Tenafly Historic Sites & Districts
First stop on our tour of Tenafly’s historic neighborhood is Atwood’s Highwood Park District. A streetscape conceptualized by Daniel Topping Atwood, the Atwood’s Highwood Park District encompasses parts of Engle Street, Serpentine Road, Valley Place, Linden Street and Huyler Avenue and is located southeast of the Atwood Railroad Station, the Borough's signature landmark. The Tenafly Railroad Station (Town Center) is also a design credited to Daniel Topping Atwood, in what is now called High Victorian Gothic. This Tenafly landmark remains a monument to Tenafly’s evolution from farming community to an elegant commuter suburb. The Tenafly Railroad Station was bought by the Borough in 1962 and restored in 1994. Not only is it a signature landmark in Tenafly, it is also the home of Café Angelique, a favorite among local Tenafly residents, offering a quaint indoor dining atmosphere, as well as a peaceful outdoor space to enjoy their decadently delicious menu.
The District, which in 1997 was recognized as the first residential historic district by the Borough of Tenafly, has seven homes associated with Daniel Topping Atwood's work. Additionally, Tenafly’s Atwood’s Highwood Park District includes various Victorian gems designed by other notable architects. The signature home residing in Tenafly’s Atwood’s Highwood Park District is located at 168 Serpentine Road, which was once the home of Tenafly’s first Mayor, Henry Palmer, and was Atwood’s Design One in his book, Country and Suburban Homes.
Next on our tour is Tenafly’s Magnolia Avenue Historic District. The area was originally developed by Ashbel Green, a local lawyer who aimed to attract middles class and wealthy New Yorkers to the Borough of Tenafly. Tenafly’s Magnolia Avenue Historic District encompasses both sides of Magnolia Avenue between Hillside Avenue on the south and Highwood Avenue on the north. Magnolia Avenue's homes, built between 1880 and 1930, proudly display two and a half story heights and open porches. This historic district of Tenafly is also characterized by deep setbacks, mature trees, and contains a grand collection of Victorian and Period architecture. The centerpiece of Tenafly’s Magnolia Avenue Historic District was designed by George E. Woodward and built between 1866 and 1870. Located at 55 Magnolia, the Gothic Revival styled structure, known as “the old stone chapel” is cited as the first church constructed in Tenafly.
The Borough of Tenafly richly historic landscape has known to have been home to many noteworthy people and families, such as the Christie and Parsels families, who built their home at 195 Jefferson Avenue. The Demarest and Lyle families were also residents of Tenafly. In 1677, David Demarest acquired a tract of land from the Hackensack River to the Tenakill Brook and according to the recorded deeds, a house may have been at this site as early as 1794! Possession of the land was passed to the Lyle family and then in 1946, it was acquired by the Borough of Tenafly.
Tenafly was also home to Elizabeth Cady Station. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, located at 135 Highwood Avenue, is a stately two-story house noteworthy for its slate mansard roof, Greek Revival portico, porte-cochere and eleven gabled dormers. It is the residence where the first three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage (1881-1885) were written by Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage.
In 1925, investment banker Herbert Coppell chose 1 Byrne Lane (40 Inness Road) as the prime location for what has been described as “one of Tenafly’s most imposing examples of twentieth century Period Revival residential architecture,” by the 1982-83 edition of the Bergen County Historic Sites Survey. Emphasizing high-class, quality, and craftsmanship in an English Medieval Country Home Revival style is the Cotswold Mansion, Carriage House and Entrance Gate.
The oldest of Tenafly’s four stone houses is the last stop on our tour. Records show that the Roelof Westervelt House, located at 81 Westervelt Avenue, may date back to as early as 1745 and family descendants of the Westervelts owned the property until 1923.
Other designated historic sites in Tenafly include:
Sickles-Melbourne House (48 Knoll Road)
Theodore Roosevelt Monument (Roosevelt Common)
The Palisades (Hudson River)