North Castle Groups Want Historic Home Fixed At Current Site

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The North Castle Town Board discussed the Elijah Miller House at its July 9 meeting.
The North Castle Town Board discussed the Elijah Miller House at its July 9 meeting. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

NORTH WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Two local groups have recommended that the Elijah Miller House, which served as a headquarters for George Washington during the Revolutionary War, be repaired at its current site in North White Plains.

The recommendations were from the Elijah Miller House Committee, which is a town of North Castle advisory group, and Friends of Miller House – Washington’s Headquaters, Inc., a non-profit group that will support the facility.

An overview of the matter was given at a presentation of the matter at the North Castle Town Board’s July 9 meeting, which was held at the Community Center in North White Plains.

Speakers were critical of Westchester County, the house’s owner, for not taking action to repair it. The house, which is on Virginia Road, will need a new roof and a new porch, it was noted. A blue tap is currently covering the roof.

Sharon Tomback, who was one of the speakers, spoke with frustration about the lack of action. Aside from recapping the house’s history, she brought up a 1994 agreement between the county and the state Attorney General's Office, which outlines the county’s responsibilities. The county has owned the house since 1917, according to Tomback.

“It’s crumbling into ruin,” she said.

Tomback also said, “The Elijah Miller House has literally been talked to death.”

Tomback also spoke about the house’s recent history, including a 2010 bond act that was passed by the county’s Board of Legislators, which involved $1.3 million in funding. The act was vetoed by County Executive Rob Astorino, although the veto was subsequently overridden by the board.

It was also mentioned during the meeting that the North Castle Landmarks Preservation Committee has issued a repair order.

There was discussion during the meeting about a scenario in which the house would be moved to Fountain Park, which is also in North White Plains. Although a future move has not been ruled out, there is opposition to doing so now.

Westchester County Legislator Michael Smith, whose district includes North Castle, spoke at the meeting about the county’s interest in the Fountain Park area, including a proposal to spend about $1.2 million. He also mentioned the lack of interest in investing at the current site and noted traffic as an issue. Smith wanted discussion about options to continue but denied that he wants the thing debated to death.

The Town Board is scheduled at its July 23 meeting to vote on a resolution that calls for the repair work to be done at the current site.  At the July 9 meeting, Town Supervisor Michael Schiliro voiced his support for repairing the house where it is now. The July 23 meeting is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. and will be at North Castle Town Hall in Armonk.

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