The Rockefeller State Park Preserve and its 65-mile carriage road network – designed by the Rockefeller family – are on track to join the state and national register of historic places.
The property is among 16 that the New York State Historic Preservation Board voted to recommend for the state’s Register of Historic Places. Next, the recommendation needs to be approved by the state historic preservation officer. Once the property is listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places, it is nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
Rose Harvey, commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said she was “particularly pleased by the nomination of the Rockefeller Pocantico Hills Historic District, which includes the park preserve and honors the conservation ethic and philanthropy that made the Rockefeller family among America’s greatest benefactors of public park land.”
The designation – officially the Rockefeller Pocantico Hills Estate Historic District – covers the 3,000 acres that make up the Rockefeller estate, including properties such as Kykuit and the Playhouse.
The 16-foot wide, crushed stone pathways that run through the preserve were designed by John D. Rockefeller Sr. and his son John D. Rockefeller Jr. over a 40-year stretch from 1910 into the 1950s. The network is one of only two such systems in the nation, according to a press release from the Friends of Rockefeller State Park Preserve organization. The other, in Acadia National Park in Maine, is also designed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and already carries historic designation.
More than 400,000 visitors from around the world visit the carriage roads each year, according to Friends of Rockefeller.
The group described the designation as the culmination of a multi-year effort. Both Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Congresswoman Nita Lowey had signed letters of support for the effort. The trails are also up for national historic place designation.
Also recommended for state historic place designation was the Robinwood district in Ossining. The district, off Route 133 near Route 9A in the town, represents architecturally significant and intact suburban housing built in the 1960s, according to the state announcement.