Alfred Del Vecchio, who served as mayor of White Plains for 18 years from 1976 to 1993 and led the city through its massive urban renewal, died on December 5 at the age of 95.
Del Vecchio was remembered by friends and colleagues for his no-nonsense style, a wry sense of humor and someone who spoke his mind while encouraging others with opposing viewpoints to speak theirs.
The urban renewal project, which began in the late 1960s, flourished under Del Vecchio’s leadership during the 1970s and 1980s. A former engineering professor at Manhattan College and head of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Del Vecchio was the right man for the job at the right time, burying himself in blueprints and technical designs for the city.
“It’s almost impossible to fathom what White Plains would be if it weren’t for Al Del Vecchio,” said Marsha Gordon, CEO of the Business Council of Westchester. “The White Plains we know today is due to his intellect, vision, passion, and leadership. All of Westchester owes him a debt of gratitude. My condolences go out to his family, especially his loving wife Claire.”
In addition to several other office buildings and shopping areas, projects completed during Del Vecchio’s time in office include:
- Westchester One office building
- Westchester County Courthouse
- White Plains Public Safety Building
- The Galleria Mall
- A new Metro North Railroad Station
He also helped garner bipartisan support for The Westchester mall, which was originally opposed by some in the city when first proposed.
Del Vecchio was also an advocate for affordable housing, arts, culture and recreation in the city. He pushed for various activities such as live theater, downtown concerns and expanded sports activities on city fields.
In a Facebook post, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach extended condolences to Del Vecchio’s family and “our gratitude for the years of dedicated service he gave to our city.”
He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Claire; 7 children, 17 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. One of his children died before him.