IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Irvington residents can still get a feel for the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany at the Town Hall. In 2004, the Board of Trustees restored the reading room at Town Hall, one of the few remaining interiors created by Tiffany.
Tiffany’s birthday recently passed. A world-famous artist, decorator and glassmaker, he was born on Feb. 18, 1848, and died on Jan. 17, 1933, at the age of 84. He was the son of Tiffany & Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, a long-time Irvington resident and founder of Tiffany & Co. The elder Tiffany was trustee of the village Mental and Moral Improvement Society, which donated the property on which the Town Hall was built, with the provision that the building include a free reading room that would be open to the public in perpetuity.
“One of the charms of Irvington is its history,’’ said Houlihan Lawrence real estate agent Janet Kovacs, a member of the Irvington HIstorical Society. “Irvington really has a unique place in the history of Westchester County and New York.”
The Irvington Historical Society website said the town was originally populated by the Weckquaskeck Indians who lived in the area as late as 1775. The first European settlers were Dutch, but the area was taken over by the English in 1664. The settlers in the 1700s were mostly artisans -- such as Charles Tiffany father. The chief means of transportation was the river.
Irvington developed rapidly in the latter half of the 19th century, as many wealthy New York businessmen build estates in the region. Charles Tiffany was among them.
Several estates were subdivided after World War I, and after World War II cooperative apartments were built. In 2010, Irvington’s census figure was 6,420, and many of its residents commute to New York for employment.
Its history, however, will always be part of its charm and attraction.
“When I show houses, I love to show people the historical treasures of Irvington,’’ Kovacs said. “For a lot of people who are considering moving here for the first time, they know very little about its history and the communities that lived here before us. I’ve always been fascinated by history, and I enjoy sharing that with people who considering purchasing a home here. At the end of the day, people are going to purchase a home because it suits their lifestyle and their budget. But I think it’s always nice to reflect on the history of the town. It can explain a lot about the people that live here.”