Best places to live in Westchester in 2013: Scotts Corner/Pound Ridge, NY



On a shelf in Antiques & Tools of Business & Kitchen in Pound Ridge, owner Joan Silbersher has thumb-tacked Polaroids of the celebrities who’ve stopped in over the years. Sun-faded now, they include Northern Westchester residents Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart, Stanley Tucci, and Carey Lowell (who owns the Bedford Post Inn with her husband, Richard Gere), as well as Andre Agassi and the late Eartha Kitt (“they were just visiting”). When asked how Pound Ridge has changed over the years, Silbersher, who’s lived here since 1959, replies, “It’s mostly not changed, I’m happy to say.”

Pound Ridge has been a getaway for entertainment figures since the 1940s. At least a third of the homes are weekend places. The famous still mingle easily here, part of the scenery, unaccosted in restaurants and the shops in Scotts Corners, which serve as the commercial counterpoint to the vintage structures (library, town hall, playhouse) in the historic district. Pound Ridge has the most open space in Westchester County, says longtime resident Kathleen Gursel, associate broker at Houlihan Lawrence in Pound Ridge, “and the most cemeteries as well,” quips Maryellen Walsh, the brokerage manager for Houlihan Lawrence in Bedford and Pound Ridge, referring to the burial grounds dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries that seem to lie around every turn. What Pound Ridge doesn’t have is a stoplight or decent cellphone service (though a new cell tower is said to be forthcoming).

Walsh adds that you can get more house and lower taxes than in Bedford. “There are people who want to be 10 minutes from the train. That’s not our buyer.”

Their buyer wants land. Because Pound Ridge is zoned for a minimum of two acres, the homes are widely spaced. Privacy is paramount here: “You can see the lights of another house, but you can’t look in the windows,” says Walsh. Full-time residents often move up to larger houses, perhaps transitioning from a close-to-the-road antique farmhouse to a newer, larger house in a subdivision. As Walsh puts it, “Once you’re in love with Pound Ridge, you stay in Pound Ridge.”