White Plains Public Library, White Plains Collection

The White Plains Collection is comprised of materials relevant to the history of White Plains, New York. This digital collection contains 322 items including photographs and documents spanning the late 19th to late 20th centuries. They document civic life, street scenes, and the dramatic change in the character of White Plains through suburban development and urban renewal. Also included are items from Community History Day, when people brought in materials related to their families, churches, personal interests, or work and added them to the collection.

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13 Colonies Float in 1933 Parade
13 Colonies float for parade celebrating 250th anniversary of the purchase of White Plains held on September 27, 1933.
1916 Court House from Main Street during demolition
The fourth Westchester County Court House from Main Street showing demolition at the side of the building. Construction started in 1915 and finished in 1917. Carved on the Main Street side of the building are the words: “To none will we sell, to none will we delay, to none will we deny justice.”
30 Miles From New York Marker from Post Road
Picture of the 30th Mile Marker from the New York Post Road when it was located in front of the Armory. Now located at the White Plains Public Library.
50th Anniversary of St. Bartholomew's Church
Knocking on the door of St. Bartholomew's Church located on Sterling Avenue and Prospect Street in White Plains, NY as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations.
A White Plains Fire Company
An unidentified White Plains volunteer fire company posing on a horse-drawn fire engine.
A new citizen, looking at U.S. Maps
Glass plate negative from "The Books In Our Lives: The Story of White Plains Public Library", a slideshow with a script by Readers' Advisor Jean L. Connor. Description for slide: New citizens are grateful for books and the guidance of librarians in helping them prepare for citzenship examinations.
A tributary to the Bronx River running behind houses
A tributary to the Bronx River running behind houses filled with trash and debris. Image was included in a publication entitled Italians in an American Community by Charles R. Towson, secretary of the Industrial Department, International Committee, YMCA published circa 1913.
Admiral Dot in the Firemen's Parade on Railroad Avenue
Admiral Dot in Firemen's Parade on Railroad Avenue between Bronx Street and Lexington Avenue.
Al Surya Peterson Jr. as a baby
A portrait of Al Peterson as a baby in his pram at the family home, 79 Fisher Ave, White Plains, NY. Al was known by the nickname "Bunnie" as a baby.
Al Surya Peterson Jr. as a toddler
A portrait of Al "Surya" Peterson as a toddler standing against a chair at the family home, 79 Fisher Ave, White Plains, NY.
Al Surya Peterson Jr. as a toddler with another baby
A portrait of Al Peterson as a toddler standing next to a helper at the family home, 79 Fisher Ave, White Plains, NY. Al was known by the nickname "Bunnie" as a baby.
Alfred Peterson wearing boxing gloves
Photpgraph taken at the family home, 79 Fisher Ave, White Plains, NY.
American Heritage discussion group
Glass plate negative from "The Books In Our Lives: The Story of White Plains Public Library", a slideshow with a script by Readers' Advisor Jean L. Connor. Description for slide: Reading and discussion of books on the great men and great issues of American democracy promotes a realization of the true meaning of the American heritage.
Auto Accident at Hamilton and Church Street
Photo of scene of automobile accident that happened on February 7, 1955 at Hamilton and Church St. The photo shows the position of the body on the road in front of the car.
Auto accident involving ambulance with children gathered
Another angle on an auto accident involving an ambulance and another car with a crowd gathered in the background.
Auto accident involving ambulance with drivers in vehicles
Scene depicting an auto accident involving an ambulance with a crowd mostly composed of children on the sidewalk.
Auto accident with ambulance and crowd
Auto accident involving an ambulance and another car with a crowd gathered in the background.
B. Altman & Co. store front
Store front of B. Altman & Co. at the corner of Mamaroneck Avenue and Post Road.
Baby Day 1922, landscape
Girls in uniform gathered on front steps holding baby dolls and balloons.
Baby Day 1922, portrait
Girls in uniform gathered on front steps holding baby dolls and balloons.
Banner for Constitution Week Across Broadway, White Plains
View of the Constitution Week 1937 Banner over Broadway. Cars, pedestrians, and streetlamps hung with bunting are visible.
Battle of White Plains float from 1933 parade
Battle of White Plains float for parade celebrating 250th anniversary of the purchase of White Plains held on September 27, 1933 with re-enactors on board.
Bella Himmelfarb at top of steps
Bella Himmelfarb posing at top of concrete steps at Woodland Place in White Plains, April 1946.
Bessie Emanuel Smith at the Juniper School
A scene in the library at the Juniper School which was located in Greenburgh, White Plains. Mrs. Bessie Emanuel Smith is standing, pointing to a photograph. Smith was the first African American teacher in White Plains.
Birth of New York State Float in 1933 Parade
Birth of New York State float in parade celebrating 250th anniversary of the purchase of White Plains held on September 27, 1933 with re-enactors on board.
