The latest addition to Wolf’s Lane Park is a stone and timber pergola donated by Pelham Preservation & Garden Society (PPGS). It is located at the top of Sparks Avenue just south of the Memorial and Sculpture Courtyards on Wolf’s Lane in Pelham.
The idea of a pergola in the park emerged during a series of meetings in the summer of 2015; PPGS had convened a subcommittee to assist with the review of the proposed Wolf’s Lane Park renovation. PPGS Board Member Aldo Di Vitto, who is an architect, initiated the idea of a pergola. He prepared drawings pro bono and managed the entire process. He worked closely with mason Aurelio Secchiano of A. Secchiano Contracting to match the stone and mortar with the wall and stairway which are original to the park dating back to over 100 years old. Given their proximity, getting a good match was an important part of the project. A stone bench along the rear was also added to serves as both seating and a retaining wall.
Aldo also worked closely with Mark Perricone of Quality Home Improvement, the carpenter and contractor who custom fabricated the rafter tails and assembled the roof of the pergola. Mark showed great care for details and for the longevity of the structure. He insisted on staining the rough sawn cedar rafters and powder coating the galvanized brackets and bolts at his own expense to give back to our community. In addition, Ciro Cuono from the firm of Cuono Engineering, also worked pro bono on the project, reviewed the structure of the pergola.
Aldo Di Vitto, upon viewing the plans and walking the grounds, was inspired by the line of sight at that plateau area of the park provided and its connection to the original retaining wall and stairway acting as a gateway to the downtown. “It was an opportunity to make a lasting structure to encourage gathering and reflection at a point of elevation above the busy downtown. It was all designed with an intentional nod to the historic stairs while integrating the enjoyment of the large trees which surround the new pergola.”
The committee members included Aldo Di Vitto as well as Aimee Linn Kaplan, Nigel Scott-Williams, Arthur Scinta, and Mike Carpenter who met over the planning summer to discuss materials, scale, greenspace preservation, and access points for the park.
“It was incredibly helpful to collaborate with PPGS on this significant park project. A combination of the committee’s expertise and the generosity of the PPGS pergola donation helped inform and elevate the park design. Aldo worked for months to bring the pergola concept to a reality; his day-to-day management of the construction is evident in the details of this magnificent structure that will serve Pelham for generations,” commented Susan Mutti, Deputy Mayor of Pelham Village during the project.
Aldo and the PPGS committee members worked to affect the design of the park entryways as well as considering design details, materials and scale of the pergola and other park elements. The original drawing called for circular entries at each of the corners of the park. The PPGS committee suggested and designed access that retained more greenspace and allowed a better buffer around the street lighting infrastructure. Mr. Di Vitto reiterated that none of the inspired renovations to the Wolf’s Lane Park could have happened without the leadership and follow-through of Susan Mutti. The pergola is now completed and residents and visitors may enjoy it for years to come.
Remember to mark the date of Saturday, June 9 for the 2018 PPGS Annual Garden Party Benefit. This fun garden party is the primary means of fundraising, along with membership dues, for the PPGS. Tickets are available at the door or in advance and online. Invitations will be mailed the first week of May, or go to the group’s website for more information in early May. www.pelhampreservationsociety.com.
Formed in 1999, this group of volunteer Pelhamites develops programs and funds projects aimed at protecting and enhancing the aesthetic and historic character of the Pelham community. Recent projects of the PPGS include the restoration of the Four Corner’s Police Booth, regrading and cleanup of greenspace at Veteran’s Park at Four Corner’s, installation of more historic light poles and benches at Four Corners, restoration and repainting of the clock tower in the Village of Pelham, the installation of green space and shade trees at the Corlies Parking Lot at Pelham Memorial High School, restoration of the Pelham Memorial High School lobby murals, the Oculus windows at the Picture House, Highbrook Gates, the Benedict Fountain, “Pelham by Design” book collection at the library, the sign and plantings at the train station, the Historic Houses Plaque program and the “Mimi Buckley” PPGS Scholarship, as well as the downtown flower baskets.
To learn more about Pelham Preservation and its activities, visit www.pelhampreservationsociety.com. All Pelhamites are invited to join as a member for $25 annually. To join the PPGS please send a check made out to Pelham Preservation & Garden Society to: P.O. Box 8129, Pelham, NY 10803. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.