Nuclear Corporation and their Short-lived Elmsford Facility (6/28/19)


  1. Beyond Heritage Versus Hate Toward Hope and Reconciliation: The story of Mount Hope Cemetery and its Confederate Monument (7/13/19)


  1. Hidden History: The Story of Fairview Fairgrounds Part I (7/27/19)




  1. When Greenburgh Went “East  Bound and Down”: Greenburgh  During Prohibition (10/6/2019)


  1. From Mopping The Floor of One Institution to Managing Three at Once: The Amazing Story of Former Westchester County Commissioner of Public Welfare Ruth Taylor (12/12/19)


  1. Greenburgh Gets its “Sun Daze on” Under the Watchful Eyes of the Boys in Blue (1/9/2020)


  1. Making Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream Come Alive the Success Story of the Parkway Homes/ Parkway Gardens Community:(1/18/2020)


  1. Formed By Adversity, Held Together by Faith: The History of the Parkway Homes/Parkway Gardens Community (2/27/2020)


  1. From an Apple Orchard to The Olympics: The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club (3/8/2020)


  1. Ashes “Ashes, Ashes!!We all Fall Down”(3/23/2020)


  1. A Leading Medical Institution at The Border of Greenburgh: The Story of New York Medical College (4 /4 /2020)


  1. When the Cure was Worse than the Disease: A Look back on When The Medical Profession Wasn’t so Reliable: ( 4/18/2020)


  1. All Aboard!!! The Story of The Old Putnam Railroad In Greenburgh (5/31/2020)




  1. Hastings’ Best and Brightest: Nobel Laureates of Hastings



  1. Happy Hour Amid Civil Strife In Elmsford The Story of How the Brother Against Brother Nature of the American Revolution Led to the Cocktail. (8/8/2020)


  1. A Woman Rebel In Hastings: The Life of Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) (10/7/2020) 


  1. Headless Horsemen, Long Naps, and Sunshine: Washington Irving and Sunnyside (10/17/2020)


  1. A General’s Residence in Greenburgh (10/21/2020) A-Generals-Residence-in-Greenburgh ( 


  1. The Ghost of Restaurants Past in Greenburgh Part I (12/12/20) The-Ghost-of-Restaurants--Past-in-Greenburgh-Part-I (



About the Authors:


We are both Assistant Town Historians at Greenburgh Town Hall and we are engaged to be married and are currently looking for permanent employment.


Riley Wentzler:

I was born and raised in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. In high school, I took every honors course available including four years of Spanish. I received A’s in all of them. I graduated third in my class of 146 students. This brought me to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Once there, I continued my trend of academic excellence. I graduated summa cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and a Master’s in Communication Studies, with a G.P.A of 3.94.  It was also there that I met my lovely fiancée, Felicia Barber. My Master’s in Communication has promoted public speaking, teamwork, and customer service. My Political Science degree has developed my research skills using computer-based tools and provided me with experience using the Microsoft Office products. My minor in Spanish has facilitated my bilingual capabilities. During my internship at Greenburgh, I created the petition for the State Roads project using website tools. My diverse education and areas of interest have provided me with a wide range of skills. I look forward to finding a career opportunity in business or government. To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comor to help me find employment, you can contact me at 


Felicia Barber:

I was born in New York City and raised in Hartsdale, New York. I graduated from Ardsley High School. I recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. It was here that I met my fiancé, Riley Wentzler. As a result of my academic excellence, I won a scholarship every year. I learned and applied many graphic design skills to projects during my summer internships and at school. I am proficient in using Adobe graphic design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For my Identity/branding course at Edinboro, I created logos to appear on the tee-shirts of Physical Education majors. For a veteran’s upcoming event, I used a typeface to focus the reader to the soldier in the poster. For the State Roads Legislative Campaign project, I created the embedded graphic-photo that accompanied the petition I am looking for a job to utilize my skills as a Graphic Designer in an agency, print shop, company or government To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comTo learn more about my artwork or to help me find employment you can contact me at



Two Interviews with the authors:






Eastern Roads. (1996-2018 , (NOT GIVEN) (NOT GIVEN)). Bronx River Parkway Historic Overview . Retrieved from


New York Department of Transportation . ((NOT GIVEN), (NOT GIVEN) (NOT GIVEN)). Bronx River Parkway. Retrieved from New York State Scenic Byways :


Simpleview. (2020). Bronx River Pathway. Retrieved from Vist Westchester County NY:


The Cultural Landscape Foundation,. (© 2001-2020, (NOT GIVEN) NOT GIVEN)). Landscape Information. Retrieved from The Bronx River Parkway:


Westchester County Government . (2020, (NOT GIVEN) (NOT GIVEN)). Bronx River Parkway Reservation. Retrieved from Westchester County Parks:

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