Portal:Briarcliff Manor, New York

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The Briarcliff Manor, New York Portal

The village downtown
The location of Briarcliff Manor within New York State

Briarcliff Manor (/ˈbr.ərklɪf/) is a suburban village in Westchester County, New York, around 30 miles (50 km) north of New York City. It is on 5.9 square miles (15 km2) of land on the east bank of the Hudson River, geographically shared by the towns of Mount Pleasant and Ossining. Briarcliff Manor includes the communities of Scarborough and Chilmark, and is served by the Scarborough station of the Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line. A section of the village, including buildings and homes covering 376 acres (152 ha), is part of the Scarborough Historic District and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The village motto is "A Village between Two Rivers", reflecting Briarcliff Manor's location between the Hudson and Pocantico Rivers. Although the Pocantico is the primary boundary between Mount Pleasant and Ossining, since its incorporation the village has spread into Mount Pleasant.

In the precolonial era, the village's area was inhabited by a band of the Wappinger tribes of Native Americans. In the early 19th century, the area was known as Whitson's Corners. Walter William Law moved to the area and purchased lands during the 1890s. Law developed the village, establishing schools, churches, parks, and the Briarcliff Lodge. Briarcliff Manor was incorporated as a village in 1902, and celebrated its centennial on November 21, 2002. The village has grown from 331 people when established to 7,867 in the 2010 census.

Briarcliff Manor was historically known for its wealthy estate-owning families, including the Vanderbilts, Astors, and Rockefellers. It still remains primarily residential and its population is still considered affluent by U.S. standards. It has about 180 acres (70 ha) of recreational facilities and parks, all accessible to the public. The village has seven Christian churches for various denominations and two synagogues. The oldest church is Saint Mary's Episcopal Church, built in 1851. Briarcliff Manor has an elected local government, with departments including police, fire, recreation, and public works. It has a low crime rate: a 2012 study found it had the second-lowest in the state. In the New York State Legislature it is split between the New York State Assembly's 95th and 92nd districts, and the New York Senate's 38th and 40th districts. In Congress the village is in New York's 17th District.

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Scarborough Historic District map
The Scarborough Historic District is a national historic district located in Briarcliff Manor's suburban community of Scarborough-on-Hudson. The 376-acre (152 ha) district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, and contains seven historically and architecturally significant properties dating from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. Most of the properties are domestic, or used for education or religion. The most common architectural styles within the district are Mid-19th Century Revival and Late Victorian.

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Elliott Fitch Shepard (July 25, 1833 – March 24, 1893) was a New York lawyer, banker, and owner of the Mail and Express newspaper, as well as a founder and president of the New York State Bar Association. Shepard was married to Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt, granddaughter of philanthropist, business magnate, and family patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt. Shepard's Briarcliff Manor residence Woodlea and the Scarborough Presbyterian Church, which he founded nearby, are contributing properties to the Scarborough Historic District.

Shepard was born in Jamestown, New York, one of three sons of the president of a banknote-engraving company. He attended the City University of New York, and practiced law for about 25 years. During the American Civil War, Shepard earned the rank of colonel and was a Union Army recruiter. He was later a founder and benefactor of institutions and banks. When Shepard moved to the Briarcliff Manor hamlet of Scarborough-on-Hudson, he founded the Scarborough Presbyterian Church and built Woodlea; the house and its land are now part of Sleepy Hollow Country Club.

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Briarcliff Manor Fire Department engine

Selected anniversaries

WalterWLaw1910.jpg

  • November 21, 1902 (1902-11-21): Briarcliff Manor is incorporated as a village. At the time, Walter Law (pictured) owns all but two small parcels of the square mile village, and employs 100 of its residents.
  • November 12, 1934 (1934-11-12): Briarcliff Manor's road race is held again.
  • November 2001 (2001-11): A $4-million rehabilitation ($5.53 million today) of Law Park is completed, with a new pavilion and pool house, paved walkways, lights and benches, a redesigned and filtered pond, and relocation of the Veterans Memorial. Over 300 people attend the Veterans Day rededication ceremony.

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The history of Briarcliff Manor, a village in Westchester County, New York, can be traced back to the founding of a settlement between the Hudson and Pocantico Rivers in the 19th century. The area now known as Briarcliff Manor had seen human occupation since at least the Archaic period, but significant growth in the settlements that are now incorporated into the village did not occur until the Industrial Revolution. The village, which was incorporated with one square mile in 1902, has expanded primarily through annexation: of Scarborough in 1906 and from the town of Mount Pleasant in 1927 to its current area of 6.7 square miles (17 km2). The village has also grown in population; from 331 when established to 7,867 in the 2010 census.


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