BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Architect William Sharman, 86, has spent a lifetime of sharing his varied talents to make his town a better place.
Sharman, a Briarcliff resident since 1932, became a licensed architect in 1956, drawing up plans for commercial projects and office buildings. With a desire to change his focus to residential projects, he started his own business in 1964.
“It was always my preference to be a residential architect,” he said.
Today, Sharman continues to stay busy working with Realtor Susan Strawgate Code and home owners preparing to sell their houses, creating drawings of alterations and providing legal advice to obtain certificate of occupancy permits.
Throughout his lifetime, Sharman has been involved with several town organizations and projects to preserve history.
For starters, for 70 years, Sharman was an active member of the fire department, serving as a captain of the Fire Police until he broke his hip. Sharman said he still attends meetings but no longer responds to the call of duty.
Also, a former Boy Scoutmaster, he was an integral part of the building committee to construct the original library, which was converted from the town’s railroad station.
“It was a bit of a challenge, but it was a fun project,” he said.
In 1974, Sharman founded the Scarborough Historical Society, which was formed in preparation of the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 and served as its first president. Sharman said the society regularly has cruises, speakers and dinners as fund-raising events throughout the year.
He said the society, in the Eileen Weber Historical Center on the lower floor of the Briarcliff Library, has featured exhibits for the fire department’s hook and ladder truck and town maps.
“The exhibits are available at the center for people to visit,” he said.
Sharman’s hobbies include singing in the choir at the Briarcliff Congregational Church, playing the guitar and writing song parodies. He currently is learning how to play the harmonica.
Sharman said one of his fondest memories is raising his two daughters in town, where they both had the same kindergarten teacher he did as a student.
“This was a great place to grow up and still a great place to live,” he said. “I am glad I’m here to enjoy it.”