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Modern Ruins Archive #6

RR Tunnels
Posted by Lori on 9/3/2003, 9:11 pm

I have been to and photographed over 30 abandoned RR tunnels in PA. I would love to hear from anyone who might be interested in RR tunnels.

Re: RR Tunnels
Posted by Steve on 9/13/2003, 11:58 am, in reply to "RR Tunnels"

Careful, these in Maryland are not abandoned:

Re: RR Tunnels
Posted by Chris on 9/9/2003, 6:44 pm, in reply to "RR Tunnels"

Lori, you said you saw our site, theres one we dont have on there. Have you been to the abandoned DL&W tunnel between Factoryville and Nicholson? The RR bed used to be rt 6&11 to factoryville before they elevated it to its present location. now it goes through a tunnel that was built in 1915 and goes across the Nicholson Bridge. but anyways back to the old one. the date in the top is 18 something. its a doubble portal tunnel. in the eastern tunnel there is a vent shaft and there are places where you can cross to the other one. its pretty easy to find. if you are familar with the area let me know. later
ps this reminds me we gotta get back there to get pics on the site

Exploring and Modern Ruins Updates
Posted by Karl Xydexx Jorgensen on 9/4/2003, 9:25 pm

Two new sections recently added to my modern ruins site:
Paulinskill Viaduct (NJ):
Roderick House (VA):

Using Earthviewer for MD ruins...
Posted by Jeff Conlin on 9/10/2003, 3:08 pm

Started talking about this on a thread, but figured it'd be of interest to everyone.
I've made a few examples of some of my favorite sites in Maryland as seen from Keyhole's Earthviewer software. I don't work for them, am just enamored with the product. for examples and synopses... I may put up my own page here soon... so much rumor and legend to dispel, sadly. People would rather be scared of the unknown than honor history...

Masoleaum in Hancock, NY
Posted by Josh on 9/14/2003, 10:01 am

I noticed an old post about this. I live in Hancock and have info if anoyne wants it. I also know of various other ruins in the area

Re: Masoleaum in Hancock, NY
Posted by Richard P. cunningham on 9/14/2003, 1:35 pm, in reply to "Masoleaum in Hancock, NY"

I made the trip up there a few weeks ago. I got some info from the library in town. I'd like any infoo you have as well. Do you know where I can find older pictures of it? The ones I took show the effects of time, I would like to see pictures when it was new.

Re: Masoleaum in Hancock, NY
Posted by Josh on 9/14/2003, 8:32 pm, in reply to "Re: Masoleaum in Hancock, NY"

I'll try and find some pics, but the Masoleaum was never completed, so their probably isn't many pics of it in new condition. BTW, did you notice the caves behind it?

Re: Masoleaum in Hancock, NY
Posted by Richard P. Cunningham on 9/15/2003, 5:14 pm, in reply to "Re: Masoleaum in Hancock, NY"

No, how do you get to them?

Re: Masoleaum in Hancock, NY
Posted by Josh on 9/15/2003, 6:59 pm, in reply to "Re: Masoleaum in Hancock, NY"

They are directly behind it.Go right to the edge of the cliff facing Pennslyvania.You'll see a space in the rock.Cilmb down it(3 or 4 foot drop)
and you'll be in the main cave (its prob 10ftx15).Take note of the carving in the rock,I think the date is 1934(been a while).I assume it was left by one of the workmen building the Masoleaum.From that cave you can access 3 or 4 smaller ones.Also, Local Legend has it that their is an indian buried with a pot of gold at his feet some where in one of the cave(I'm sure its probably bull).Sorry this is so long but I thought you would like to know and you can't get this info at the Library!

Re: Masoleaum in Hancock, NY
Posted by Kassandra on 12/16/2003, 12:11 pm, in reply to "Re: Masoleaum in Hancock, NY"

Photos, guys! Photos!

