If you are interested in local history, then take a few moments to view these short videos with footage of New Rochelle from 1930 to 1938. You will also enjoy the commentary from Former Judge Tom O’Toole and former Fire Commissioner Walter Bell, two giants from our recent past, both with a gift for vivid narration and an inexhaustible supply of stories.
The first video shows New Rochelle’s major boulevards — Main, Huguenot, North, Division — and the surrounding downtown. You’ll see trolley cars, Model T’s (I think), and white-gloved members of the police force directing traffic. At around the 13-minute mark, you’ll see New Rochelle’s train station, which itself doesn’t look very different than it does today, though everything around it has changed.
The second clip shows a series of intersections downtown that the City seems to have been studying for traffic improvements. And near the end, starting at 9:15, you’ll get to see a 1938 parade celebrating the 250th anniversary of New Rochelle’s founding, and the cornerstone ceremony for the main Post Office.
While we should not allow fond memories to supplant a coherent and achievable vision for the future, there is great value in knowing our history and, when appropriate, preserving it in physical form. Respect for the past can play an important role in strengthening a city’s identity, charm and quality of life.