The Alumni House is important technologically, architecturally, and historically. The structure is an unusual example of the use of poured concrete for residential use which was constructed and occupied by prominent county residents.
The site of the house has a history dating back to pre-revolutionary times. The first occupant of a dwelling on this site was believed to be Captain Thaddeus Avery. Avery, a farmer, was instrumental in hiding money needed to pay Washington’s troops. In later years, the poured concrete structure was occupied by Westchester County Commissioners of Public Welfare, V. Everit Macy and Miss Ruth Taylor among others, and became known as the “Commissioner’s House.” The Strawson family was the last to occupy the house from 1944-1960. Stanton M. Strawson was Commissioner of Public Welfare for Westchester County from 1950-1960.
After that period, the “Strawson House” stood abandoned for many years. The building had been scheduled for demolition by the Westchester County Department of Public Works and in the interim, was used by the Fire Safety Training Unit for practice in putting out fires. After hearing of the demolition plans in 1979, the School of Medicine Alumni Association initiated a campaign to restore the building. By 1981, the Association had raised $75,000. On January 29, 1982, The House was leased to New York Medical College by Westchester County. On December 15, 1982, the Alumni Association presented a check for $230,000 to College President John J. Connolly. The campaign had met its goal and the effort to raise funds continued towards the restoration effort. Renovation began in June 1983. The building was restored as faithfully as possible in consultation with the County Planning Department. The front and back porticos were added and an open porch was enclosed for the boardroom in the 1980s. With the restoration completed, the dedication of the House took place on June 2, 1984.
The Alumni House is now an elegant venue for meetings and events, and is now home to the administrative offices of NYMC Alumni Relations, as well as the Joseph Dersi, M.D. '59 Conference Room, and offers an elegant venue for meetings, receptions and alumni events.