President McGeachin and Mrs. Edward F. Albee lay the cornerstone for Larchmont Municipal Hall.
Larchmonter Times, July 20, 1922
Edward F. Albee's Message at the Ceremony
July 19, 1922
Mr. George McGeachin,
President, Village of Larchmont
Dear Mr. McGeachin:
I exceedingly regret not being able to join in the celebration incident to the laying of the cornerstone of Larchmont's newest and greatest enterprise, the erection of this magnificent municipal building. I deemed it a great honor as well as a privilege to have been selected to lay this cornerstone, and to talk to my fellow townsmen. I have, however, contracted a severe cold, and my doctor thinks it unwise for me to go out, and so I must forgo this pleasure.
Harking back some 40 or 50 years, when Larchmont Manor was merely farmland, and referring to the men who settled here and did much to develop this little paradise through their splendid enterprise, farsightedness and liberality, the present town folks of the Manor and Village of Larchmont, are enjoying what I consider one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful town that it is ever been my privilege to visit, and I have traveled some during my life in foreign countries as well as here.
As the village progressed, along came such men as the Rev. Richard Cobden in St. John's Episcopal Church, which was built by Mr. Murray. I know of no Christian edifice that is more attractively surrounded, and the beauty does not lie solely in its old English architecture, and its moss-grown ivy, but it's greatest attribute lies in the sweetness of the reverend gentleman who presides over it. His broad religious principles, his kindness of heart, his wonderful practical sermons, have attracted many a wandering soul to the altar of his ministry.
The broad avenues of the village, lined on both sides with magnificent trees, each side of the street embellished with modest, yet beautiful homes, the stately and impressive churches, the modern schools, the unsurpassed waterfront from Pryor Point skirting along down to Horseshoe Harbor, the wonderful bathing facilities, then continuing around the Rocky Point with its forest of foliage into Larchmont Harbor, and then skirting along up to and including the Larchmont Yacht Club, which is noted as the finest in the world on any waterfront, with its treasures and its traditions and its visiting guests from all parts of the world, and then continuing around to Gresham Point, and from there to Flagler's Point and the breakwater. I feel safe in saying that there is no spot along the entire Sound, on either side, that equals the beauty of Larchmont.
All of these wonderful attributes were recognized by the Murray's, the Flint's, the Proctors, the Towles, the Cobdens, and by many others who were among the early settlers, who contributed so much of their energy, time and money to the founding of this celebrated Village, for it is celebrated. I have heard spoken off in foreign countries of course by those who knew and had visited the residential part; and I've heard others say "I thought Larchmont was such a beautiful place! I passed through it in my automobile, or train, and I saw little evidence of anything that was attractive." Of course they were referring to the business part of the town, the Main Street.
A picture of the "Yale Inn" in 1915 when it was called the Pequot Inn.
Today marks an epoch in the history of Larchmont. This old Main Street is to be rejuvenated and before another year passes by, great improvement will be seen. The old eye-sore, the Yale Inn, will soon be raised and its place, on the entire property running from the Post Road up around Larchmont Avenue, some of the finest structures to be seen in any village or city will be erected. First on the Post Road, as you have read in the papers, will come an old English apartment house. The late plans, not the ones published in the paper, but revised, show lines of great beauty. Schools will be erected on the first floor, and on the corner of Larchmont Avenue will be an imposing structure for the Larchmont National Bank. Next to that will come the public library.
Edward Albee's preliminary sketch of his plans for Albee Court. In his message, he describes revisions to this preliminary vision.
After the service at Dr. Cobdens church last Sunday, I visited the Rev. Father Brady at his new rectory. Before going there I went through his church, which seems inadequate for his large congregation. His rectory is a beautiful home, and thoroughly becomes the man who by his ardent work, his Christian tolerance and broad-minded principles, had built up a congregation that any big city church might well be proud of. While in conversation, he advised me that someday he was going to build a new church, that he had been endeavoring to acquire more land for this purpose. Inasmuch as I happen to own the land from where the public library is to be built up to Father Brady's home line, I offered to contribute as much land as was required in addition to his own to build his new church, so that seems now to be a foregone conclusion; and then we will have a group wonderful buildings that no other village Main Street will surpass.
Housed in this brand splendid municipal building will be our efficient and up-to-date fire department with all its modern equipment it will also house are fine police force and the administrative officers of our village, also court will be held there.
We owe a deep debt of gratitude to the men responsible for this treasured spot, Larchmont Manor, and we owe a debt of gratitude to the men who so conscientiously, energetically and intelligently administer the affairs of the Village in past years, and to our present Board of Trustees and to President McGeachin is due a vote of thanks for the conscientious, enthusiastic and splendid manner in which they are administering the affairs of the Village and in promoting the splendid municipal building.
May cause blessing rest upon it, and give to those who administer its affairs courage and wisdom and when justice is meted out here, I pray that it will be tempered with mercy.
The Village of Larchmont is growing tremendously fast. We cannot extend very much further in the village itself, but there is so much territory adjacent that is tributary to our village that I feel sure that when all these improvements are made, Larchmont Manor and the Village of Larchmont will take on a new life, and if its citizens are proud that now, they will have double reasons to be proud when all these improvements are made, and I feel that it is incumbent upon all of us to give to those who administer the affairs of the Village, for no one man or set of man can bring about the great reforms or increase the value of our holdings except for the cooperation of all.
I'm deeply interested in all of Larchmont's affairs, and anytime I can be of service to its citizens, or those who administer its affairs, I am at their command. Again regretting that I am unable to be present, and wishing you all happy afternoon, I am faithfully yours.
Edward F. Albee