Driving down an unassuming stretch of Broadway in Northern Yonkers, one might notice a strange wall along the road with an unassuming entrance and a small sign marked Untermyer Park. Or not. One might also just as easily continue driving past thinking there wasn’t much to see in that park from the look of it on the outside. THAT would be a mistake. Believe me, when I tell you, turn into the ordinary looking driveway, park in the small parking lot, and get ready to see one of Westchester County’s, (and the entire Northeast’s) hidden wonders…hiding in plain sight that is!
Untermyer Park & Gardens currently sits on 43 acres and is owned by the City of Yonkers. In 1899, prominent New York lawyer, Samuel J. Untermyer purchased Greystone mansion at auction. In 1916, he hired William Welles Bosworth as architect and landscape designer to create the greatest gardens in the world. Over the next 41 years of ownership, the gardens and greenhouses were transformed into some of the most celebrated gardens in the country. At one point, there were 150 acres of the lavish gardens, and they were maintained by 60 gardeners and supplied by 60 greenhouses.
The City of Yonkers acquired parts of the gardens in the 1940s and the 1990s, bringing it to the 43 acres of today. With much of the park in ruins after many years of neglect, the non-profit organization, The Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, was founded in 2011 by Stephen F. Byrns. Dedicated to the restoration of the park, they collaborate with the City of Yonkers towards this goal.
Full of rich history, multiple gardens to explore, and amazing vistas to relax the soul, Untermyer Gardens is best visited with time…time to meander, smell the roses, enjoy the music of the bubbling waterfall, marvel at the details invested in the grand gardens, and enjoy the wind blowing off the Hudson as you take in the glory of the Palisades.