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Bronxville Man Brings Beauty to County Parks

Jim Houlihan, managing partner at Houlihan-Parnes Realtors LLC , understands that it takes a combination of homes, businesses and open space to make a community. In the commercial real estate business for 40 years, Houlihan has spent the past decade caring for Westchester’s parkland as an integral member of Friends of Westchester County Parks .

Serving in several leadership positions, he considers his most significant contributions two public works of art on display now in Westchester Parks. “The Great Hunger Memorial,” commemorating the famine in Ireland that forced people to emigrate to the United States, was erected in V.E. Macy Park in Irvington in 2001. “The Rising at Kensico Dam” was dedicated in 2006 to commemorate Sept. 11, 2001, and the victims from Westchester County.

Saying both works had “significance and beauty,” Houlihan was also proud that Friends of Parks was able to raise enough funds to commission, erect and now care for both works. “The Great Hunger Memorial” has even established a fund that supports hunger projects in Westchester County.

“Both were great experiences, a lot of fun," he said. "It was interesting learning the process. Janet Langsam, executive director of the Westchester Art Council (now known as ArtsWestchester ), was extremely helpful.”

Houlihan says becoming part of the art world has been an “interesting journey.” His newest project is The Fighting Irishmen , which celebrates the contributions of Irish and Irish American boxers. “That exhibit, which was designed to run four months, is now in its sixth year of traveling. For last three years, it has been traveling all over Ireland.”

As a realtor, Houlihan deals in commercial properties around the country. He became a partner in 1987. A Bronx native, Houlihan resides in Bronxville with his wife, Pat, and their five children, Christie, Kelly, Meghan, Michael, Bryan.

“I have always been very impressed by level of the professionalism and knowledge, from the commissioner down to those caring for the parks’ grounds,” he said. “I really didn’t know the depth and scope of the parks in Westchester. We spent a whole Friday driving from one county park to another. It was an eye-opening experience.”

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