Updated UGM Site
Posted by Chris on 9/15/2003, 6:27 am

Added some more pics to our site. 2 more mine fires, more aerial pics and some other stuff. later

Cos Cob Power Plant
Posted by albert brecken on 9/17/2003, 1:43 pm

I researched the Cos Cob Power Plant for the Town of Greenwich prior to the Plant being demolished. The Plant generated traction-power for the notable New Haven RR electrfication which began 'way back in 1907. As best I know, Cos Cob is the first steam-railroad power plant to be designated an Engineering Landmark. The Plant was designed in the Spanish Mission style, a architectural style seldom used in designing American structures. I have much historical material on this unique facility.

Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Advisor on 9/20/2003, 1:57 pm

One or two of the buildings on the Kings College/Briarcliff Lodge grounds is currently on fire. I beleive it is Briarcliff Lodge (and connected dorms). Heavy fire, the building is destroyed.Multiple FD's operating since 0644 this AM

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Vanessa on 9/27/2003, 7:40 pm, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

I went to King's from fall of '89 through the fall of 1990. The Briarcliff Lodge was my favorite home and I'm devestated that it is gone forever! I had hoped that the building would be saved from destruction. I still share my box of Briarcliff Lodge/King's memorabilia with friends and, until recently, tried to get some interest in saving the building. I have visited the campus since it was abandoned and I always left with hope.
I find it interesting that so many people have ghost stories and I wonder if anyone shares my interest in the details of sightings at King's. As for my own "encounters", I worked on security over Christmas break my freshman year and had a knock at my door in room 406 one evening, but no one was in the hallway or in the nearby stairwell. If someone had knocked and then run down the long corridor, I would have seen them. I was the only woman on campus, so I had the entire woman's dorm to myself. There was only one other person on campus that evening. I called on the radio and he was in the kitchen. I don't know if someone got into the building or if it was a ghostly visitor, but I never really felt alone there. That may be because of the roach infestation, but that was mainly in the basement and first floor, not on the fourth.
Thanks to everyone who shares my love of the Briarcliff Lodge. Perhaps some day they will find out who was responsible and bring them to justice. That building would have been a gem in the eyes of an arsonist, but the fact that the building was to be demolished is suspicious...

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Shelley on 9/27/2003, 8:43 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I was a student from 1990-1994, the last graduating class at Kings in Briarcliff. One day in late January of 1994, I was trudging back to my dorm after a class. There was a few inches of snow on the ground and it was bitterly cold out. It was about 6pm and there were only about a hand full of people scurrying about. As I was walking back, a shadowy figure up the hill ahead of me, caught my eye. I could have sworn it was a dark haired woman in a flowing black gown who was standing there. Given the fact that it was so cold that day, and the "woman" wasn't wearing a coat, I was convinced I was seeing a ghost!
When I told my roommate about what I had seen, she told me that she had seen the same woman in black, back in November, before Thanksgiving break.
I had heard that a young woman committed suicide in the bathtub of one of the rooms in the lodge, back when it was known as Briarcliff Lodge. I had also heard that two other guests had either died due to illness or accident while at the hotel, or died at their own hands while at the hotel. A while back I had read an old newspaper article that indicated that a young woman had suffered a miscarriage and bleed to death at the lodge in the 1930's. Wheter or not any of this is true, I have no idea. I do know what I saw on that wintry day in 1994! I also know that a student who was to graduate with me in 1994, had been killed over Veterans Day weekend in 1993, while she was in NYC with about three or four other young women.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Judy '85 on 9/25/2003, 1:41 pm, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

While at my parents' house in NY this summer (I live in FL), my dad gave my a Briarcliff Lodge postcard that he purchased for me in the spring. He's big into collecting postcards and thought it would be a nice reminder of my college days since the campus was now closed. That made me start looking into the Briarcliff Lodge history.
What I found was shocking to say the least! I have followed every update since I found Rob Y's website. To find that the building burned left me speechless! I keep going back to the pictures convinced they aren't real. To say the fire was suspicious is a gross understatement!!!
Obviously the Briarcliff leaders were more concerned with money and not perserving history. That building was beautiful and full of history. From what I've read, the town leaders have foiled many attempts to save it, even as far back as the early 1990s. Makes you wonder what's really important to them.
A part of many of our lives are now gone. Let's starting writing down our memories before they fade.
Devastated in Florida.....

