HASTINGS, N.Y. -- A Hastings house that was the home of one of America’s most influential national figures sold late last year at 17 Pinecrest Drive.
The home formerly belonged to Mamie and Kenneth Clark, civil rights activists and African-American psychologists. The Clarks testified as expert witnesses in a case that eventually rolled into Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954 that determined racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional.
The property in Hastings sits near Warburton Avenue and the Old Croton Trailway. Houlihan Lawrence real estate agent Mary Madigan closed the sale of the house in October. The house was built in 1905 and includes 5 bedrooms, 3.2 bathrooms and .4 acres. The sale was only the second time in 70 years that the property exchanged hands.
“It’s an Arts and Crafts stone colonial that was completely renovated yet retained all of its historical charm,’’ Madigan said. “The views of the Hudson River and Palisades from the house and adjoining infinity pool are spectacular.”
In his obituary , the New York Times reported that Mr. Clark was the first black to earn a doctorate in psychology from Columbia University. He also became a tenured instructor in the City College system of New York and in 1966, was the first black elected to the New York State Board of Regents. He died in 2005 at the age of 90.
Mamie Clark, who died in 1983 at the age of 66, was the director of the Northside Center for Child Development in Manhattan for 33 years. The Center continues to serve Harlem children and their families.
Among the main reasons the Clarks moved to Hastings was the education of their children, a son and a daughter. In a 60 Minutes report in the 1970s, Kenneth Clark, who supported integration and desegregation busing, moved to Hastings in 1950 because of his concern about failing public schools in the city, according to his Wikipedia entry. "My children have only one life and I could not risk that,’’ Clark said.
Click here to see more details about the Clark house.