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 is a suburban village in Westchester County, New York, less than 30 miles (48 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. 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 in 1898 and developed the village, establishing schools, churches, and parks. Briarcliff Manor was incorporated as a village in 1902. The village has grown from 331 people when established to 7,867 in the 2010 census.

Briarcliff Manor is primarily residential and its population is relatively wealthy. It has about 180 acres (73 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.

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The clubhouse's west portico
Sleepy Hollow Country Club is a historic country club in Scarborough-on-Hudson in Briarcliff Manor. The club was founded in 1911, and its clubhouse was known as Woodlea, a 140-room Vanderbilt mansion owned by Colonel Elliott Fitch Shepard and his wife Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt Shepard. It was built in 1892–95 and was designed by the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White; the estate became a contributing property to the Scarborough Historic District (on the National Register of Historic Places) in 1984.

Woodlea's exterior was designed in an English Renaissance Revival style, incorporating Beaux-Arts details. The building's facades are composed primarily of buff-colored Italian brick. The south and west facades are symmetrical, but the overall plan of the house is not. The house's west facade is the longest and most ornate, and has a view of the Hudson River from its west-facing windows and adjoining terrace. The main entrance is on the building's south, directly approached from the south drive. The interior also has significant features, including marble fireplaces, coffered ceilings, and extensive carved wood and plaster detail. The house has about 70,000 square feet (6,503 m2) of interior space, making it one of the largest privately-owned houses in the United States.

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Fire station bell

The bell of the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department's old fire station, at the village municipal building. The bell was moved from the building's cupola to the depicted location in the 1960s.


Selected biography

Matthew Calbraith Perry (April 10, 1794 – March 4, 1858) was a Commodore of the U.S. Navy and commanded a number of ships. He served in several wars, most notably in the Mexican–American War and the War of 1812. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854 and is often associated with the Open Door Policy. Perry was very concerned with the education of naval officers and helped develop an apprentice system that helped establish the curriculum at the United States Naval Academy. With the advent of the steam engine, he became a leading advocate of modernizing the U.S. Navy and came to be considered The Father of the Steam Navy in the US.

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Briarcliff Manor Fire Department engine

Selected anniversaries

Briarcliff International Road Race.jpg

  • April 1906 (1906-04): Governor General of Canada Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey and US Representative and farm architect Edward Burnett toured Briarcliff Farms as guests of Walter W. Law; the two had driven up from New York City; Briarcliff Outlook described that the two "expressed hearty approval of Briarcliff ways".
  • April 24, 1908 (1908-04-24): Briarcliff Manor sponsors The First American International Road Race (pictured); the event centered around the village, and more than 300,000 people watch the race; the village has more than 100,000 visitors that day.
  • April 28, 1913 (1913-04-28): The "great barn fire" happens at Dalmeny Road, next-door to the Briarcliff Fire Company headquarters.
  • April 22, 1931 (1931-04-22): Siamese King Prajadhipok and Queen Rambai Barni travel from Bangkok to Reid Hall, arriving at noon at the Scarborough station to journalists, spectators, video and still photographers, and the couple's hosts.
  • April 1977 (1977-04): Briarcliff College is sold to Pace University for $5.2 million ($21 million today) after the college entered bankruptcy.
  • April 26–27, 2002: Briarcliff's Centennial Committee organizes the Centennial Variety Show at the Briarcliff High School auditorium in a sold-out two-night run, for the village's 2002 centennial celebration.

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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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