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Lillian on 9/25/2003, 4:38 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

When I was a student at Pace, I had this paper to write for my journalism class. The topic of this assignment was "Believe it or not: Local History". We had to pick a diffent part of Briarcliff/Scarborough/Pleasantville history to write about. My brother had gone to Kings College from 1992-1994, when it closed. Being that I knew a little about the campus, I decided to write my paper about the history of Kings College and the Briarcliff Lodge. I was amazed at the things I learned about Briarcliff Manor, Walter Law, Briarcliff government, society, struggles, triumphs, the people and places that made Briarcliff what it is today, and of course, Briarcliff Lodge. I loved looking at the old pictures. When the college closed in 1994, we thought for sure that Briarcliff would want to preserve it, bring it back to it's once grand state.
How a grand hotel that once hosted heads of state, movie stars, Olympic hopefuls and members of high society, could now be a pile of ash, is shocking to me. To me, Walter Law was a legendary mover and shaker, to the officials of Briarcliff, he apparently was just someone who once did things for the town. Nevermind the fact that this man got Briarcliff incorporated as a village, and got the government formed. I guess that doesn't mean anything to anyone but all of us!
Poor Walter Law, you may have been resting in peace for all these years, now I don't think you are!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Shannon on 10/12/2003, 10:49 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I graduated from the college in 1993. I would love to read that paper that you wrote, as I am interested in learning more of the history. Please send it to me if you still have it! Thanks!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Shannon on 10/12/2003, 10:48 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I graduated from the college in 1993. I would love to read that paper that you wrote, as I am interested in learnign more of the history. Please send it to me if you still have it! Thanks!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Lori on 9/24/2003, 4:40 pm, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

I feel just awful about this whole thing. I'm still in shock over it. There is no doubt that this was an arson, especially with the date of demolition originally set for today!
I've heard that due to the continuing police investigation into Saturdays fire, the demolition has been put on hold. Has anyone heard differently?
Thank you to Karl Xydexx Jorgensen and to Rob Yasinsac for all your beautiful websites and for keeping the memories alive for all of us!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by anonymous on 9/25/2003, 3:03 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

They sure should investigate who stood to gain MOST from this arson! The developer stood to profit whether it was a renovation with some new construction, or a demolition with all new construction. So WHO would profit MOST? The town is in favor of donated renovation funds for it's library (but NOT the Lodge). Also, a burned up Lodge could no longer be subject to any last minute preservation attempts by the historical societies that were working feverishly to forestall the town's demolition plans. This is an angle to be pursued, BUT WILL IT BE???

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Mary on 9/25/2003, 4:28 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

