Historic Hudson River Towns
Working Together on the Shores of the Hudson

Historic River Towns of Westchester Goes Regional

SLEEPY HOLLOW, New York (April 30, 2008) --- Fourteen years after it was founded in 1994, Historic River Towns of Westchester has changed its name to Historic Hudson River Towns (HHRT) and has invited all the shoreline communities on both sides of the river from Westchester-Rockland to Albany-Rensselaer to become members.

“There are seventy municipalities along the Hudson from Yonkers to Albany,” said chairman Phil Zegarelli, Mayor of the Village of Sleepy Hollow, at a launch event held recently at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. “We invite them all to join us in this new regional organization that focuses exclusively on the river communities.”

The group has established a 501c3 non-profit organization that will serve as its fundraising arm. Assisting with this effort is Ginsburg Development Companies, a long-time supporter of Historic River Towns of Westchester and the originator and principal sponsor of the popular “Ferry-Go-Round” event that links river communities by ferries. To help jump-start the new fund, GDC principal Martin Ginsburg announced he will donate $100,000 per year for the next three years.

“The Hudson River has always been a major economic generator,” said Ginsburg. “In planning for the future, we must keep in mind the economic potential of the riverfront communities as tourist attractions. The Hudson is the “Central Park” of New York State and we must all work together to activate and protect it.”

The communities that front on the Hudson River from Yonkers to Albany share similar histories and characteristics. Because of their waterfront locations, they were settled early. The river served as a thoroughfare, bringing commerce and development to points along the shoreline. European settlers came, first by boat, and then on the railroads, which were built in the mid-19th century.

Today the river towns face many of the same issues, such as maintaining public waterfront access, managing the pressures of development, encouraging downtown revitalization and building a vibrant local economy. They also share and are linked by many of the same assets, including the railroads, roadways such as Route 9 and 9W, and the river itself.

“The focus of Historic River Towns of Westchester has been largely on tourism as an economic development initiative,” said Bob Elliott, founding chairman of the group and former mayor of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson who now serves as Deputy Commissioner of the NYS Department of State. “We expect that the expanded group will continue in that vein, while finding many other projects on which to collaborate in the future.”

One major opportunity the group is already working on is the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial celebration coming up in 2009, which should attract heritage tourists from all over the world to the Hudson’s shores. As a legacy to future generations, communities along the river hope to see new piers constructed for tour boats and enhanced public access to their scenic shore line.

Organized under an Inter-Municipal Agreement (IMA), Historic Hudson River Towns states as its goals to:

  • promote inter-municipal cooperation by and between the signatories to the agreement;
  • build the local economy of the Hudson riverfront through public-private partnerships;
  • enhance and promote tourism as an economic development initiative along the riverfront;
  • increase public awareness of the features and benefits of local attractions of historical, cultural and environmental value;
  • improve methods of transportation to and through the river towns;
  • develop and implement a comprehensive marketing plan for the river towns; and
  • serve as a unified voice on issues particular to riverfront communities.

Founding members of the newly-named group include twelve members of the original Historic River Towns of Westchester, all of who have signed the newly-expanded Inter-Municipal Agreement: Peekskill, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, the Village and Town of Ossining, Sleepy Hollow, Briarcliff Manor, Tarrytown, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson and Yonkers.

Municipalities or individuals interested in more information about Historic Hudson River Towns may e-mail project director Nancy Gold or call at (914) 232-6583.

©2018 Historic Hudson
River Towns, Inc.

Jerry Faiella
Executive Director
Phone: 914-760-8067

Nancy Gold
Marketing Director
Phone: 914-232-6583