A Sign of Our Times
The Welcome to White Plains sign is positioned at a major gateway into our city, on the railroad
trestle greeting all who enter White Plains from Route 119 on to Main Street. A Thirtieth
Anniversary gift of White Plains Beautification Foundation to the City of White Plains, the
sign is constructed of heavy gauge aluminum with a duranotic finish, matte black graphics
and gold anodized lettering. Designed by Grafico, Inc. of Elmsford, it is a montage of custom-
illustrated landmarks in our city. To add a note of interest and personalization to the project,
the artwork was done by a member of the art department of Grafico Finn O'Hare, a native son
of White Plains. The City of White Plains arranged for the installation which was a major feat.
The “unveiling” took place on October 17, 1995.
Carillon at Country Courthouse Tower
In 1969, members of the White Plains Beautification Foundation traveled at their
own expense to visit eight cities in five countries in Europe to gather ideas to enhance
their own city and to have input into decisions which would affect the look of White
Plains in the future. One of their discoveries was made in Amsterdam when they heard
bells playing from the Royal Palace. They learned that the music was produced by a
Schulmerich carillon (pronounced kar-i-lon) made in the United States in Pennsylvania.
A carillon is a set of stationary bells hung in a tower which plays music at regular
intervals. The Schulmerich Company is the world‘s largest producer of carillons and bells
and one of only four producers of hand bells in the world. The Schulmerich Carillon,
which today is an electronic device, has the equivalent of 111 bells.
When Westchester County began construction of the courthouse over 35 years ago,
WPBF set out to install a carillon in the top story of the building in the hopes of
enhancing the lives of local residents and emulate some of the great and prestigious
public squares one sees around Europe. It took five years of fundraising and $25,000 to
purchase the carillon which the foundation then donated to the County. It was dedicated
November 22, 1974. The foundation also purchased a Schulmerich console, and a short
concert was presented by John Klein, an eminent carilloneur.
As the years passed and technology advanced, parts for the original carillon were
unavailable and so Schulmerich developed a digital carillon, a Tyme Stryke model, which
was also donated to the County.
A committee of the White Plains Beautification Foundation Board chooses the selections
to be played which include seasonal and patriotic pieces. The carillon also tolls for
sad occasions, such as memorials, and can be programmed with up to 500 songs. Four
speakers on the roof of the courthouse broadcast the chimes, Westminster time-strike, and
The White Plains Beautification Foundation's gift to the city of White Plains was given to commemorate the centennial of the White Plains Public Library and to honor the 28 years of service to the city by the
late Mayor Richard S. Hendey. Mayor Hendey was instrumental in locating the library at its present site on Martine Avenue. WPBF
plants, maintains, and waters the clock garden and all of the many planters and gardens surrounding the Library Plaza.
The idea of a gazebo in Tibbits Park on North Broadway grew out of a discussion between two
friends – Brian Wallach, a founder and first president of White Plains Beautification Foundation,
and Robert Pollack, an architect and vice president of the foundation – while enjoying a
lunchtime concert in the park in 1979. Over time, various plans were proposed and studied
until the current design was approved.
A highly respected former County Executive and former Mayor of White Plains, Edwin G.
Michaelian, passed away September 9, 1983. It was decided to build the gazebo in his memory.
A fundraising breakfast was held at Pace University, where Dr. Michaelian had been Director of
The Institute of Sub-Urban Governance. Hosted by Dr. Edward J. Mortola, then president of the
university, about 80 people attended, many of whom were real estate developers and owners
in Westchester County. The estimated cost of $50,000 to construct the gazebo was quickly
raised in a competitive atmosphere. The 1983 Annual Fall Gala raised additional monies for
landscaping around the gazebo.
Robert Pollack designed the gazebo, and the construction firm of Rocco Briante built it,
adding his own contribution of a brick patio. Michaelian’s widow Joyce donated a copper
weathervane, which sits atop the cupola.
The gazebo was dedicated October 14, 1984. Today it is the site of regular spring and summer
midday music events that make living in or visiting White Plains just a little more special.
During the winter holiday season, White Plains Beautification Foundation arranges for an
evergreen tree to be placed inside the gazebo, which is then beautifully decorated by White
Plains Recreation and Parks Department.
Peter Gisondi and his sons, of Peter Gisondi Painting Company, have been generous in donating
their company’s services through the years to power wash, restore and repaint the gazebo.
By invitation of the City of White Plains and the Sculptors Guild of New York City, White Plains
Beautification Foundation partnered with them to bring world renowned sculpture to our city.
Originally conceived by Norman Adler and Eli Schonberger in memory of Schonberger’s wife
Lois, a 42-year resident of the city who was devoted to public and private education and the
arts, this program was introduced at the White Plains Library Plaza in September of 2004. In
essence, sculptures are borrowed from artist members of the Sculptors Guild on a temporary
basis to create the sculpture gardens.
The Westchester Arts Council presented the White Plains Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition
Committee with a Community Award in 2006 for demonstrating “extraordinary vision and
leadership in using the arts to enhance community life,” increasing “access to cultural
experiences” and “enriching the county’s cultural heritage.” White Plains Beautification
Foundation Board members, including then President Dorothy Schere, Ann Edwards, Sally Coe
and Kathy Masterson served on this committee.
Sculptures on display have included “Mother Playing, “a bronze work by Chaim Gross; “Sag
Portal,” a large stainless steel sculpture resembling a gateway by Mr. Van de Bovenkamp;
and “Rouget,” a welded aluminum piece by Robert Perless.
The Basket, located at South Broadway and Armory Place was designed by Rudy Nabel of
Nabel’s Nurseries and Robert Dean and built by Jack McGrath and William Strong in 1996. It is
made of large cedar boards milled on site and stained walnut. Measuring 18 feet long by 9 feet
wide by 9 feet tall, it took two months to construct in a warehouse at Nabel’s Nursery.