It annoys me that the village was so willing to spend all that money on the new library renovations (donations or not, they still did it!), but never once made an attempt to preserve an important part of Briarcliff history.
Someone wanted to shut up the historical societies/preservation associations, and residents that were all opposed to the demolition and proposed senior housing complex. I'm sure that if asked, the residents of Briarcliff and Scarborough would have donated money, supplies, and their time to restore the lodge. So many residents were willing to have the abandoned campus in their backyard, than any other proposed complex. Briarcliff was never intended to be a fast paced city with millions of residents and heavy traffic. Anyone who has been to or seen Kings, knows that Lodge Road/Central Drive were never designed for the traffic this senior housing complex will bring it. Are we expected to believe that those senior citizens won't have visitors, or even their own cars? That's not realistic, and neither is this proposed plan.
This was absolutely arson, if they come back and say that it wasn't, we know something is wrong. I really believe that Barrington Ventures had that fire set. I think they would benefit from it the most. The get insurance money and it's less property they need to demolish.
My mother graduated from Kings in 1966, and loved every minute of her time there. She loved the history of the building and of the area. She loved the faculty, the students, and what she learned there. When I told her what happened last weekend, she burst into tears. She was devestated, but assured me that God will punish whom ever did this. Setting that fire, or any fire for that matter, is not God's will!
Some people have suggested a supernatural/ghostly apparitions may have caused this fire, as a way to get a message across to the builders. I've seen enough of those shows on the Discovery and Travel Channels to know that that sort of thing has happened all over the world. It may sound strange and bizzare, but could it have happened with this fire? Anyone who was a student there knows that there were ghosts in the old lodge.
Hey, Briarcliff Manor as a whole is full of ghostly apparitions. Ask any student who currently lives at Pace University's Briarcliff campus on Elm Road. Their Dow Hall residence building is haunted my Mary Elizabeth Dow, who started Mrs. Dow's School for girls on what is now Pace University's Briarcliff campus. She was a very close, very dear friend of Walter Law. Coincidence? Believe it or not, there are a lot of stange but true coincidences with Briarcliff Lodge/Kings College and Pace University. Choate House, the big pink estate building at Pace, where faculty offices are, is also haunted!
Another Briarcliff place that is haunted is the Edith Macy Conference Center, which is owned and used by the Girl Scouts of USA. Juliette Low (the founder of the Girl Scouts), Edith Macy (a Briarcliff socialite and Girl Scout president), and Jane Deeter Rippin (another Girl Scout president), haunt the property's Great Hall, and surrounding grounds.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by samuel on 9/25/2003, 4:35 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I have heard that there was a final farewell party in the lodge the night before and the fireplace was used to keep warm but the fire spread.
Can anyone confirm that there was a party?

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Tim H. on 9/25/2003, 4:58 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I thought it said on the websites that the fireplaces had been torn out years ago? Maybe I misread that somewhere?
Given the size of the fire and the amount of damage it caused, I can't see it being an "accident". I still whole hartedly believe that this was intentionally set, probably by people hired by Barrington Ventures. Barrington had the most to gain out of this. The village of Briarcliff certainly wasn't going to do this. Or would they? Would they have someone set the fire to speed things up for Barrington? Was the Mayor or whomever getting a pay off from Barrington to go along with their plans? I am still very much in shock and confused by all of this.
I would hope that if a group was in the lodge that night before, that they go to the police and admitt to being there. If it was an "accident", it was an "accident", OK, but it still happened. I'm still convinced that someone saw something either the night before or the morning of and either is afraid to come forward or was paid to not come forward.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Ian Gall on 9/27/2003, 5:12 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I was the one who reported to Rob that the marble mantle in the oak room was torn out in the fall of 99. this was upon my last visit the only thing from the fireplaces removed. the fireplaces themselves could not be torn out...only the decorations around them.
But the fireplace was still there in the main hall where the entrance was (where they supposed the fire started) I saw it still standing as the building smoked.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Tim H. on 9/27/2003, 8:52 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

OK, OK! I am a fire fighter with Briarcliff Fire Department. I was told by senior members of the department that they are 99% sure this was an arson. We kbow for a fact that the electricity, water, phones, and all utilities had been shut off in the fall of 1999, and that much of the furnishings and decorations had been removed prior to January of 2003. In my expert opinion, this fire was not started by a fire in the fireplace. Yes, it appears that it started in the vicinity of that area, but given the extent of the damage, it is nearly impossible to say if it started in the fireplace.
Just because you say that only the marble mantle piece was removed, and I say that the entire thing was removed (which is possible by the way), doesn't make either of us wrong. I don't want to start an arguement with anyone over this. The damage has been done, there is nothing left to preserve, refurbish or improve on. We can't go back and change what has been done. The Westchester County DA's office is conducting a very thorough investigation, and will do so until they get to the bottom of when this fire actually happened and why it happened!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by rob on 9/30/2003, 11:30 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

The mantel in the Oak Room (the extension off the north wing) was the one that was removed. When Ian says something was left I think he means the brick hearth in the chimney stack, where a fire could be set. That would have been impossible to remove. Of course if someone intended to set a fire they probably didn't worry about using the hearth!
There were two stone fireplaces in the Lobby, which I gather is where people suspect the fire began. The one decorative fireplace in there (the other was just field stone), plus the one in the old President's office - did Barrington save these for the new buildings, or did they let salvagers in?

