Pioneer Building (New Rochelle)
Home of the New Rochelle Pioneer Newspaper from 1892 to 1920, the Pioneer Building is an architectural reminder of the Italianate style popular the late 19th century. Following the Pioneer's demise, the building faced demolition in the 1970s but, it received an adapted re-use and remains a part of the community landscape. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 29, 1983.
Backstory and Context
In 1892 Henry Sweet, editor and publisher of the New Rochelle Pioneer, felt that the newspaper deserved a home of its own.
Exiled Irish writer, William Dyott, founded The Pioneer in 1860; it was one of several New Rochelle weeklies. By 1885, it became the community’s first daily.
It had always been published in rented offices, but Sweet eventually erected a new building on Lawton Street to serve as its headquarters.
The Pioneer Building was constructed in the Italianate style, that even toward the end of the century, was still considered proper for commercial buildings. It was intended to be part of a other buildings with similar structures — its side walls are plain, and only the front features any design, which would go on to make it standout further.
The Pioneer was published in the building until 1920, when increasing competition forced it to close. Thereafter the building moved around a variety of tenants, but declined over time. In the 1970s, much of the block was demolished to make way for the New Rochelle Public Library. The Pioneer Building was spared.
It was then purchased and restored in the 1980s by local resident Sylvia Schur as the headquarters of her food-service business. It was sold to the City of New Rochelle in 1992, and after remaining vacant for several years was sold once again for commercial use.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 29, 1983.
National Register of Historic Places Inventory -- Nomination Form
Williams, Gray. Picturing Our Past. Elmsford, New York. Westchester County Historical Society, 2003.
Westchester County Historical Society