The President's House: A History in Photos

The President's House at 935 Kimball Avenue is the third building to house Sarah Lawrence College presidents. The first house, originally Wayside Cottage, is now known as Warren Green, located at 7 Mead Way. In 1947, the College acquired 24 Brook Road, but it was slated to be torn down in 1954 to make room for the new Sprain Brook Parkway. Luckily, the lovely Lewis Bowman Tudor just west of the campus was going on the market. The price, though, was $100,000 and the eminent domain payment for the soon-to-be-demolished 24 Brook Road was only $40,000. Nevertheless, the house was so exquisitely suitable, and also included three acres of prime land, that the College trustees agreed it was worth considering. Careful negotiation brought the price to $75,000, and the sellers, Mr. & Mrs. Russell Morrill, offered to donate many of the furnishings as well. To honor the Morrills' generosity, the College named the right wing, "Morrill House."

Commissioned by financier Roy C. Graham, architect Lewis Bowman began the drawings in 1924 and the house was most likely finished by late 1925. The main house originally contained four master bedrooms and five baths with "ample servants quarters." The Grahams were to enjoy the house for only a few years, however. For reasons that are not clear, after the 1929 market crash Bowman agreed to buy back the house. This generous act may have served to save Graham, who went on to become president of the Credit Clearing House, but it was a financial blow to Bowman, from which he never recovered. For a short time, prior to the Morrills' occupancy, the home was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hayward.

In addition to minor updates over the years, the house underwent major renovations from 1991 to 1994, during Alice Ilchman's presidency.


Prepared by Marilynn Hill and Abby Lester, 2017

Adapted from the 2004 Bronxville Historical Conservancy House Tour by Marilynn Hill and Carolyn Martin