People & Stories Oral History Project: Jack Harrington

Jack Harrington arrived in White Plains in June 1951. He moved here on assignment from the insurance company he worked for. During his long residency in White Plains, Jack has done a tremendous amount for the preservation of historical resources and the conservation of green spaces. Barbara and Rod Carlson, two active members of the White Plains Historical Society and knowledgeable students of local history, conducted these oral histories over a period of months. The creation of the Greenway, the politics of urban renewal, the character of White Plains, and the importance of historical preservation are some of the topics they covered while talking with Jack. Part 1 of the recording is of a much lower sound quality than Parts 2 and 3 due to technical issues. I hope dedicated listeners will appreciate the quality of the information, even if the quality of the sound is rough.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The following is from State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins' office commemorating Jack's induction into the State Senate Veterans' Hall of Fame:

“In 1953 he met and married Margaret (Peg) Salmon in Buffalo, NY. They were married for 59 years until her passing in 2012. They have three children and one grandchild.

Jack Harrington continued his commitment to service as a community activist and preservationist for six decades in White Plains. He and his late wife Peg have been key figures in the development of the city by leading movements to preserve historic buildings and landmarks, and preserve open spaces.

For 22 years he served as President of the White Plains Historical Society. He was also a member of the White Plains Conservation Board, Chairman of the White Plains Comprehensive Plan Committee and a member of the White Plains School District Annual Budget Committee.

Jack Harrington was also instrumental in founding the White Plains Greenway Committee in 1996. The committee oversaw the transformation of a former railway line and dumping ground into one of the most widely-used walking trails, earning him the nickname, the “Father of the Greenway.” In 2012, the city officially named the trail “The Jack Harrington Greenway Walking Trail.”

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Categories: Local History and Oral History.

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