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Snapshots from 2019 Preservation Project

10 photo(s) Updated on: 04/11/2019
  • We found this "practice painting" in the back of Percy's closet. No idea who painted it, there is another painting on the back.
  • Percy left very helpful photos of his room from 1928. We also have photos of Rose's room and the music room. If you have photos prior to 1960, we would love to see them.
  • Most of the original fixtures are still in place. This one, in the entrance area of the kitchen, is wired for both electricity and gas. The painters are prepping the walls around it.
  • Painters have the original cast iron stove in the kitchen enclosed in plastic.
  • As we move things around, interesting artifacts turn up. Three cents became the postage rate on July 6, 1932. The rate remained the same for 26 years until it finally changed to 4 cents in 1958.
  • Percy left helpful notes! He was--in his own way--very, very organized.
  • The early prototype for the free music machine wrapped in plastic for protection..
  • Adding some rolling metal shelves on the third floor has helped prepare the space for the painters.
  • Nearly the entire third floor is wrapped in plastic. We will be overjoyed when we can unpack these items into a more permanent space.
  • The two properties behind the Grainger House will vanish soon.
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  • 7 Cromwell Place

The Percy Grainger House

Percy Grainger, born in Australia in 1882, was a renowned composer and pianist, a writer and watercolorist, a clothing designer and pioneering collector of folk songs. For forty years, from 1921 until his death in 1961, Grainger occupied the house at 7 Cromwell Place, White Plains, using it for his residence, practice studio, and laboratory for his avant-garde musical compositions and experimental music machines. The American Foursquare wood shingled house is the resource most significantly associated with Grainger in America.

This historic house, built in 1893, and added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 8, 1993, was originally the residence of David Cromwell, banker and prominent local citizen. Cromwell served as Westchester County Treasurer and Chief Officer of the then Village of White Plains. He was president of several local banks, most notably the Home Savings Bank. 

Cromwell built the two streets which connect Maple Avenue and East Post Road. Chester Avenue, parallel and to the east of Cromwell Place, built and deeded to White Plains in 1891, was named for his son John Chester Cromwell. Chester later lived in a house there, which still stands behind the Percy Grainger House. He died in 1907, age 30, while fighting a fire on Main Street, only days after he was married.

While some of the Cromwells’ household items are stored on the third floor, the Grainger House remains today furnished as it was during Grainger’s lifetime, a dramatic living testimony to the life and times of a multi-faceted genius. It is one of the cultural gems of Westchester County and a site visited by a steady stream of musicians, historians and students from all over the world.

On May 12, 2017, the White Plains Historical Commission recommended to the City of White Plains that the Percy Grainger Home, 7 Cromwell Place, White Plains, be designated an Historical Landmark.                

"My art sets out to celebrate the beauty of bravery."        

                                       -Percy Grainger


7 Cromwell Place

White Plains, NY  10601

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