Miller House

White Plains, NY — The restoration of a 300-year-old house that is believed to have been a command center for George Washington during the Battle of White Plains is ready to proceed after the Board of Legislators cleared the way for new, additional funding for the project.

On Monday night, the Board unanimously approved $700,000 in spending to rebuild the house's roof; shore up its walls, chimneys and foundations; improve drainage on the site; and update systems in the building; among other work.  The Board also OK’ed use of another $250,000 from a New York State grant, secured by Assemblyman David Buchwald, which will be used to erect a separate, small classroom/visitors center on the property.

The new funding, in addition to a previously approved $1.3 million, will finally move the long-languishing project forward.

Design work is around 80 percent done and is expected to be completed in the next few months, and mold abatement and other work has already begun on the site.

Majority Whip MaryJane Shimsky (D - Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington), chair of the Board’s Public Works Committee, said, “After years of delay, the Miller House is on the verge of again becoming what it once was -- an invaluable resource for learning about everyday life in George Washington’s time.  As someone with a doctorate in history, I have read many books about colonial and Revolutionary America. But when I imagine what life was like back then, the images in my mind are often from a trip my family and I took to the Miller House when my children were little, before this historical treasure was shuttered and left to rot. It is time for Westchester residents to enjoy and learn from historical programs there again.”

Legislator Margaret Cunzio (C - Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pleasantville), whose district includes the Miller House, said, “I am very proud that I was able to assist in the renovation of this historic site.  The $700,000 additional funding that I was able to include in the capital budget will enable the county to refurbish the Miller House while still preserving its historic origins.  As an educator, I believe that we must continue to maintain the Miller House -- not just for current residents but for future generations.  I want to thank everyone involved who made this happen --working together, we have saved a piece of history.”

Board Chair Ben Boykin (D - White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) said, “Sites like the Miller House, bring history alive to future generations in a way that nothing else can.  It is a shame that the house was allowed to fall into such disrepair, but I’m excited that the Board was able to take action before it was too late.”  

The Elijah Miller House on Virginia Road in North White Plains was built around 1739.  Washington is believed to have spent time there not only in October 1776 during the Battle of White Plains but also in 1778 and 1781.  Miller and his two sons, John and Elijah, died in 1776 during the Revolutionary War.  

The house was acquired by the County in the early 20th century and it was opened as a park and museum in 1918.  But the house has been close to the public for years as it fell into disrepair.  Funding initially was approved to begin restoration back in 2010, but the project was stalled for nearly a decade until now.

The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, New York State Register of Historic Places, and Westchester County Inventory of Historic Places. The site is also a Town of North Castle Landmark.

Funding to restore the house was first approved by the Board in 2010, but plans were vetoed by former County Executive Rob Astorino.