One of my main reasons for going into Yonkers early was to take a look at this building. I’d passed by it in a car a couple of times and was amazed to see a pre-revolutionary war building right next to the more modern buildings of today’s Yonkers. Unfortunately, I was to be disappointed. The building is temporarily closed for what appear to be extensive renovations. It’s completely fenced off and it’s almost impossible to take pictures. However, I decided to pluck up my courage and went a little bit into the building site – to a prefabricated structure where I assumed the people responsible for the work would be. I asked if I could take some pictures, and they told me that I could as long as I stayed closed to their office and didn’t wander into the work site. It was from this position that I took the above picture.

The New York Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation site describes the building as follows:

On November 28, 1776, the same year that 56 Americans signed the Declaration of Independence, well over 200 colonial New Yorkers placed their signatures on a “Declaration of Dependence.” These signers were Loyalists, citizens who remained faithful to their sovereign, George III, King of Great Britain. Prominent among the signatures was that of Frederick Philipse III, Lord of the vast Manor of Philipsburg and resident of the elegant mansion known today as Philipse Manor Hall. Frederick Philipse III and his family lived in luxury, well supported by rents from the many tenant farms on his property. Times were changing, however, and while others rebelled against Great Britain, Frederick III defended the Crown. His Loyalist beliefs were so strong that General George Washington ordered him arrested in 1776. Philipse and his family later fled to British occupied New York City and then to England, where the last “Lord of the Manor”, broken in spirit and health, died in 1786. His land and his mansion were confiscated by the New York State Legislature and sold at public auction.

In 1868, after passing through the hands of many owners, the house became Yonkers Village Hall and, in 1872, the first City Hall. By the 20th century, city growth threatened the Manor Hall’s future until it was acquired by New York State in 1908 with the generous help of the Cochran Family of Yonkers. Today, Philipse Manor Hall serves as a museum of history, art and architecture, as well as host to community organizations, meetings, educational programs and special events. Highlights of the Hall include its 18th century, high style Georgian architecture, a 1750s papier mache Rococo ceiling, and an impressive collection of presidential portraits, including the six Presidents from New York State.A Community Gallery has been created at Philipse Manor Hall to display materials which support the Manor Hall’s programs and services and relate to the local community.

Additional information can be found here.

“Standing the east grounds of the Manor Hall in Yonkers is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument erected under the auspices the Soldiers and Sailors Monument Association. The monument cost approximately $13,000 to build Standing the east grounds of the Manor Hall in Yonkers is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument erected under the auspices the Soldiers and Sailors Monument Association. The monument cost approximately $13,000 to build and the money was raise by subscriptions from local individuals and organizations.

Its granite shaft is 9 ft. square at the base and the overall height of the monument is 46ft. high. On May 30, 1888, at a Memorial Day service, William Allen Butler, a Yonkers lawyer and poet, suggested a monument to remember the Yonkers soldiers who had fought to preserve the union during the Civil War. His vision was realized three years later, on September 17 1891 when the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument was dedicated on the grounds of Philipse Manor Hall

The statuary consists of five pieces, representing the Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry, and Navy and there is an 8 Ft figure of a Flag-Bearer on top. Each one was from entirely new and original designs. The figure of the sailor and was designed by Lt. Washington Irving Chambers of the USS Petrel and the remaining three statues were designed by James Edward Kelly of New York City. Each of four bronze lower statues are 7 ft. feet high and were sculpted by Mr. Lorado Taft and cast by the American Brass Company of Chicago.

As was typical of monument unveilings there were several speeches by local politicians, appointed officials, other dignitaries and prominent military veterans. The New York Times of September 18, 1891 reported that an estimated 20,000 people attended the ceremony and the parade which includes several bands and units of the National Guard and of the Grand Army of the Republic. The article concluded with an account of the evening’s celebratory events:

“At night, there was a beautiful illuminated parade of yachts on the river. There were about 60 boats of the Corinthian Club towed in three divisions by steam launches. They were all decorated from stem to sterm with colored lanterns and were setting of Greek fire and rockets with a profusion that was bewildering. The enchantment of the scene was added to by the big electric flash light of the [USS] Boston which kept playing in and out among the illuminated yachts, After the boat parade there was a hop at the yacht club house.”

The upper statue of the Color-Bearer measures eight feet to the head, and eleven feet to top of the flagpole. He stands with cannon and balls at his feet and is in the act of drawing his sword to defend the flag. It was sculptured from Ryegate, Vermont granite. The Infantry Statue is on the east façade of the monument and the soldier demonstrates the “fix bayonets” position. The inscriptions immediately below him read as follows: “PATRIOTISM TO HONOR THE MEN OF YONKERS WHO FOUGHT TO SAVE THE UNION. SLAVERY ABOLISHED.”

This dismounted cavalryman stands on the south façade of the monument. Below him are the following inscriptions: “VALOR MY PARAMOUNT OBJECT IS TO SAVE THE UNION. -LINCOLN” and “LET US HAVE PEACE -GRANT”

This sailor stands on the west façade of the monument with his sword ready to engage the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. The inscriptions below the sailor reads: “COURAGE THE UNION MUST AND SHALL BE PRESERVED. -JACKSON.” and “THE UNION SAVED.” This statue of an artilleryman stands on the north façade of the monument and has the following inscriptions below him: “ENDURANCE THE UNION IS THE PALLADIUM OF OUR SAFETY AND PROSPERITY – WASHINGTON” and “CREDIT MAINTAINED”” (New York Almanack).

Unfortunately I couldn’t show it in all it’s glory as the bottom part was covered by one of the numerous fences.

Taken with a Fuji X-E3 and Fuji XC 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS II

Leave a Reply