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Cami on 10/2/2003, 1:00 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

It's truly a shame. Walter Law poured his heart and soul into Briarcliff Lodge. He insisted on putting only the best materials, decoration, accessories, etc into the lodge. He wanted his place to stand out. He wanted to attract a specific clientel, and to retain the guests who were loyal. When I had heard years back that they were destroying the buildings, I felt horrible. Like so many have already said, is this any way to treat the legacy of the man who founded Briarcliff? Briarcliff Lodge brought the rich, powerful, successful to Briarcliff and to Westchester. They were wrong to let it all go.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Ian on 9/29/2003, 8:22 am, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

No argument or offense was intended Tim.
I'd not been to the lodge in quite a while, and was only stated what I had known.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by mike on 9/28/2003, 7:45 am, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

Tim H. you say you are a firefighter. How are you so sure in your 'expert opinion' that the fire did not start in the fireplace? Do you think someone put down some flammable chemical that caused the fire to spread so fast? Those of us who loved the lodge really need closure on this issue.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Annie on 10/2/2003, 1:03 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

Why are we all going to fight about this? A fire destroyed a local landmark, we can't get that back! We can't rebuild or restore what has been lost. Let's mourn this loss and pray that God will punish whom ever is responsible.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Lori on 9/24/2003, 4:42 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I appologize to Rob for the horrible spelling of his name. I meant to say, thank you to Rob Yasinac.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Amelia on 9/22/2003, 7:50 pm, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

When I was in high school I had a student teacher who at the time, was a senior at Kings. She always made Kings sound like so much fun. At the time, I was only a sophomore in high school, but knew that I wanted to go to Kings. Unfortunately, the school closed before I was able to apply or attend classes. I always felt like I had missed out on something great, something truly special and meaningful. When I was attending Pace University in Pleasantville, I would take trips up to Lodge Road, just to see what I had missed out on. I didn't go up there often, but enough to see that it was a special place.
They say that things happen for a reason. Obviously I wasn't meant to go to and graduate from Kings. We may never know the reason for why Briarcliff Lodge burned down, or why the village of Briarcliff felt that it would be OK to demolish the campus. What we do know is that Briarcliff Manor is a special place because of what Mr. Law brought to it. The memories of Kings College, whether we were students/alumni or just admirers, will always have a special place in our hearts.
Briarcliff Lodge/The Kings College, long live the memory!
May God bless everyone!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Lydia on 9/22/2003, 9:34 am, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

Oh my God! This is devestating news. I am in such shock right now. How could something like this happen? Why would anyone want to do this? What a terrible loss to Westchester and to Briarcliff.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Celeste on 9/21/2003, 8:36 pm, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

I have been crying over this all day. I graduated from Kings in 1989 and have been so depressed over the impending demolition. This news today just made me feel so much worse. What a horrible loss, what a horrible tragedy. Briarcliff just won't be the same now without the mighty old Briarcliff Lodge and the Kings campus. I just can't believe this happened, this is just so wrong, so unfair.
I have to agree with the other posters who feel that this was arson! Why someone would do that, I don't know. Maybe they wanted revenge on Briarcliff Manor officials, maybe they wanted to send a message out. There are so many maybe's, so many possible reasons.
I know the old buildings were haunted, and I hope that in all that heavy smoke yesterday, those restless souls were also released. May those souls rest in peace, even though Mr. Law now won't be! I now pray for Mr. Law, his legacy, his courage, and his passion for Briarcliff and the people of Briarcliff.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Olivia on 9/22/2003, 9:35 am, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

Maybe those ghosts were trying to tell everyone something! I know all about those sightings/ghostly apparitions. I went to Kings from 1980-1984, I saw and heard plenty!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Lilly on 9/21/2003, 3:29 pm, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

I saw the pictures in the Journal News this morning and couldn't believe it. This is horrible, it had to have been arson. I am just in shock. I graduated from Kings in 1994 and have been so depressed over this. How can something that was so important to Briarcliff society for so long, now be a smoldering pile of ashes?

