Saturday, October 28, 2006

Carvel's first store to close on Central Ave

An article in this Sunday's NY TIMES (October 29)-Westchester Region section reports that the nation's first Carvel store, located on Central Ave, Hartsdale has been sold. The store opened in 1936. Should the town take any action so that future generations will remember the role this store had on history?


Anonymous said...

(Commenting as a Greenburgh outsider but interested party...)

I know it is progress but, it is sad when these iconic bits of history are lost forever. Drive-In theaters, original landmark buildings etc. are a living part of our history and it is a shame that my son will never see then. I'm assuming that preserving the building is not an option but, a plaque on that site commemorating the original building and its use would be a fitting remembrance. In a perfect world there would be a way to create a mixed use history / new use compromise so that future generations can experience "Americana" at its finest.

Anonymous said...

Enough is enough. Preserve and stand up for Greenburgh's landmarks.

dano said...

I'd generally support preserving a landmark, but this particular building does actually need to be demolished.

I think a nice, simple plaque on/in the new building would be appropriate.

Anonymous said...

how about asking the owner to let the library use the building while the owners get their approvals processed for a new building. This would be a nice satellite.

GERONIMO said...


tvozick said...

I don't think it's a particularly beautiful building either, but it is a landmark of sorts. And I am in favor of preserving landmarks. If this one has to be demolished, then so be it, but how about enlisting local photographers - a student project perhaps, or seniors, or anyone interested - to get over there now and document the whole place, inside and out, on film, for a display in Town Hall, or the rebuilt library, or some other appropriate place. Would be more valuable than only a plaque on site. Maybe we could also have a tape of old Tom Carvel's gravely voice talking about Cookie Puss or Fudgy the Whale. Hey, it's part of American pop culture history, and if Greenburgh had some role in it, why shouldn't we say so?

And to Geronimo - I agree that that part of Central Avenue is dismal - I might have compared it to Boston Post Road in the Bronx rather than Northern Africa which I don't think looks much like this at all. But I disagree with you -I think it's good for town government to be interested in a broad range of things, not all of which are vital, major issues - this blog gives the community a chance to hear about things going on that they may have missed, and weigh in with an idea or two - on big issues, little ones, aesthetic ones and substantive ones. Lighten up - he couldn't have spent more than five minutes writing that post.

Tina Vozick

Anonymous said...

This Carvel has been in disrepair for years. It would have been nice to see the town try to get Carvel Corp. to retain and fix up this property, since it is a major landmark in their company's history. However, Carvel doesn't own the property nor the store.

Here's hoping it doesn't become another drugstore or high end furniture retailer- or worse yet- bank. Or tax exempt property like a church or park (rolling eyes) I would hope a nice resturant or useful retailer will find this property attractive.

This is just another step in Hartsdale becoming a more bland pass through bedroom town.

I hope the Town Board steps up a campaign to attract some fun improvments to Central Ave, and stop with the nonsense political issues and hostilties that seem to be more important to them then the true issues that are slowly eating away at what was once a great working class COMMUNITY.

Paul Feiner said...

I am including $15,000 in my proposed budget for 2007 for a Central Ave study. I actually think that over the years Central Ave has become a prettier street- most of the buildings have been spruced up...we have required more landscaping (plantings) in front of the stores when redevelopment has occured. The Carvel store was run down - but it still is a part of american history.

Anonymous said...

I first heard about Carvel closing on X635's blog. He has a lot of good ideas about how to save Hartsdale from becoming yet another bland town, and to preserve the community. I recommend that people check it out.

Anonymous said...

Please, PLEASE save my tax money by NOT conducting the $15,000 study and worry about Central Ave's asthetics. I feel that utilizing common sense will help Central Ave. much more then a study ever will.

In front of 1-15 North Central Ave, where Duane Reade is now, you advocated early in your supervisor career to have trees planted on the sidewalk there. And what has that accomplished? The trees are very poorly developed and ugly, and poorly cared for. It does nothing to improve the community.

Carvel was run down, but I'd rather have a run down Carvel then some snooty furniture retailer.

Use that $15,000 to lobby the state to make traffic and asthetic improvments to Central Ave (it is a state road), to lobby unique and fun businesses to bring them to Central Ave. Hartsdale could be so much more. It doesn't take much to send some letters out or make some calls to businesses, and invite them to do business here in the town. But then again, the Town Of Greenburgh and it's multitude of very tight regulations and laws make doing business here very complicated and unfriendly.

Or give the money to the Police Department to fund increased Emergergency Medical Services staffing, or use the money to try and figure out how a pedestrian is supposed to safely traverse up West Hartsdale Avenue (storys for another day). Please use our tax money wisely, and not on some ridiculous "study" that's not going to get anything done. We vote for you, and pay your salary, so I feel you and the residents of this town should be the one developing the ideas for Central...not some consultant who doesn't even know our community.