Boyle's Bookshop and Circulating Library store front
Store front of Boyle's Bookshop Circulating Library with two men standing outside. The shop was located at 134 West Post Road and the Boyle's home was at 26 Midland Avenue.
Brochure for The Sunday Gallery
Al Peterson ran The Sunday Gallery with Thad Harris. The gallery collected fine art from local black artists and exhibited it throughtout Westchester, Maryland, Georgia and Alabama assisted by the New York State Council on the Arts.
Brown Longyear Motors in Parade of Progress
A Studebaker advertising Brown Longyear Motors in the May 15, 1948 Parade of Progress on Martine Avenue at Court Street. The Studebaker is followed by an early 20th century automobile.
Bulldozer Demolishing White Plains Train Station
Bulldozer demolishing White Plains Train Station. The new train station did not open until January 1987.
Bus in front of White Plains Train Station
Bus in front of White Plains Train Station, looking south. The new train station did not open until January 1987.
Cable used to erect steel for White Plains Public Library Building
Location of White Plains Library Building is Martine Avenue, White Plains, NY. The steel was erected during the winter of 1970-1971.
Cartoon depicting Dr. Ernst Schmid and the “sewer problem”
Cartoon by John Rosch showing Dr. H. Ernst Schmid advocating for sewers to be treated as a public health issue.
Chapel of the Divine Compassion on Good Counsel College Campus
Chapel of the Divine Compassion on the Good Counsel College Campus in winter.
Chatterton Hill Battle Site Looking Across Purdy Hill
View across Purdy Hill of Chatterton Hill site of Battle of White Plains which took place during the American Revolutionary War of 1776.
Chatterton Hill, Site of Battle of White Plains
View from Chatterton Hill looking east across site of Battle of White Plains which took place during the American Revolutionary War of 1776. Number 4 is the site of the Chatterton House. Number 2 is the Presbyterian Church. In the foreground is Battle Avenue.
Children and man on a horse and carriage ride
Two children and a man riding in a carriage pulled by two horses. The smaller child is holding a whip.
Children's Art Day
The children's creative expression through art event was part of a larger outdoor festival in White Plains. Al Peterson ran the program for children at the festival. The event took place in the park on Lake St.
Children's Creative Expression Outdoor Festival
The children's creative expression through art event was part of a larger outdoor festival in White Plains. Al Peterson ran the program for children at the festival. The event took place in the park on Lake St.
Civil War Soliders' Monument
Civil War soldiers' monument located at the end of Main St. and North Broadway.
Closing the Campaign Float in 1933 Parade
Closing the Campaign float for parade celebrating 250th anniversary of the purchase of White Plains held on September 27, 1933 with re-enactors on board.
Commuter Parking Garage on Ferris Ave. next to the Railroad
Nightime photograph of the commuter parking garage on Ferris Ave next to the railroad north of Hamilton Ave. Edward Steinberg, the photographer of this image was responsible for its construction as city planner for White Plains.
Constitution Week Pageant Picture
Group photo of performers in the Constitution Week Pageant on the steps of the Armory Building in 1937.
Construction Workers Lowering Main St.
Main St. where Main St. and Lexington Ave. intersect was lowered as part of the urban renewal of downtown White Plains which began in the 1960s. It was lowered 12 feet for geometrical purposes - cars commuting in under the railroad tracks faced a steep hill and so the road was lowered to accommodate commuters. The project was complex as hardwire telephone cables had to be lowered also.
Construction Workers on Project to Lower Main St.
Main St. where Main St. and Lexington Ave. intersect was lowered as part of the urban renewal of downtown White Plains which began in the 1960s. It was lowered 12 feet for geometrical purposes - cars commuting in under the railroad tracks faced a steep hill and so the road was lowered to accommodate commuters. The project was complex as hardwire telephone cables had to be lowered also.
Convertible representing the White Plains Nursing Association in Parade of Progress
Women in a convertible with a White Plains Nursing Association sign on it in the May 15, 1948 Parade of Progress. They are passing in front of the County Building on Martine Avenue and spectators are visible in the background.
Copper Beech tree, site of Grand Street library
Former site of White Plains Public Library on Grand St, behind Westchester County Building.
Court Exchange Hotel
Looking south on Grove Street with trolley tracks running toward Post Road. The Court Exchange Hotel visible on the right and Thompson & Gentleman Carriage Maker is visible on the left.
Court House plaza sculpture
Sculpture in the court house plaza at the west side of White Plains Public Library.
Court Martial of General Charles Lee float in 1933 parade
Court martial of General Charles Lee float for parade celebrating 250th anniversary of the purchase of White Plains held on September 27, 1933 with re-enactors on board.
Court Street School exterior
Court Street school on the corner of Martine and Mamaroneck Avenue. It was first used as a High School and then as an Elementary School. It was demolished in 1939.

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