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Scott on 9/21/2003, 11:42 am, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

This is horrible!!! Just as there was still a slight chance for this building to be saved, now there's absolutely none. It's really irritating - it must have been some kids that went in there and decided to have some fun - ruining it for everyone else! The only good news is for the developer, who has a lot less to tear down now.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Sheryll on 9/22/2003, 7:38 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

What irritates me is the fact that the village of Briarcliff was so casual with their decision. They never once attempted to preserve the lodge. I could see them wanting to demolish the college buildings, but the lodge is a part of Briarcliff history. With all the wealth that is in Briarcliff, you would think that there would be enough to save the lodge. Obviously Walter Law, his memory and his dream mean nothing to the village officials. It's disgusting how they just shrug it off. Other towns and cities honor their founders and important people with memorial parks and a restored home that gets turned into a tourist attraction. Briarcliff obviously didn't think very highly of Walter Law or how much he brought to the area and to the people.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Maria on 9/21/2003, 9:45 am, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

The building is on fire & will continue to be for some time. My husband is one of the hundreds of volunteer firefirers who fought in vain to save the Lodge/College yesterday. He is there now looking for any hotspots & at all the senseless descruction.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Karl Xydexx Jorgensen on 9/21/2003, 9:22 am, in reply to "Major Fire-Kings College"

This is very unfortunate. It looks like the main building was totally gutted by the fire.
There's a news report and video at:

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Joni Lambert on 10/7/2003, 5:18 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

Oh! That video is heart breaking!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Clarellyn on 9/22/2003, 1:22 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I warned people about the place being haunted, but no one listened! Someone or something is trying to tell us something. This fire was meant to happen, whether it was arson or God's will, it was meant to happen.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Angie on 9/22/2003, 1:26 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

Karl, what happens to your Kings site and pictures now? Please don't say you're closing the site. As an alumni, I love flipping through your pictures and stories. I've been crying over your site all weekend.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Karl Xydexx Jorgensen on 9/22/2003, 10:44 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

The site will still be around. I'm trying to update the message board archives currently.
I was planning on going up to New York this coming weekend anyway, so hopefully (...if I don't get in trouble for trespassing...) I'll be able to get pictures of whatever's left of the main building. From the news footage, it looked pretty bad.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by dawn esposito on 9/29/2003, 2:55 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

thanks Karl for keeping us posted.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Ian Gall on 9/21/2003, 3:57 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I was at the lodge yesterday around 1pm.
It was a sad sad sight. much of what I spent time in during the 80s as a kid, and then explored in the late 90s was gutted, and only the stone walls and remain.
it was stated that the fire spread unnaturally fast by mr. Ventura Fire chief of Briarcliff.
I believe that Barrington (the new owner) benefits quite a bit from this...almost enough to want to start it themselves... I have heard conflicting reports of when the fire began, ranging from aprox 6 am to earlier in the night. if is just TOO coincidental that this happened. Historical groups were STILL trying to preserve the building even though the approval for demolition had been approved just last week.
A fire which destroys the building pretty much puts an end to any preservation attempts now doesnt it?

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Paulette on 9/21/2003, 8:30 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