On the day of dedication, September 12, 1996, 15 men managed to maneuver The Basket on
and off a flat bed trailer to the site at Armory Plaza. Once on site, the inner liner was filled with
2.5 tons of special potting soil mix, Nabel’s “house blend,” and then planted with beautiful
WPBF had budgeted $5,000 for this “dream basket,” however, the costs for this one-of-a-
kind project rose to $18,000. This re-adjusted cost was Rudy Nabel’s gift to the City, a gift for
which White Plains is enormously grateful. The Basket has been planted seasonally by Nabel’s
Nurseries and funded through one of our Adopt-A-Park Program Major Sponsors, Barbara and
Richard Dannenberg, who have continued their sponsorship through 2011.
(Pictured: Left to right) Barbara Vrooman, Nanette Bourne, Ginsburg Development's Andy
Maniglia, Cheryl Bartholomew Miller, Mary Farrell, Betty Graessle, and Lynn Burrell
What was once called E.J. Conroy Drive is now the site of the Main Street entrance to the City
Center parking garage. In the spring of 1983 a mural was painted on the E.J. Conroy Drive side
of a building on Main Street. It was designed by Steven Gordon, a White Plains High School art
teacher, and painted by art students. The paint was supplied by Sears.
In 1993 the twenty-by-eighty-foot mural was repainted. Lead artist Cheryl Bartholomew-Miller,
together with Lynn Burrell, Mary Farrell and Betty Graessle, all White Plains Beautification
Foundation Associates, spent nine months working on the production. Peter Gisondi, of Peter
Gisondi Painting Company, prepared the wall for the new mural and donated the scaffolding,
and then the girls devoted two weeks of their lives, working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., to produce
this grand scale trompe l’oeil style mural called “City in the Park”.
The public was encouraged to add the finishing touches, and over the course of two
days, people of all ages took brush in hand and “plainted” their favorite colored flower in
the “empty” flower box at the base of the mural. It was completed on the opening day of the
White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival. It was a community adventure of the best kind.
In 2006, Ginsburg Development, LLC commissioned a high-resolution photograph of the mural
in anticipation of the building being razed.
This landmark fountain, located in Tibbits Park at the corner of Main Street and North
Broadway, was designed by White Plains Beautification Foundation Advisor Len Salvador
and constructed by Al Doria of Doria Contractors. Donations were made by many
individuals and firms listed on a plaque next to the fountain. A substantial portion of the
cost was contributed by the Harry D. Triantafillu family.
Harry D. Triantafillu, a White Plains resident for many years, was an inventor,
businessman and philanthropist. He invented Blue Coral, a treatment product used to
clean, polish and protect auto and boat exteriors. He spent many years developing and
perfecting his formula for the product on nights and weekends in White Plains where
Mr. and Mrs. Triantafillu lived most of their lives.
The final $14,000 needed to complete this major project was provided by Lila Acheson
Wallace, co-founder of The Reader’s Digest, and a long time supporter of White Plains
Beautification Foundation’s Adopt-A-Park Program.
After five years of fundraising, the fountain was dedicated in the spring of 1978.
At holiday time the fountain can be fitted and converted into a tree stand for the city’s
G. Kent Hawks Fountain and Gardens
Often referred to as the Hawks Water Cascade, the G. Kent Hawks Fountain and
was created in memory of a 37-year-old architect who was a resident of the city
and a vice president of the White Plains Beautification Foundation Board of Directors. It
replaced a damaged shell fountain that had been in disuse for years, and with the growth
of weeds and scrub brush had become unsightly.
Robert Pollack, another architect on the Board, designed the rustic, woodland fountain
constructed of boulders. When the $25,000 cost was raised, construction began and the
fountain was dedicated in 1978. The Hawks family observed the 20th anniversary of
Kent’s death on June 23, 1996, with the planting of a Kousa dogwood tree across the path
from the fountain in his memory.
Surrounded by tall office buildings, high rise apartments, busy vehicular traffic and
The Westchester, this quiet refuge of woodland setting is a place for solace and
contemplation. It is located on Westchester Avenue at the foot of Armory Hill.
Two memorial benches have been installed in this area by the Leslie family in memory of
their daughter Susan Locke Leslie.
The John C. Bailey Summerhouse
In 1979 the rustic old summer house, a White Plains landmark since 1906 located on South
Broadway at the foot of Martine Avenue, had to be demolished due to its deterioration. At
the base of the old structure was magnificent stone work which was an integral part of the
background of the park and gardens below.
Six years after it was gone and missed by so many, sons of John C. Bailey approached White
Plains Beautification Foundation with their wish to do something significant to honor their
father in life. From 1937 until his retirement in1969, John Bailey was active in many community
projects and served as Executive Director of the Civic and Business Federation, later known as
the Chamber of Commerce.
Robert Pollack, an architect and member of the White Plains Beautification Foundation Board of
Directors, volunteered his design of a new structure in the spirit of the original and in accordance
with current building codes. Through an appeal from the president of Operation Engineers, Local
137, volunteers representing the White Plains Carpenters Union 53, DeLeo Excavating Corp.,
Interstate Building Material, and the Lions Club of White Plains provided all of the work gratis.
In true barn-raising fashion the new summerhouse was built in one day. It was dedicated in
Renoda Hoffman Street Clock
On the 25th Anniversary of the White Plains Beautification Foundation, the Foundation purchased and dedicated a large double-sided street clock to honor City Historian Renoda Hoffman, a beloved member of our Board. Renoda was White Plains City Historian for 35 years until her death in 2005.
The Flag Pole
The Flag Pole is located in Tibbits Park and is a joint project with the Rotary Club.