From Leiberts Royal Green To Ron Blacks, The Colorful Downtown Destinations In White Plains
Discovering Westchester’s downtowns, one city at a time.
Illustration by Gary Hovland
Civil War Memorial—Residents living in the Lake Street neighborhood pass this statue of an infantryman in Tibbets Park to enter downtown. The front of the 1872 memorial reads: “To the Soldiers of White Plains who died in the Service of their Country in the Civil War 1861-65.” Each side of the memorial lists the names (approximately 25 total) of the soldiers including Frank Bleakley, Simeon See, and Patrick Burns. General Ulysses S. Grant would’ve been proud of you boys.
Heineken USA—The beer titan’s US headquarters is an awesomely designed space featuring walls adorned with rows of LED-lit green Heineken bottles; a massive inlaid mosaic bottle cap on the ceiling with lights that rotate in seven colors; a Wurlitzer jukebox; and a full bar with an employee happy hour Thursdays at 4 pm. And they have really cool swag at their holiday party, so if you ever score an invite, go!
City Hall—The good news: In 2014, Money magazine ranked White Plains in their Top 50 Small Cities list and real estate blog Movoto named White Plains as the third-best place to live in the state. The bad news: Forbes has ranked it as one of America’s most expensive cities, citing, among other indicators, the $2,200 cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment.
The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester—This 146-room luxury hotel, where a deluxe room (one king or two double beds) goes for $349/night, also features two condominium towers called The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, the tallest buildings between New York City and Boston.
White Plains Performing Arts Center—Located on the third floor of the City Center, this 410-seat theater, opened in 2003, has hosted such performances as All Under Heaven starring Valerie Harper; If You Ever Leave Me, I’m Going With You starring Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna; The Bacon Brothers; plus family programming including The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Seussical, and the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats.
ArtsWestchester—This nonprofit arts organization currently celebrating its 50th anniversary is housed in the nine-story Arts Exchange, which includes offices; artists’ studios; galleries showcasing local, emerging, and folk artists; and event/performance space. The 1929 building initially housed the People’s National Bank & Trust and is one of only a handful of pre-1930 office buildings (another is the 10-story Bar Building on nearby Main Street) still standing in the city.
The Galleria at White Plains—Not as spiffy as The Westchester, nor as moribund as The White Plains Mall, the fortress-like Galleria has about 130 stores including anchors Macy’s and Sears.
The Iron Tomato—Sure, the name sounds like a rejected character from an Adult Swim show, but that doesn’t stop residents, shoppers, and the city’s many 9-to-5-ers from flocking to this café/pizzeria/deli/bakery (try the chocolate-dipped cannoli cookie sandwich) for casual meals of mega-sandwiches on Bronx-style breads, create-your-own salads, and decent sushi.
Michaelian Office Building—This 10-story Art Deco building is home to the offices of County Executive Rob Astorino as well as the county’s Board of Legislators. The city has been the county seat since 1757.
Garden of Remembrance—Within this commemorative garden are gates crafted in 1992 by sculptor Rita Rapaport to memorialize the suffering and death of millions during the Nazi era from 1933 to 1945.