A Tarrytown Family’s Legacy in Glass and Great Sandwiches 

Joseph Cavalieri stands next to his stained-glass art concept.

One day in Pleasantville in the 1970s, sisters Patricia and Catherine Cavalieri sat their youngest sibling Joseph down for an impromptu stained-glass class. Little did they know they were inspiring a career that would lead to a permanent installation of stained-glass artwork decades later. “My sisters took a class together and they brought it home and were like, ‘Oh, let’s give little Joey a class.’ So I made a box,” Joseph said.  

In 2008, seven years after Catherine’s death, Cavalieri was a selected artist by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Arts for Transit (MTA Arts & Design) program. That simple box from childhood had led him to a role designing and helping create the stained-glass windows that have adorned the overpass at Philipse Manor Train Station in Sleepy Hollow since 2009. The windows represent the people and the history of the community: North, South and Home. 

“They said don’t even think about using a Headless Horseman in your work,” Cavalieri recalled, about the MTA’s directions. “I just wanted to think about the people that are walking through that space every day. I used to commute from Pleasantville, so I know what it’s like. You want to see something and see it fresh and notice something else in it every time you see it. I tucked in a lot of different, smaller details that people could see.” 

Joseph Cavalieri’s “North, South and Home” stained-glass window concept at the Philipse Manor Train Station. Source: MTA website

Passers-by can pick out different details each time. One of the more obscure hidden images is a “really, really small train on the railroad track,” he said. The tiles around the edge represent the Dutch settlers and other historic elements associated with the River Towns’ history.   

But the Cavalieri family’s ties to the community run deeper than inch-thick glass above the Hudson Line. They ran Cavalieri’s Market on the corner of Cortlandt and College streets in North Tarrytown until it closed in 1985. 

Joseph said he never worked at the family market, but has fond memories of his time there. “We used to sell these sandwiches which we called wedges. They were always so popular. People just loved them.” he said. “I also remember steps up to an office. I think that’s where they kept me most of the time so I couldn’t get into trouble.”  

But instead of sharing trouble, the Cavalieris shared creativity. Patricia, who died in November, was artistic too. Her passion for creating stained-glass windows and other items will live on through her brother.    

 

 

 

27 Comments

  1. loved all the cavalieri family my siblings grew up with all of them-we are the lopano family and we had 8 children-i went to school with rita-and i loved their wedges-congratulations joseph -can t wait to check out your work

  2. Remember them well! My grandmother ran the bait & tackle store ion Cortland St with my Uncle Nick ! The Morabito family. She use to have me run down pick up things for her & those wedges!!! Great job with the glass work beautiful!!

    1. Congratulations! I will have to check this out. I don’t use that train station.
      I am reading the comments. It’s always so nice when people remember the members of our family so fondly

  3. I remember Cavalieri’s Market. As a child, my grandmother Carmella Morabito, who ran the Bait and Tackle shop up the street, would always send me to the market for something she needed. I loved all the smells in there! Congratulations on your beautiful stained glass. Hope to see it next time I am in North Tarrytown!

  4. I am so proud to read this about the Cavalieri family As a young girl from Lawerence Ave my Mom would always send Me to the Cavalieri Market And those WEDGES OMG Everyone still talks about them. Best of luck on the Beautiful stain glass. Can’t wait to come down to go to sleepy Hollow Cemetary for Easter to visit my Parents grave. While there I will go to the Sleepy Hollow Train Station to visit the Beautiful Stain Glass. Best of luck from the Brancato Family Annette Ginny and John Brancato

    1. SO nice to hear so many comments here, and best of luck from the Cavalieri family. I am the youngest child, number 7, and was raised in Pleasantville. Most of my older sisters were raised in Tarrytown.

    2. Hi….My Dad was one of the Minnella’s of Elm Street…NT…
      Eleven siblings. He and Mom were Washington Irving Boat Club members in late 50’s and 60’s. They were friends of some Brancato’s. Are they your family? Thanks.

  5. I will always remember Cavalieri’s Store. After messing up a box a spaghetti on my first attempt of trying to cook sphaghetti I went to Mr. Cavelieri to ask him what to do so I could surprise my mother with some correctly cooked sphagetti before she got home. She had already made the sauce. This was around 1962. Mr. Cavalieri told me how to correctly cook spaghetti. I will always remember him.

    1. Love your story of learning how to cook pasta!!! That was my grandfather who gave you the advice, back when I was only one year old. Thanks again for posting this great story! – joseph

  6. So great to read about the Cavalieri family legacy continuing, a family that gave so much to our Village. I am the second youngest member of 7 siblings in the Hyland family. I accompanied my Mom to weekly trips to the market until I was old enough to run errands on my own. Lots of sharing of local news as well as shopping. We always seemed to leave with a smile.

  7. Thank to all the moving, funny and mouth watering comments. Since I was the last of seven children, sadly I didn’t get to know my grandparents and all the goings on in the Cavalieri Market. I have heard so many stories from my family and all my wonderful cousins over the years, so I almost feel like I experienced in person.

    After reading all the comments here I feel I know my grandparents better. Thank you.

  8. When I went north for my reunion I was with a friend and we toured Lyndhurst estate. While there in the book store I purchased a book with many pictures of Tarrytown and North Tarrytown. It has a picture and script of Cavalieri’s market.
    The main reason I bought the book. Good luck with the stained glass, cousin!!

    1. thanks Kenny! This made me remember the red Cavalieri’s market vans with the script lettering on the side.
      cousin joe

  9. Joseph this family ,The cavalieri are so talented and artistic and to read your beautiful memo reminds me of the stories your sister and my wonderful friend Patricia used to tell me about your family.I used to love to speak with your mother she was one wonderful sweet lady.What was so exciting that most of the Cavalieris were wonderful talented artists .I have some beautiful glasswork made by your sister.Joseph I have been thinking about Patricia for day´s but today is her BIRTHDAY I miss her so much .Love Bugga.

  10. I remember your whole family from Fairview Avenue! I was saddened to hear a Patti’s passing. Besides being a friend, she did my hair for my wedding. Your work looks amazing!

  11. Joe you should be so very proud of your amazing accomplishments! They are magnificent, thank you so much for keeping an old art alive and flourishing! What a wonderful family!

    1. thanks so much Gail, I was so excited back in 2008 when my design was chosen for the Manors train station. I wanted to dedicate the work to my mom, but the people at the MTA would not agree to place that on the signage. My mom was able to see it in person and I told her it was made as a tribute to her.

  12. I was a day boy at the Irving School in North Tarrytown. That meant I could go ‘off-campus’. I used to go down to the market with orders from the schoolboys to buy “wedgies” which I carried back to the school. They were wonderful and I got paid by the boys in free wedgies so it was a wonderful bargain. Unfortunately the Rockefellers of Pocantico Hills closed the school and built Sleepy Hollow school in its place. I moved to Plesantville High and never got back to the wedgie trade.

  13. I grew up next door to the Cavaleri’s.( Tom and Gloria) I was up visiting and Mrs C stopped over and told me I had to go to the train station to see the windows. She was so proud of your work, and had every right to be. When I went down to take a look, the sun was hitting them just right. What a beautiful change to the station. Now, maybe one of the Cavaleri’s should open a wedge store in the station !!!

  14. Joseph, your work is outstanding! Your work at the train station is magnificent! We grew up together, along with Patsy Marmo, Frank Quinn, Billy Quinn and Vinny DeOrio! I have a picture of all of you guys that I took a day before I moved to Massachusetts! Best of luck to you!

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About the Author: Sarah Haase