New owner breathes life into forgotten house
November 16, 2023 at 1:51 a.m.
Historic house at 51 Hawthorne Ave. has been restored and is now occupied after sitting idle for many years.
(Richard Abel/Westmore News)
From a distance, passersby might not realize that the old house at the intersection of Hawthorne Avenue, Irvenhyl Avenue and North Ridge Street has taken on new life.
By Richard Abel
For so many years passersby gazed at the old white house on the hill at the intersection of Hawthorne Avenue, Irenhyl Avenue and North Ridge Street and wondered why such a beautiful historic structure was not maintained and occupied. Over the years the house continued to deteriorate and was simply propped up as required by the Village of Rye Brook so it would not be an unsafe nuisance or eyesore.
Then in 2021—during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic—applications came before the Rye Brook Planning Board to relocate the common side lot line between the property on which the house sits at 51 Hawthorne Ave. and the adjacent vacant parcel at 47 Hawthorne Ave., both owned by Mark and Mary Miller, and to construct a new single lane driveway on the #51 lot.
After two public hearings via videoconference due to the pandemic—on Nov. 18, 2021 and Jan. 13, 2022—both applications were approved.
Approval was granted to transfer 14,254.3 square feet of lot area from #51 to the lot area of #47, thereby reducing the lot area of #51 to 17,436.4 square feet and increasing the lot area of #47 to 27,253.5 square feet.
Granting the site plan to construct a new driveway in Rye Brook’s Scenic Roads Overlay District came with the condition to explore and address the existing well on the property and its functionality to the satisfaction of the superintendent of public works/village engineer.
Both lots have since been sold, #51 in August 2022. The current owner, Moises Ochoa, has completely renovated the old house for his family and renewed it to its prior grandeur atop a hill at a prominent intersection in the Village of Rye Brook.
Artfully decorated with various-sized pumpkins on the wraparound porch, the historic structure stands out with the contrast of the deep orange gourds and the stark white of the house.
The adjacent parcel is currently vacant.