This was most definitely arson, no doubt about it. Barrington could have sent someone to set it, or it could have been teenagers or alumni who were angry with the village for not preserving the lodge/campus. Most likely, it was arson, nothing else would make sense. I work in Briarcliff and live in Tarrytown, there was no lightening that night, so that cancels out a fire started by lightening strikes. I have also been told by co-workers that there have been no utilities in the building since around 1999, so an electrical fire is unlikely.
This whole thing just makes me so angry. All of this could have been prevented if the village had done their part. Walter Law founded and developed Briarcliff Manor, without him Briarcliff Manor would not have existed. His role in Briarcliff society and history, should have been preserved and celebrated, not destroyed. There was no reason for The Kings College campus to become the way it did. Briarcliff Manor should have went in there and preserved it, at least the lodge.
Read the article in today's Journal News, it will make you cry like it made me cry. So much history, fame, and beauty is now lost. Johnny Weismuller swam there, foreign dignitaries, heads of state all stayed at the Briarcliff Lodge. Isn't that worth celebrating and saving? Obviously someone, or several someones were angry enough over what was happening, to take matters into their own hands.
We know that the building was slated for demolition within the next few weeks, this is just too coincidental. It's made public knowledge that the campus will be demolished, then days later the buildings are ablaze? I highly doubt the neighbors had anything to do with this. They wouldn't want to risk setting their own homes on fire would they?

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Ian Gall on 9/22/2003, 10:03 am, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

The utilities were shut off in the building in the fall of 1999. during the summer of '99, there was still power running the servers on the roof of the men's dorms, and lighting still on in several rooms in the men's dorms.
Once the power was shut down, and much was ripped out of the lodge (i.e. mantle in the oak room), it felt as if the lodge had given up the ghost...and its sense of life.
for me it then felt like truly and abandoned building.
But this fire is just TOO convenient for Barrington. while demolition was set to begin on wed. sept 24th, this an insult to the history of the lodge.
or maybe just the spirit of the lodge refused to be taken down on terms other than its own.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by george on 9/22/2003, 12:51 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

Anyone want to speculate why only original building destroyed by fire on the 20th?

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Samantha on 9/22/2003, 1:11 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I've been trying to figure that out myself! I've never been one to believe in the supernatural or in ghosts and such, but this has me spooked. That lodge had the most history, was the most important, the most beautiful and most special. Why destroy that just 4 days before the scheduled demolition?
There are a lot of unanswered questions here! That I think we can all agree on.

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Victoria on 9/22/2003, 12:00 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

As someone who lived on Central Drive until 2000, I can honestly say that lights were on in that building until about the middle of November!
I can also atest to the fact that there were strange noises that came from the campus, almost like moans. You didn't hear them often, but enough that you would think something was going on there.
My husband, children and I lived in that house from 1989-2000 and never once had a problem with the college being there. Why should we have? It was there long before we were. It was a very quiet campus with very good young men and women. You never heard a loud party or any loud noises on the streets. I grew very attached to seeing the mens dormitory and water tower from my living room window.
This is a tragedy, that like someone said, could have easily been prevented. We, the residents were always opposed to a senior housing complex, I guess they don't have a choice anymore. The Lodge Road entrance to Kings was a quiet one, I have a feeling that it won't be quiet once Barrington Ventures takes over!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Shannon on 9/22/2003, 11:52 am, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

I was a student at Kings from 1992-1994, having to transfer to another school in 1994 when they closed. I do believe that there were ghosts/spirits in the old lodge, as well as on the campus itself. Think about all the history that surrounded that place. A few times I went to "visit" the abandoned campus, and on at least two occassions in 2001, I saw "things" that nearly scared me to death. The fall and early winter were especially spooky times to be on that campus, lots of strange noises.
I wouldn't say that turning off the utilities cleared away any restless spirits. Turning off the utilities only turned off Kings'/Briarcliff Lodges life support system.
I had no idea the demolition was scheduled for 9/24. It sounds like someone was helping them along!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Stephen Koehler on 9/21/2003, 10:15 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

