1895, New York City's thirst for clean water sparked a move
that a century later would be celebrated as a classic study
in community spirit.
Faced with a critical water shortage,
New York City chose to build a massive dam across the Croton
River, a decision which threatened the village of Katonah.
Rather than accept the flooding of their beloved hamlet, Katonah's
enterprising villagers hoisted their houses atop huge logs,
and used the strength of draft horses to pull their community
to high ground, 55 buildings in all.
New Katonah became one of New
York's first planned communities, with acclaimed landscape
artists G.S. and B.S. Olmstead turning residents' visions
into reality -- a thriving commercial district, backed up
to exquisite Victorian neighborhoods facing village greens,
all centered around a bustling train depot.
While the population has grown
from 300 then to over 5,000 now, Katonah retains its old-fashioned
flavor. After just an hour and ten minute train ride from New
York City, visitors of all ages are instantly captivated as
they step from the Station platform right into this modern-day
Currier & Ives setting.
Katonah is known for independently-owned
retail shops, rather than the chain stores that have taken
over many neighboring towns. Adding character to the commercial
district along with Charles are many distinctive stores, such
as Kellogg's and Lawrence Hardware, Ila Manner Jewelers, The
Enchanted Florist, Fine Lines Stationery, and Try&Buy
A stroll down Katonah Avenue also
offers an irresistible line-up of unique galleries, including
Antipodes, featuring beautiful Australian, hand-made arts
and crafts; Candace Perich Gallery, a fine arts gallery showing
some of the world's most acclaimed photographers; The Eclectic
Collector, a craft store teeming with one-of-a-kind sculptures,
folk art and painted furniture; Offerings, an American contemporary
crafts gallery; and Sunrise Southwest, specializing in Native
American art and jewelry.
For those whose appetites are
stimulated by shopping, Katonah offers numerous great choices.
The Blue Dolphin is a former diner that now offers fresh Italian
cuisine, as does Peppino's, built in the old Katonah railroad
station. Katonah Grill features hearty fare, while Willy Nick's
delights patrons with a changing menu of progressive American
Just east of the village, Katonah's
cultural attractions draw visitors from near and far. The
Katonah Museum of Art features rotating collections of fascinating
exhibitions in its two galleries, a tranquil sculpture garden
and an interactive learning center for children. The John
Jay Homestead State Historic Site brings American political
and social history to life with guided tours through the Federal-style
retirement residence of the first Chief Justice of the U.S.
Katonah also boasts the internationally
renowned Caramoor Center for Music and Art, host to metropolitan
New York's largest annual outdoor summer music festival that
features world-class jazz and classical musicians on two outdoor
stages. Visitors to Caramoor can also tour the Mediterranean-style
house museum, furnished with a priceless art collection and
surrounded by lush gardens.
Located just forty miles north
of New York City at the confluence of the Saw Mill River Parkway
and I-684, Katonah is easily accessible by car and parking
is plentiful. MTA Metro-North trains run hourly from Grand
Central Terminal, bringing both commuters and tourists to
this spirited and charming community.
For further information, contact
the Katonah Chamber of Commerce at (914) 232-2668.