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Scarsdale Society to Seek Cudner-Hyatt Answers

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – The Cudner-Hyatt House will be back in the spotlight on May 9, as the Scarsdale Historical Society continues its search for answers about what to do with the property on the Scarsdale-Eastchester line.

"We are doing everything we can to engage the community and solicit their ideas for how the property can best be used to benefit the community and our mission," said society President Adam Krajchir.

The community forum will be held at 8 p.m. at the Historical Society, 937 Post Road, next door to the Cudner-Hyatt House, which dates to between 1734 and 1754.

The building is currently a museum, with tours by appointment. The Historical Society has applied to repeal its zoning variance that permits the museum use and return the property to its residential zoning. The move has angered some Scarsdale residents, who fear the building will be razed if the zoning variance is repealed.

Krajchir said the museum is draining the group's finances and the variance is keeping the group from seriously exploring alternative uses for the building.

"There's a difference between something old and something historic," Krajchir said. "There is nothing historic about this building. It's not as if something took place there or someone lived there."

The Scarsdale Forum issued a statement opposing any action in the matter by the Zoning Board of Appeals until the state oversight agencies have down their work. The Scarsdale Arts Council then submitted a statement support the forum letter. Morgan is a member of both groups.

The Scarsdale Arts Council contacted the state Attorney General's Office and the Museum Supervisory Office of the state Education Department in March, requesting them to review the historical society's request. In April, Edward A. Morgan, president of the Scarsdale Arts Council said, "We are informed that the Aatorney General's Office is reviewing the matter and that both the Attorney General's Gffice and the Museum Supervisory Office of the state Education Department will want additional time to respond to the Board of Appeals before it acts on the historical society's pending application."

Krajchir said the May 9 meeting is an opportunity for individuals and organizations "to come directly to us because they have a need that our property can help them to solve while still protecting the property for the community. We are also interested in hearing from individuals who can help us to connect the dots between the idea and the organization that has the need."

He said the ideas presented should include the following elements:

Organization(s) that would benefit;

How this will help their organization;

How this will benefit the community;

How they will help to preserve or protect the property going forward;

What they would need from the Scarsdale Historical Society

"We are specifically looking for opportunities we may not have considered and can take action on," he said.

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