BTW, I'm also a North Central Ave resident, and have proudly lived in Hartsdale for the past 27 years, and proudly work in Hartsdale as well. This is the community where I live, and I want to see it be the best it can be.

X636 said...

Dear X635
Your blog about Central Ave expressed concern about the town retaining a consultant to review Central Ave. I don't like it when government wastes money. However, much of the town's assets are tied to Central Ave. Doesn't it make sense to spend $15,000 to get the recommendations of a specialist if the specialist will help Greenburgh officials make smart decisions? We don't want a blighted street that is in serious trouble. Do we?

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

Its sad about Carvel, and I'd like to thank the Carvels for all their generosity, through the Carvel Foundation, for so many great things, including the Childresn Pavillion at St. Agnes. I think the good works the Carvel family has done will be their legacy.

That being said, I think Central Ave is improving in parts. I think pushing Coned to bury wires can be an incentive to really beautify Central Ave. I also want to know, why are the central mediums in Yonkers nicely landscaped with grass and bushes and then when you travel to north to greenburgh they are not. I think we need nicer landscapingetc, in addition to underground wires.

I think we have to pick up on the earlier comment about office condos. When new buildings are built, as will happen with the Carvel location, why cant they have the first floor be retail rental and the top 2 - 4 offices, which could be structured as office condos.

We have to start thinking about Ridge Hill, and we need to encourage stable long term tenants now.

Anonymous said...

I agree with x635. Why should we pay $15,000 to study a state-owned roadway? What is this study expected to reccomend that we don't already know?

I wish Mr. Feiner would be more responsible with our money. He seems to be proud that he throws it around like he has an endless supply of it.

Maybe we should assign the $50,000 a year assistant to the town council to "study" this project.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should be spending the 15K not on a consultant but a lawyer or govt expert to find out what the state is required to do to maintian public highways

Edgemont voter said...

The study of Central Ave was recommended by various Edgemont civic groups. Michelle McNally, President of the ECC, spoke at a recent Town Board meeting and suggested a moratorium on residential development on Central Ave and a study. Edgemont residents are concerned about their school taxes which have been increasing at an alarming rate -double digit or near double digit tax hikes for a number of years. This study, if approved by the Supervisor and Town Board, could help the school district in the future.

Anonymous said...

Edgemont gets more tax dollars from commercial uses than from residential. One of the reasons why Edgemont wants this corridor study and a moratorium on residential development is because we want to maximize the taxes we can receive from Central Ave properties. A $15,000 study might cost taxpayers some money. It could also help reduce our taxes in the long term.

Anonymous said...


Edgemont does not get more tax dollars from commercial, it gets more from residential

but we should still be looking to improve Central Ave and make it more attractive and more valuable.

Anonymous said...

sorry anon--a commercial building generates more taxes than apartments. That is why the ECC wants a moratorium on residential development on Central Ave. That is why the ECC suggested the study.

Fabiola said...

I am sad that many business aren't hacking it in Hartsdale but the carvel is pretty ugly. I simple placque would be approproate to commerate the history in Hartsdale.
I agree with Geronimo, no more banks or furniture stores. We need more Italian resturants, Burger place and another bakery. Hartsdale needs a PR campaign to show how great it is.

Anonymous said...

This morning, I photograpghed Carvel

Also, check out the story in the NY Times:

MJ said...

The story in the Times brings up a good point. Other landmarks are now museums. Wil that work on Central Ave? The land is worth so much but so is preserving the history of Carvel as it relates to Hartsdale. I can picture tours and schools visiting the museum.

Anonymous said...

I think the Carvel is actually in Hartsdale/Greenburgh 7. That school district has had to bear the brunt of non-tax paying low income housing. I think we should all be more sympathetic to that district; they are not getting any special deals like Valhalla and no one is talking about giving them land like the AFD. So I think the land should be put to commercial use.

Paul Feiner said...

X635--Thanks for your comments about Central Ave and the value of a study. I included the proposal in my budget after listening to representatives of the Edgemont community express their concerns about Central Ave. As indicated in some of the above comments by other commentators - they want all future development to be non residential. The Edgemont civic leaders want a study of the avenue. They also want a moratorium on residential development while the study takes place.
I would be happy to sit down with you and the Planning Commissioner to discuss the avenue in greater detail. Your opinion is valued and appreciated. One of the reasons why I started the blog over a month ago was to reach out to people who normally do not participate in our review process. It was my hope that we could encourage more people, like you, to get involved. If you're interested in meeting please call my office at 993-1540 or e mail me at

newguy said...

X635: You make many intelligent observations in your blog. Your Carvel photos actually make the place look a nicer than it is ... sooo nasty!