Hello Paulette, I am an alumnus and a former employee of The King's College (grad. 1977). You can see other statements by me on this web-site and others. I'd like to thank Mr. Karl Zydexx Jorgensen for allowing this discourse on his message board. King's was such a special place as to defy description! Wonderful is only a small attempt to describe it. I've been in full agreement with your belief that Briarcliff Manor should have sought to preserve this structure at all costs since the day that I heard that they had intentions to dispense with her. Imagine that she was the "mother" of Briarcliff Manor but Briarcliff sought to dispense with her anyway!!! Why is it that so often the will of the rich & powerful triumph over the will of WE THE PEOPLE...??? Was two million Dollars to upgrade the Briarcliff Manor Library and a few acres of land worth destroying The Lodge for?? Anyway, it seemed to me that the timing of this fire is all to suspicious, though it could have been started by anyone. I guess only God knows. I am in full agreement with your message and just wanted you and others to know. Though I'm not really satisfied with it, at least we have the memories!! But what a loss to those of us who lived and loved The Lodge, as well as all of the future generations who are now denied this lost living legacy. That the action of Briarcliff Manor (The Lodge's guardian) was to okay the demolition of The Lodge prior to this terrible fire is utterly incomprehensible!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Emily on 9/22/2003, 1:14 pm, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

Maybe God did have his hand in this! Maybe this was God's doing, a warning or a message to greedy developers. Something is just very fishy about this whole thing, I don't like it one bit!

Re: Major Fire-Kings College
Posted by Alyna on 9/22/2003, 6:43 am, in reply to "Re: Major Fire-Kings College"

The timing of this fire is very coincidental, very suspicious. Something is just not right about all of this. My heart is broken, I just can't believe it's all gone. Briarcliff Manor should be ashamed of themselves for letting this beautiful part of their history go. This should never had happened. I put full blame on the village of Briarcliff Manor!

saratoga homestead asylum
Posted by bud on 9/20/2003, 3:12 pm

i am looking for ANY info. ghost stories-facts reasons it closed. anything you got. thanks

Re: saratoga homestead asylum
Posted by tonydukes on 11/3/2003, 9:30 pm, in reply to "saratoga homestead asylum"

saratoga NY?

Re: saratoga homestead asylum
Posted by Lu Cifer on 10/13/2003, 8:56 pm, in reply to "saratoga homestead asylum"

I have been in and have many stories to tell.

Miller Circle
Posted by Dan Doherty on 9/22/2003, 3:14 pm

I have not been back to King's Briarcliff campus since graduating in 1983, with the exception of a few homecomings. Amazing to see how the structure slowly degraded over time. The memories are as persistent as ever, though!
How come there are no pictures of Miller Circle? I think I heard that was gone a long time ago. Is that true?

Re: Miller Circle
Posted by Rob on 9/23/2003, 3:42 pm, in reply to "Miller Circle"

There is a photo of Miller Circle at As far as I know it is still standing.

Re: Miller Circle
Posted by Scott on 9/22/2003, 10:08 pm, in reply to "Miller Circle"

When I went to King's in 2002 Miller Circle was still there.

Re: Miller Circle
Posted by Gracie on 9/22/2003, 7:26 pm, in reply to "Miller Circle"

I know it was a fully functioning dormitory in 1994, when the school closed. It was also still a part of the campus when I went back to explore in 2000. Whether it's still standing today, I have no idea. I was a junior at Kings in 1994 and had to transfer to another school for that last year. I spent most of yesterday looking through old boxes for my old yearbooks and photos I took on campus. If I am never able to locate those old books and pictures, I know that those memories will forever be in my heart.

Re: Miller Circle
Posted by Dawn on 9/29/2003, 2:47 pm, in reply to "Re: Miller Circle"

Yes, I believe that Miller's Circle is still standing. I saw it about a year ago. Having lived in Miller Circle for 3 years, it was not the dorm I remembered. Isn't it ironic that Dr. Cook was a volunteer fireman in Briarcliff Manor? I am being very sentimental thinking about the old campus. Thank God the Lord is still using TKC in the Empire State Building

Re: Miller Circle
Posted by Karl Xydexx Jorgensen on 9/29/2003, 8:13 pm, in reply to "Re: Miller Circle"

Yep, it's still standing. I saw it this weekend.

Re: Miller Circle
Posted by Stephen Koehler on 12/27/2003, 9:28 pm, in reply to "Re: Miller Circle"

Miller Circle is definitely gone now. I saw its remains today. How sad, HOW SAD!!!