Biographical information about Louis Torres, author of “Tuckahoe Marble: The Rise and Fall of an Industry, 1822-1920”
Louis Torres was born in New York City in 1921. The third and last child of Italian immigrants, he developed a great love for American history. He received his undergraduate degree in history at St. John’s University and Masters degrees in history at Columbia University and business administration at Hofstra College.
He started his career as a historian with the U.S. Air Force at Mitchell Field on Long Island after World War II during which he served as a sergeant with the US Army Air Force in Bermuda. From there he went on to the job, which he often described “as the job I couldn’t wait to get to each day…” at Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street. It was at this location where important events in our nation’s early history took place such as George Washington taking his first oath of office and the meeting of the nation’s first Congress.
In addition to Lou Torres’ research on the architectural history of Federal Hall he also had an opportunity to research the Old Custom House on Wall Street. It was this work which aroused his interest in the marble industry in Eastchester. After he became a resident of Eastchester in 1964 he says, “…the thought of the remains of the marble quarries being within walking distance” peaked his interest and, as a result, researched and wrote “Tuckahoe Marble: The Rise and Fall of an Industry, 1822-1920”.
A few years before the book was published in 1976, he and his wife, Evelyn moved to Littleton, Colorado. The move was prompted by a new position as a historian with the National Park Service. At that time, the Park Service was gearing up for the celebration of the nation’s bicentennial and there was a great need for historians to record aspects of the nation’s history.
While with the National Park Service in Colorado Lou Torres researched and wrote or co-authored many histories including those about Cumberland Island National Seashore; Eleanor Roosevelt (Val-Kill) National Historic Site; Theodore Roosevelt National Park; and Fort Stanwix National Monument. Later, after he retired from the National Park Service in 1981, he wrote a history for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the construction of the Washington Monument.
While Lou Torres is now in an assisted care facility for Alzheimer’s patients, his wife Evelyn continues to live in their Littleton home. Their daughter, Patricia Cronenberger, lives in Littleton with her husband, Rick and son, Andrew. Lou’s son, Louis Torres, Jr., lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife, Barbara. They have two adult children, Anne and Nathan.
Prepared by his daughter, Patricia Cronenberger, September 2013, Littleton, Colorado. Pat remembers many visits to the quarries with her father after attending Sunday services at Immaculate Conception Church on Winter Hill Road.