Town of Ossining Receives Westchester Municipal Planning Federation Planning Achievement Award in Historic Preservation

Historic Superintendent’s Cottage at Dale Cemetery recognized for the beauty and quality of its restoration

Supervisor Levenberg cuts the ribbon at Dale Cemetery

The Westchester Municipal Planning Federation (WMPF) has recognized the Town of Ossining with a Planning Achievement Award in Historic Preservation for its work on the Superintendent’s Cottage at Dale Cemetery. The Town received the award at the WMPF’s 47th Annual Awards ceremony on November 29, 2021.

In her acceptance remarks, Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg thanked current and former Town Board members for their support of the project, which has been in the works since 2016 and was completed in June of this year. She also recognized the work of the cemetery superintendent, Pete Connolly, in overseeing the transformation of the cemetery’s facilities and grounds that enabled renewed interest in the site; the Ossining Historic Cemeteries Conservancy; Stephen Tilly and Stephanie Reinert at the firm of Stephen Tilly Architect for their historic preservation expertise and assistance in executing the project; Tom Clemmens of Clemco Construction, the general contractor on the project; and Andy Tiess, who provided overall project management.

Historic Dale Cemetery was founded in 1851. The Town of Ossining took ownership of it in 2003, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. A number of notable citizens are buried there, among them Revolutionary War generals, several politicians, a federal judge, a professional baseball player and a nationally-known jazz musician. At the same time, it is maintained as an affordable option for area residents and families to rest their loved ones. In this, it reflects the diversity of Ossining at large.

In recent years, the Town has undertaken the challenging task of restoring various historic assets of the cemetery that had been neglected for some time, including the

Before the renovation (Photo: Stephen Tilly, Architect)

Superintendent’s Cottage, designed by landscape architect Howard Daniels. With few images of the original cottage beyond an 1856 advertisement in The Genesee Farmer, the building itself revealed the original placement and symmetry of the windows, color scheme, and more. Several original features were restored and, for what could not be salvaged, features were replicated from existing pieces that remained. The finished renovation has preserved an important piece of Ossining history and will serve as an office for the cemetery and a space to showcase artifacts curated by the Ossining Historic Cemeteries Conservancy.

“Dale Cemetery invokes the spirit of the Rural Cemetery movement to this day, with thegrounds continuing to serving as an active cemetery, as well as a valued open space featuring a Heritage Trail,” said Ossining Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg. “Walking the grounds tells the story of Ossining’s diversity and rich history, and the restoration of the Superintendent’s Cottage has brought a renewed sense of pride in our community’s past and magnified the importance of the cemetery. Ossining values this unique open space, and the Town is proud to have preserved this treasured historic artifact.”

Photo: Stephen Tilly, Architect

Dale Cemetery is located at 104 Havell Street in Ossining, and the grounds are open from dawn until dusk daily. The Dale Cemetery website, www.dalecemetery.com, has more information regarding the history of the site, photos, events, and more.

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