Thursday, February 11, 2010
BOYCE THOMPSON INSTITUTE
(click image to enlarge)
Another failed attempt at saving something special, this time at the hands of the City of Yonkers. After leaving in 1978, the institute was occupied through 1997, only to be acquired by the city in 1999. After abatement was completed, the city decided not to use it as a school, several proposals for reuse came and went and in 2004, plans by a real estate company were brought to the table – which obviously did not come to fruition. Now, practically beyond reasonable budgetary repair, the building will surely see its demise in years to come.
Thanks to Hudson Valley Ruins for much of the information here.
THE HISTORY: "Thompson’s most significant achievement was yet to be realized. He stated at the time: 'There will be two hundred million people in this country pretty soon. It’s going to be a question of bread, of primary food supply. That question is beyond politicians and sociologists. I think I will work out some institution to deal with plant physiology, to help protect the basic needs of the 200 million. Not a uplift foundation, but a scientific institution dealing with definite things, like germination, parasites, plant diseases, and plant potentialities.' /// And so in 1919, he began to obtain property opposite his Yonkers home to house the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, created with an initial investment of $1 million dollars, an amount to which much more was added over the years. /// The Institute was formally dedicated on September 24, 1924. The original building had a total floor space of 85,764 sq. ft. There was an arboretum and greenhouse space of over 16,000 sq. ft. The Institute used to own more than 300 acres of rich agricultural land for field plots. /// William Boyce Thompson died of pneumonia on June 27, 1930, at the Alders. His health had been declining since 1926, and he had only recently returned to Yonkers from a long convalescence in Arizona. The funeral, on June 29, 1930, drew a virtual who’s who of American Society. /// The Boyce Thompson Institute later became a part of Cornell University and was moved to its Ithaca campus in 1978, after 54 years in Yonkers." – John D'Agnillo