The hilly, tree-lined streets of this thriving village, which occupies 70 percent of the combined areas of Ossining and Mount Pleasant, are dotted with the mansions of millionaires who came to the village after the turn of the century. Some are still privately owned but many have been subdivided into housing developments.
Briarcliff Manor was the vision of Walter Law, who in 1890 retired from the carpet business and moved to what was then known as Whitson’s Corners. Within a decade he had purchased 5,000 acres in the area and started several businesses, including one which sold American Beauty roses, the “Briarcliff Rose” to upscale establishments in New York City.
The Village of Briarcliff Manor boasts a busy downtown area surrounded by the activity centers of the community including the fire and police station, Village Hall and a newly renovated Law Park next to the town swimming pool and tennis and paddle courts. It is a town that has maintained its small-town, friendly atmosphere while still developing and growing.
The popular restaurants are a welcome resting place for strollers and shoppers in the attractive downtown area. Shoppers can pick up necessities and can also find unusual treasures in the quaint and imaginative shops and galleries that line Pleasantville Road.
Fishing is available at Scarborough Park along the Hudson River. The private Sleepy Hollow County Club offers a nine- and 18-hole golf course. The Trump National Golf Course in Briarcliff was designed by nationally recognized landscape architect, Jim Fazio, and boasts a $1 million waterfall on the course.
The North County Trailway, built on the rail bed of the now extinct Putnam Rail Line, extends for 22.1 miles through Westchester county and passes through Briarcliff.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church was built in 1851 and has narrow lancelet windows created by Bolton Priory, one of America’s first stained glass manufacturers, and is the only complete set of Bolton windows in existence.
At the Sleepy Hollow Country Club, the mansion, Woodlea, reminiscent of the mansions in Newport, R.I. was built in the early 1890’s for the granddaughter of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt and was designed by Stanford White, the renowned architect who designed Madison Square Garden and the Arch in NYC’s Washington Square.
In 2003, Briarcliff Lodge, a long-standing local landmark, burned down. Built in 1902 by Walter Law on the highest point of his estate, the “Lodge” as it was known, was within a few years America’s foremost luxury resort hotel and host to many celebrity guests. The property, which was the site of King’s College, has been purchased by Classic Residence by Hyatt for a continuing care retirement community, scheduled to open in 2009.
The scenic village has a superb school and recreation department and top-notch municipal services with a system of parks and trails designed to take advantage of the area’s stunning natural beauty. It’s well worth a visit.www.briarcliffmanor.org
St. Mary’s Church, Albany Post Rd., Briarcliff Manor
Sleepy Hollow Country Club, Scarborough
Rosemont, Stein and Day, Inc., Scarborough House, Scarborough
Scarborough Presbyterian Church, Albany Post Rd., Scarborough
Scarborough Park, Albany Post Rd., Scarborough - A patch of green just off Route 9 in Briarcliff Manor that borders the Hudson and offers gorgeous river views across to the Palisades. A quiet place to relax, unwind and feed the geese.
North County Trailway, Briarcliff Manor - The North County Trailway is a paved pathway located primarily on right of way lands of the former Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad. The trail is noted for its lack of steep grades and arrowlike geometry. There are emergency call boxes and in the summer Westchester County has rangers on bikes patroling. There are historic markers at all the old station stops as the trail landscape changes from dense woodland to urban built up areas.