William Van Duzer Lawrence

William Van Duzer Lawrence

William Van Duzer Lawrence

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William Van Duzer Lawrence (1842-1927) was a millionaire real-estate and pharmaceutical mogul who is best known for having founded Sarah Lawrence College in 1926. He played a critical role in the development of the community of Bronxville, New York, an affluent suburb of New York City defined by magnificent homes in a countrylike setting. His name can be found on the affluent Lawrence Park neighborhood, the Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate Corporation, and on Lawrence Hospital. He is buried at the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

Development of Bronxville, N.Y.

Lawrence used his wealth to pursue a wide variety of entrepreneurial and philanthropic enthusiasms. One of these was the development of real estate. In 1889, at the suggestion of his brother-in-law, he came out on the New York and Harlem Railroad to the small village of Bronxville to examine the prospects of a former farm of approximately near the railroad station. He appreciated the possibilities of the property and its convenient location and purchased the entire property the following year. He envisioned a planned community of well-designed and well-built suburban homes. The lots were relatively modest in size and irregular in shape. They were not intended to be estates for the rich but sites large enough for comfortable middle-class homes, each planned to take advantage of the natural setting. The narrow, meandering roads were laid out to...
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