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Kingsland Point Park Bathhouse Reopens

Sleepy Hollow resident Sue Apuzzo lives at the end of Palmer Avenue, and for the past 21 years she’s seen many changes to the Kingsland Point Park bathhouse.

“I’ve watched the house crumble and then start to come back up, so today it’s finished,” she said. “It’s beautiful. I just thought it was such a shame to waste such a nice structure and such a link to the river, activities that community and county people could take advantage of here on the Hudson.”

Apuzzo was one of many Sleepy Hollow residents and officials who came to the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Kathryn W. Davis RiverWalk Center. The Center is named after Davis, a 104-year old Tarrytown resident who still kayaks on the river.

Davis bequeathed $4 million in June 2007 to Scenic Hudson to fund the renovations. Scenic Hudson is an environmental group that works to improve and preserve the Hudson River landscape. Other donors include John and Constance Curran and Lucy Rockefeller Waletzky.

Scenic Hudson worked with the Pew Charitable Trusts to go ahead and fund the project, Senior Vice President of Scenic Hudson Steve Rosenberg said, because Davis “wanted to see this project move ahead as quickly as possible.”

“So it was through that incredible, generous gift of hers and her interest in making sure that it happened right away, that we were able to do that,” he said.

The bathhouse, built in 1926, underwent renovations on its interior and exterior while contractors kept its Spanish Renaissance architectural style.

Planning for the renovation took about a year, and construction took about a year and a half, according to Senior Park Planner and project head Meg Rasmussen.

“The before and afters are just amazing,” she said. “It’s really fun to work on a project where there’s such a dramatic difference between the before and after, cause I remember walking in here, and it was even hard to imagine… It looked like it needed so much work.”

The new RiverWalk Center will feature environmental education programs and water-related recreational activities such as kayaking and sailing for Sleepy Hollow residents and area visitors. The renovation includes a pavilion that will be available for community events.

Sleepy Hollow resident Christina Blatt also attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning.

“It’s beautiful,” she said. “I mean, it’s just unbelievable that they can bring it back from the crumbling mess that it was.”

Rosenberg said the reopening was “all about new beginnings.”

“The Hudson River waterfront in Westchester in particular, if you look back five or ten years, you’ve got a lot of sites that look like the empty General Motors site: obsolete, often contaminated, boarded-up and not really serving the public, the communities or the local economies,” he said. “And so with the reopening of the RiverWalk Center as a key link along the Westchester County RiverWalk, it really does sort of open up that new chapter. It puts this community’s front door step back on the Hudson, and it tells people that the GM site and other sites like it all along the river can be opened for people again.”

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