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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Tuxedo Park

New York

Basic Information

Type of Place
Metro Area
NYC mainland
Politics c. 1860?
Don’t Know
Unions, Organized Labor?
Don’t Know

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Yes, Written Evidence
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
2000 731 690 5 16 1 37

Method of Exclusion

  • Police or Other Official Action
  • Zoning
  • Realtors
  • Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black
  • Jewish
  • Unknown


1990, median owner-occupied housing unit, $500,001
2000, 5 bl, incl. 2 young boys, 1 young girl, two adult females, one household with black householder consisting of two people. Might be one interracial family plus a maid.

From Albert F. Winslow, Tuxedo Park (TP: TP Historical Society, 1992):

“Tuxedo Park began as a club community and maintained that discipline for nearly 50 years.” re “its selectiveness in the acceptance or denial or those seeking admission to Tuxedo Park.%u201D (p. 23) “Anybody seeking to buy property in the Park would by necessity be required to be a member of the Club. The association also maintained a police department and six gate houses. (p. 64-65) A wealthy buyer tried to buy a large house in the late 1920s, but he “did not enjoy the attributes for memebership in the Club…. He was told his membership in the Club was out of the question. He persevered and then had to be told that if he did indeed buy he would be denied access to water and sewer lines, which were owned by the Tuxedo Park Association… He did not buy. He was made to understand that Tuxedo Park was a private, controlled enclave…” (p. 66)

In 1953 Tuxedo Park became legally a village, but its town historian supplied no hint that this change diminished its restrictiveness and exclusivity, at least by 1992 when he wrote. Tuxedo Park Association has dropped services like stables, plumbing, etc. (p. 69) Tuxedo Park School, private, “enrollment is determined on a competitive basis today…” (p. 74-75) Super wealthy. Immense gardens. Emily Post lived there.

Known for its “eight-foot-high barbed-wire fence that encircled the colony to keep out the riffraff, Tuxedo had always been famously inhospitable to outsiders, especially Jews. ‘Woe to the unlucky stranger who strays across the posted boundaries,’ warned the NY Herald.” (see Jennet Conant, Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science that Changed the Course of WWII (NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 57). It had the second oldest golf course in the U.S.
“By the end of the war [WWII], Tuxedo was in a terrible decline. Old-time resorters had deserted it, and with more than half of the sprawling ‘cottages’ vacant and run-down, it had become known as “the Graveyard of the Aristocracy.”%u201D (p. 288)

Alfred Loomis, millionaire in Tuxedo, devoted mansion to his laboratory, hired many physicists, contributed to development of radar, etc.

Dolores Hayden, “Model Houses for the Millions: The Making of the American Suburban Landscape, 1820 2000,” Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Working Paper, 2000, www.sprawl central.com/haydweb2.doc 6/2003.

“In 1886, architect Bruce Price designed the resort of Tuxedo Park, New York, with massive stone gates and an exclusive clubhouse on six thousand private acres surrounded by a barbed wire fence, eight feet high and twenty four miles long, guarded by private police. Price’s daughter was Emily Post, prolific author on etiquette, who called it an ‘American rural community.'”

New York Resident:

%u201CAs a Jewish child growing up in upstate NY, I seem to remember passing a town named Tuxedo and being told by my parents that we couldn’t go there because Jews weren’t allowed.”