"Hartsdale needs a PR campaign to show how great it is."
Did Hartsdale used to be a village? Other than the train station area, I don't think of Hartsdale as anything more than a random post office name for central Greenburgh, with a whole lot of 1960s strip malls along Central Park Ave. I mean no offense to anyone whatsoever; that's just has been my impression as a newcomer. Was there a Hartsdale community at some point with its own schools and government and history that somehow got absorbed into general Greenburgh? Just curious.

Regarding Carvel, though ... Unfortunately it needs to be demolished altogether, but include a high quality Carvel that highlights its history as one of the new stores at that location.

Regarding $15K for a study ... Heck, use the $15K to rent a few bulldozers! Plow down everything from the Dunkin Donuts/Subway area down to the Edgemont line, and start anew! Okay okay, perhaps not realistic, but it would be sort of cool to give that stretch of Central Park Ave the "extreme makeover" it needs. Back to the point of the $15K, aren't there enough qualified consultants in the area to serve on a committee without dishing out the $15K?

GERONIMO said...

Tina Vozick said in answer to my
comments that I was amazed that
Paul Feiner gets involved in minute
issues that I should 'Lighten up-
he couldn't have spent more than
5 minutes writing that post'.
it has now become a discussion on
the improved future of Central Avenue from The Hartsdale Dunkin
Donuts to the Carpet dealers
rusty European Health Spa's
We have now elevated the discussion
to a productive level,let us help
Paul Feiner to achieve results.
I agree with the comments that the
15M for a consultant to tell us what to do with Central Avenue
is not called for.
Clean up the road beginning with
the carpet deslers tower of rust
and decay,replace the disgusting
private label gas stations with
a Commerce Bank rype of presentation and land scaping,
business and customer will follow.
As to the Carvel building,it is still no more than a roadside
icecream vendor,operated by a
company that did well for irself
and hopefully it's franchise owners
it sold itself if I remember correctly to a Kuwait Invenstment
Group for 80 mill dollars,is now
owned by Focus Brands of Atlanta.
I can't see much 'Historical Value'
can you?

sas said...

This building has no historical value to carvel ice cream or Hartsdale's significance in the history of the Carvel legecy. This is not even the original building. The building was altered in the 1950's, and does not reflect the 1930's establishment Tom Carvel began. It would serve the town interests to allow the removal of this structure and to require the new builders to remember Carvel with a plaque at the location. Hastings-on-Hudson would be a good model since they have installed a walking musuem in their village. At various historical areas, plagues with pictures and written history tell the story of what had been located at each location.

Anonymous said...

SAS--excellent suggestion

tvozick said...

Geronimo - ah, so you agree with me that it wasn't a waste of time for the supervisor to raise this topic.

Tina Vozick

Anonymous said...

Tina -- Was that last post really necessary?

Anonymous said...

Supervisor Feiner-

Thank you for your invitation, I will be emailing you in the next couple of days.

As for the Edgemont people wanting a study, if they want it, let them pay for it themselves. As I said, $15,000 may not be a lot to them, but it's a lot to me especially considering we know what we need to do....

Anonymous said...

What about a moratorium on furniture stores and banks on Central Avenue. How many sofas do Greenburgh resident need??

tvozick said...

Anon at 2:43- was the comment "IT IS AMAZING HOW MANY ISSUES NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT TO THE WELFARE OF GREENBURGH YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN" really necessary? Was that a compliment?

My point in making that post is simple: This forum exists because Feiner thinks about how to communicate with his constituents. Unlike most politicians, he doesn't insulate himself - he talks to us. Rather than knee-jerk attacks on him for raising a subject (which is what Geronimo seemed to be doing in that quote from his first post) it wouldn't hurt to thank him for that.

Tina Vozick

Anonymous said...

As far as the plaque idea goes, how many people actually stop, read, or acknowlege that plaque that sits at Bob Gold Park on East Hartsdale Avenue, or remember the contributions he made to the community? I'd rather have his bookstore still there then a plaque in a park.

It's also funny how the Barnes and Noble that helped kill the new owners of his store is now leaving Hartsdale.

As I've been trying to point out, this is a trend that doesn't have to be.

Konck it down and put up a bank and plaque is not the attitude to have. We should do everything we can to make sure that our existing businesses thrive, and that we invite new and diverse businesses to our community. Not only is this good for tax revnue, but it's also good for those of us that live here.

And just a heads up, there was another article in the Journal News yesterday about the Carvel.

Edith Rosenblatt said...

My son Richard who is now in his fifties wrote to me that he and his friends hung out at that Carvels all the time as there was no place else to go. Tom Carvel lived next to his best friend, Wayne Decker. I recall Tom Carvel, always donating flying saucers to us at the Ardsley Community Nursery School when I taught there.

Anonymous said...

Newguy asked if Hartsdale used to have its own schools. The answer is yes, it did, up through 9th grade, at which point Hartsdale kids had the choice of attending one of several high schools in other communities. Then there was a referendum, Hartsdale was merged with Greenburgh, and Woodlands was built.