A former train station building is the headquarters, performance space, and classroom for the Hudson Valley Writers Center. In 1996, the board of directors and staff of the Center completed restoration of the station building, which is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
The Preservation League of New York State selected the Hudson Valley Writers Center to receive its prestigious Excellence in Preservation Award for the restoration in 2005.
Many generous donors contributed to the building restoration including poet Linda Ashear, whose funding made it possible complete some of the most recent preservation.
Following is an excerpt from the April 2001 edition of The Chronicle, a publication of the Historical Society Serving Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown.
As early as 1903 the Philipse Manor Company was holding discussions with the railroad about constructing a station on the Hudson River Railroad line in the Manor. In fact, a 1903 company pamphlet depicts an artist’s rendition of the proposed station. Detailed site drawings were first created in 1910 and by January 1, 1911 the New York Herald reported that the station and its approaches were under construction. The Company deeded six small parcels of land near the tracks and gave the New York City and Hudson River Railroad a perpetual right of way along the tracks. With the same spirit of cooperation between the railroad and the Company, the station was completed costing several hundred thousand dollars. It was reported in 1913 that, “In token of this cooperation the great bronze eagle from the tower of the old Grand Central Station has been established on the riverfront esplanade.
→ Read more about the history of the Hudson Valley Writers Center here.
The Hudson Valley Writers Center is the gem of Westchester County, and reading in the beautifully and lovingly restored Philipse Manor train station with the hard-working and generous staff in attendance along with an attentive audience of readers and writers felt like a homecoming. A truly unforgettable experience.
Michele Poulos, Slapering Hol Press poet
A beautiful spring day, an attentive audience, a gracious introduction, a memorable venue—what a pleasure to read for HVWC! I look forward to going back one day.
The Hudson Valley Writers Center's reading series is a book lover's dream: a night of conversation and laughter between writers and readers, in the intimate and magical restored Philipse Manor Station. This series feels like a gathering of open-armed friends, new and old.
I love the building looking out over the Hudson River.
Nathalie "Nan" Ernst, student
Reading and teaching in the Philipse Manor space is like being part of a site-specific literary art installation. Inside the restored railway station, there's a kind of emotional locomotion that takes place as poets share work, steps away from passing passenger cars we watch as they gently hum by. The Hudson Valley Writers Center supports poets and cultivates an educated audience of poetry lovers, both engaged and engaging!
It was positively bizarre to exit the train and find my way just up a flight of stairs to the dark wood and big windows and moody beauty of the Hudson Valley Writers Center in the restored Philipse Manor Station, as though I had stepped from the known world into an alternate and mystical reality. I loved it.
The Philipse Manor Station, built about 100 years ago in the Tudor revival style, is one of the most elegant reading venues you could imagine; heavy granite, stucco, and wood overlooking the Hudson River, it does feel like something from a lost world, something half-dreamed or remembered, and something that means we're trying to preserve such dreams in our poems.
A glorious space with a glorious view! A community of serious readers and writers.
Denise Duhamel, poet
I love it when I’m reading at the podium, with or without a mike, and the train goes roaring by.
Reading at HVWC was one of my absolute favorite experiences doing a poetry reading. It was a spectacular afternoon... The community was welcoming in the extreme, and Philipse Manor Station is one of the most magical locations I know for literary events, up there with the Robert Frost Farm.
Anton Yakovlev, poet, translator
There's a sense of instant comfort and community in the old train station that houses the Hudson Valley Writers Center. The Center is an oasis for the beauty and power of language—a place where people come together in an intimate space to share the transformative power of words.