City of New Rochelle, Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse Celebrate Groundbreaking at Wildcliff

The adaptive reuse of an historic waterfront property that was nearly destroyed by fire in 2018, and the start of construction on a community greenhouse project seven years in the making were celebrated together with groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, May 16.


Wildcliff, an 1855 Gothic Revival style cottage adjacent to Hudson Park, was devastated by a fire in late 2018 that left behind little except the foundation and solid stone exterior walls. An advisory committee formed in 2019 tasked with exploring options for the building’s future recommended an adaptive reuse that would salvage the structure’s iconic stone gables, add modern amenities and create a new open-air event pavilion. The eleven-member advisory committee included City Council Member Albert Tarantino (chair), City Historian Barbara Davis, Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse Committee President Millie Radonjic-Ilich, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Bill Zimmermann, Department of Development Senior Project Manager Suzanne Reider, neighbor Anthony Paolercio, and community members James Flemming, Michael Minchin, Sara Cave, Catherine Wilkins and Andrea Rothberg. 


“We are pleased to celebrate the rebirth of this magnificent property. When construction is complete, it will become a destination event location with a marvelous connection to Hudson Park. From tragedy, this project yields a valuable, adaptive reuse design that enriches a vast array of community benefits for many years of enjoyment,” said Bill Zimmermann, retired Parks and Recreation Commissioner and Special Projects Consultant.


“The Wildcliff and the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse committees- each working towards their respective goals- came up with the great idea of combining the two projects on the same site, and I am thrilled that this concept came together and is being brought to fruition,” said Council Member Albert Tarantino.  “We are able to give a valuable historic property a new life, avoiding demolition; and combine it with a wonderful resource. Together they make an amazing product and phenomenal destination for the City of New Rochelle, and the people of New Rochelle.”


Joining the Wildcliff property is the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse, creating a synergy between the two spaces. With two greenhouse wings, offices, a lobby and storage, the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse will be a sustainable and vibrant center with activities and programming for the entire New Rochelle community