Landmarks Preservation Society of Southeast, Inc.

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A Gorgeous Landmark Home

Walter Brewster House

This fine example of Greek revival architecture was built in about 1850 by Walter Brewster. The Landmarks Preservation Society can't determine if he ever actually lived in the Walter Brewster House or for how long if he did. Mr. Brewster had briefly studied architecture at Yale University, but as was common practice at the time, the design for his house came primarily from a current builders' guide.

In 1848, together with his brother James, Walter Brewster purchased the 134-acre farmland that became the Village of Brewster. They built both the passenger and freight railroad stations - the Harlem Line railroad locomotives stopped at "Brewster's Station." They also built upwards of 50 homes and businesses. Most original structures have been lost to fires or demolished as the economy shifted drastically in the 20th century with the waning of local industries and the building of the Croton Water System.

In the late 1800s, the building had become the home of John Gail Borden and his family. Mr. Borden was an active member of the civic community and donated a much-needed pumper to the fire station. He managed the nearby Borden Milk Factory (at the junction of present Routes 6 and 22) which was considered to be one of the finest of its era, being a model of cleanliness, efficiency, and science, and was a great source for local employment.

Early in the 20th century, the building was converted to apartments and later became the home of the Knights of Columbus, also serving as a temporary schoolhouse. Time, weather, vandalism, and rampant remodeling took their toll on the stately building, and it stood vacant for several years until rescued by the trustees of the Landmarks Preservation Society. All of the original marble fireplaces and first-floor window moldings had been removed. The central parlor staircase had been shifted to the front wall of the building, destroying the original classic floor plan.

Walter Brewster House RoofWalter Brewster House

The restoration was a daunting task, but over the past three decades, through very generous financial donations and the assistance of historic preservation specialists, we rebuilt much of the structure.

The interior furnishings including those found in the Stephens Memorial Reading Room and the Eleanor Fitchen Memorial Room are not original to the property but are accurate for the period and were donated by many local citizens. The Walter Brewster House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and it is the sincere hope of the current board of trustees that with much-needed community support we will be able to continue the fine work of our predecessors.