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History of Wave Hill - The MSSC Conference Center

Housing conferences and workshops here for over 12 years, MSSC has been fortunate to make Wave Hill its educational reception headquarters. We would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the history and tradition of this gracious facility and its surrounding neighborhood.

Unless you have seen it for yourself, it’s difficult to imagine the magnificent splendor of the past world that exists merely minutes away from the congestion of mid-town Manhattan. Riverdale’s own Wave Hill retains the charm and beauty of an opulent age that existed over one hundred and fifty years ago. Built in 1843 on the site of the 17th century Indian hunting grounds by journalist William Morris, it was the first house on the ridge overlooking the Hudson and the Palisades. Publisher William Henry Appleton purchased the property as a summer home in 1866, and constructed the huge dining room-gallery where MSSC’s Fall and Spring Conferences are currently held.

Around the turn of the century, J.P. Morgan tycoon George W. Perkins took possession, and merged several properties surrounding Wave Hill into an eighty-acre estate. Perkins left a lasting legacy for all of us by being instrumental in preserving the visual beauty of the Palisades from the pick axes of quarry miners. He also prevailed upon the Interstate Park Commission to develop Bear Mountain Park.

Well before the construction of the Henry Hudson Parkway and Bridge in 1936, Riverdale Avenue was a narrow road occupied by the fashionable carriages and fur-lined winter sleighs. The best shops and only grocery store were in Yonkers. All the way from the Hudson River to the Post Road at Van Cortland Park, there were undeveloped woods. On the water, many boats, especially long tows and two-masted line streamers, sailed the river.

Wave Hill has been occupied or visited by Teddy Roosevelt, Arturo Toscanini, Queen Mother Elizabeth, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and intellectuals. For all of us at MSSC, Wave Hill has served as a welcome meeting place for professional growth and exploration.

Official Wave Hill website

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