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Historic Briarcliff Lodge Gates Find New Home

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Village officials and representatives from The Club at Briarcliff Manor joined together to celebrate the installation of the iron gates that once graced the entrance to The Briarcliff Lodge.

The Briarcliff Lodge, the famed grand resort hotel of the early 20th century which played host to Hollywood stars, political leaders and sports greats, is long gone from Briarcliff Manor. But a bit of its storied history has come home thanks to The Club at Briarcliff Manor, the new senior living community under development on the site of the former Briarcliff Lodge.

The black iron gates that once graced the entrance to the Briarcliff Lodge have been restored to their original splendor by The Club at Briarcliff Manor and installed at The Club’s entrance on Scarborough Road.

The two ornately designed gates, which stand over 8 feet high and 16 feet wide, were salvaged by the village after a major fire destroyed the main buildings on the site in 2003. At the time, the property was abandoned and had been the campus of the King’s College. For the past seven years the iron gates have been stored at the Village of Briarcliff Manor DPW facility on Pleasantville Road.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to restore and return these historic gates to their original home at the site of the former Briarcliff Lodge,” said Matthew Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Development Group, which is developing The Club at Briarcliff Manor in partnership with the National Electrical Benefit Fund, a Washington D.C.-based pension fund with over $10 billion in assets.  “There is a glorious past to this beautiful property and The Club is proud to keep that history alive. We would like to thank the Village and acknowledge Mayor Bill Vescio and Village Manager Phil Zegarelli for graciously allowing these special gates to be returned to the property,” Mr. Phillips added.

“We are sincerely grateful to The Club at Briarcliff Manor for preserving this priceless piece of our Village history. The Briarcliff Lodge played an important role in the development of our community.  Now the development of The Club at Briarcliff Manor heralds a new era of gracious living on this historic property,” said Briarcliff Manor Village Mayor William Vescio.

The restoration work of the iron gates was handled by Westchester Fences & Iron Works of Port Chester. The gates were originally manufactured by J.W. Fiske & Company of New York City, which was the most prominent American manufacturer of decorative cast iron and cast zinc in the second half of the 19th century.

The Club at Briarcliff Manor is committed to preserving the history of this important site. Anyone with memorabilia or historical artifacts related to the former Briarcliff Lodge or King’s College is encouraged to contact The Club at (914) 923-4050.

The Briarcliff Lodge, which opened in 1902 on a site that was once a dairy farm, became a destination for New York City’s elite who would spend their summers there. Billed as the “St. Mortiz of America,” the Briarcliff Lodge played host in the 1920s and 1930s to the rich and famous including Hollywood stars Sarah Bernhardt and Tallulah Bankhead; sports greats Babe Ruth, Bill Tilden and Gene Sarazen; and well-known political figures including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker. Johnny Weissmuller, aka Tarzan, was a frequent guest at the Lodge and trained with the US Olympic team for the 1928 Games by swimming laps in the manmade lake that is still on the property and was once advertised as the largest outdoor swimming pool in the world. The grounds of the 59-acre property were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the famed landscape architect of Central Park.

The Briarcliff Lodge went into decline during the Great Depression and was acquired in 1937 by a women’s junior college. The school closed in 1954 and the property became the campus of the King’s College, which operated there until moving in 1995. The property sat abandoned for eight years and on September 20, 2003, a fire broke out on the property destroying the remaining buildings. Five years later, IDG received final approval for plans to develop the property as The Club at Briarcliff Manor, a $350 million fee-for-service continuing care retirement community.

The preservation of the historic iron gates from the Briarcliff Lodge continues a tradition for IDG which is currently restoring a Beaux Arts building in Chicago into a $150 million senior living community called 850 Lake Shore Drive. The building, which was saved from demolition by IDG, was originally the Lake Shore Athletic Club. As part of the interior renovation, IDG is restoring a 7-foot antique silver chandelier that once graced the dining room of the club.  The stunning giant light fixture will be reinstalled in the dining room of 850 Lake Shore Drive.

The Club at Briarcliff Manor will feature 325 spacious townhomes, villas and apartments with best-in-class services and amenities. The Club will feature two residential “villages,” each offering distinct homes and floor plans that support an active lifestyle. The Upper Village features Tudor-style buildings with 288 one-, two- or three-bedroom apartment residences, many of which will offer spectacular views of the Hudson River and New York City skyline. The Lower Village will consist of 24 townhomes and 13 free-standing villa homes with first-floor master suites, fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, optional elevators and attached two-car garages. The townhomes and villas will be nestled along The Club’s extensive walking trails and scenic pond.

The Club will have a 43,000-square-foot Clubhouse with restaurants and lounges, a concierge, library, multi-media business center with wireless Internet, and surround sound theatre. Residents of The Club can relax in the Salon and Spa or work out in the state-of-the-art Fitness Center and Aquatic Center with heated saltwater indoor pool and whirlpool. Amenities will include weekly housekeeping, flat linen service, valet parking, flexible meal plan, utilities, interior and exterior maintenance and scheduled transportation to area shopping, appointments and events. Should the need arise, the Supportive Living Center will offer assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing. Entrance fees for residences, which are 90% refundable, will begin at $599,900. Monthly fees for amenities and services are projected to begin at $3,190. The Club is scheduled to open in 2013.

The Club at Briarcliff Manor recently opened its new Information and Design Center. Located at 25 Scarborough Road, the center features three elegantly designed model residences decorated by some of the area’s foremost interior designers.
For more information about The Club at Briarcliff Manor, call (914) 923-4050 or visit

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