10 October 2006

Lost Mansion Found

Hey, New York history buffs: Ever heard of the Denison-White Mansion?

Me neither. But, whatever it is, it's being saved, turned into a community center with 95 surrounding low-income apartments. It's in the Longwood section of the Bronx, a boxy, two-story, white thing, long since abandoned, surrouded by vines and garbage.

Can't find out much about it. It's not in the Encyclopedia of New York City. Charles Denison, however, was a representative from Pennsylvania, a Democrat elected to the Thirty-eighth, Thirty-ninth, and Fortieth Congresses and served from 1863 until his death in 1867. That gave him 17 years to live in the mansion, which he built in 1850. After that, his son-in-law Samuel White moved in. Why these Pennsylvanians had a swell place in the Bronx, I don't know. And how the home survived 156 years, I also can't figure.

The developers are going to call the place Cedars. Lotsa cedars in the Bronx, are there?

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