From school to hostel to school again
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 5:57 PM
Last update: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 6:09 PM
Posted: Tuesday September 28, 2021 5:57 PM
The School Lane building, now home to the Hoff Barthelson School of Music, has a rich history, beginning as a girls’ school in 1905, growing to a lodge or boarding house in 1917, becoming the Scarsdale Inn in 1965 and eventually renovated to become the current Hoff Barthelson Music School in 1970.
The first Lockwood Collegiate School for Girls opened in Mt. Vernon in 1906 and was run by Leila and Carrie Lockwood. When they passed that space, they moved the school to 50 Popham Road, now the site of the Heathcote Apartments. The school was a success and the sisters decided to build a new school, purchasing 6.92 acres that stretched from Popham to Lockwood Road from Colonel Alexander E. Crane for $ 20,976 or $ 3,000 an acre. .
The only structure on the original site was a water tower, and the sisters planned a school, tennis courts, a hockey field, a lawn and gardens.
They named the new Heathcote Hall building: Here is a description of the building:
“The largest room on the ground floor was the gymnasium and the meeting room. Above the gymnasium, at the north end, was the library, full of good books, a lovely place to read or study. The remainder of the second floor was used for classrooms and the two upper floors housed accommodation for the staff and students of the boarding school. The dining room was – as it still is – to the south of the lobby, a pleasant room, overlooking School Lane to the east and the gardens to the west.
Most of the students were day schools who lived in Scarsdale, although there were groups of twenty-five girls, escorted by several teachers who commuted daily between Bronxville and Mt Vernon to attend the school.
A Scarsdale Inquirer article dated September 1914 announces the new school year. It is written: “The Miss Lockwoods gladly take advantage of the courtesy of the Inquirer to remind their students and new clients that Heathcote Hall will reopen the following Thursday morning, October 1, for the 1914-1915 session. New students are enrolled daily and almost all of the students from last year will resume their work together. There has been little change in the faculty. Madame Vincent returned home safe and sound from France and will lead the French lessons as usual. Miss Klizalu-th Nitchie (Barnard A. B) will continue in charge of advanced mathematics and Latin, and Miss L. Marion Lockhart (Vassar AB) will chair the primary department. Mr. Hobart ‘Nichols, the busy artist from Bronxville is so interested in his promising young students, who have made such remarkable progress under his teaching over the past two years, that he has always been willing to supervise their work.
There are historical graduation stories at school when “the girls embellished the room with daisies, which grew profusely on the ground and with additional decoration in white and gold, in the colors of the school. They also sang the school song on “Royal Summer”, singing “White fields with daisies and with red clover”.
The dances at the school were very popular with the young men in the village and there were “regular social events and dance lessons”. Over the years the building has been used for wedding receptions and Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions Club meetings.
However, the school only survived for eleven years and was forced to close due to declining enrollment. In June 1915 they were celebrating their last graduation ceremony and in January 1916 they were heavily in debt. After consulting with their financial advisers, the sisters decided to transform the building into a hotel or guesthouse called “The Scarsdale Lodge”. But before they could reopen as a hotel, Leila Lockwood died at the age of 65 after “a three week illness”. Carrie ran the Lodge without her sister, until 1924 when the Lodge suffered the same fate as the school and also got into debt and was foreclosed.
Carrie Lockwood and Mrs. Frederick Kimball, a widow, were guaranteed an annual income of $ 1,250 and the Lockwood property was subdivided into lots for the houses. Under the terms of the new zoning, the Lodge could continue as a business, but it could not be expanded or replaced. It became the home of some seniors who had sold their homes in Scarsdale.
In 1925 the building was renovated with new beamed ceilings in the gymnasium and additional bathrooms on the upper floors. During the 1920s the Lodge was managed by Mrs. and Mrs. Henry I. Tanner of Pelham who hosted both “passing and permanent guests”, and in 1944 the property was again foreclosed. It was sold to a Mr. Rogers in 1945, to a Mr. Parker who ran it until 1958, then transferred the ownership to his daughter, Mrs. Bruce Stein, who changed the name to “The Scarsdale Inn ”.
In 1965 it was taken over by Sam Harris who painted it and made changes to the decor on the ground floor.
In February 1971, it was announced that the building would be purchased by the Hoff Barthelson School of Music. The deal was negotiated by Adonizio Realty Corp. and approximately $ 250,000 was paid to Bruce Stein, the former owner who held the mortgage. The purchase was made possible by a donation to the school and extensive renovations were made inside and outside the hostel to convert it into the school that remains today.