WSBID walking tour exams its history; scavenger hunt

WSBID walking tour exams its history; scavenger hunt
Lisa Sorin, president of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce was named to the reopening task force.

A historical walking tour of points of interests is just one of a couple of engaging events being promoted for Westchester Square.

The historical walking tour covering about four square blocks and 350 years of the history of Westchester Square is being hosted by the Westchester Square Business Improvement District and led by ‘expert tour guides’ Nilka Martell and Angel Hernandez on Sunday, October 21 from noon to 3 p.m.

Additionally, there is a scavenger hunt that the public can participate in taking place from Sunday, October 14 and Friday, October 19 in which a series of riddles will be placed on the WSBID’s website at, as well as being featured via the BID’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

The scavenger hunt will test the public’s knowledge of Westchester Square and its history and will present ten riddles, giving participants five days to complete their hunts by taking pictures of the answers and emailing them to by 11:59 p.m. on October 19.

The historical tour comes on the heels of Westchester Square being declared one of the SIX to Celebrate neighborhoods by the Historic Districts Council for 2018, highlighting its importance as an historical location, said Lisa Sorin, Westchester Square BID director.

“While we are rich retail, we are rich in history, which can make us a destination,” said Sorin. “Having the Historic Districts Council designation puts the icing on the cake and part of this will be the tour which allows us to reach for the next level.”

Martell said that the tour would cover a short radius around the center of the Square and will feature First Presbyterian Church, St. Peter’s Church, a marker in front of a White Castle restaurant that recalls the Battle of Westchester Creek during the American Revolution and the former Wyoming Lodge.

“This is all in a four block radius around the Westchester Square train station,” said Martell. “We will highlight historical sites and all the changes that is coming to the area.”

Martell said that tour would include a spirited telling of the history of the Battle of Westchester Creek by Hernandez, a local historian who is noted for his passionate account of the battle, which provided an escape for General George Washington and the Continental Army to flee from the British.

“Angel is very animated when speaking about the Battle of Westchester Creek,” said Martell, stressing her fellow tour guide’s knowledge and enthusiasm.

She said she also expects that members of the East Bronx History Forum may join the tour and share their own research on the sites of interest.

After the short walking tour is concluded, guests will be invited into the historic Huntington Free Library building, completed in the 1890s, for light refreshments and to take a look at the landmark structure from the inside, she said.

Perhaps if events like the tour prove successful, the Square can get more resources to celebrate 350 years of history, explained Sorin.

“I would like to have a trolley tour of the historical sites in Westchester Square (and east Bronx) just like they have in the Longwood Historic District,” said the BID director.

To participate in the Westchester Square walking tour, please register at or call (718) 597-4629 extension 200.

Additionally, the Westchester Square Business Improvement District is in the process of planning a Halloween celebration that will feature a haunted hayride and a headless horseman, Sorin said.

For more information, contact the BID.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at

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