First things first: no lives were lost and no one was injured, thank goodness, but in every other respect, the news today from Wildcliff Manor is terrible. This historic structure adjacent to Hudson Park was destroyed by fire, a devastating end for an exceptional building beloved by many generations of New Rochelleans. (Here’s more on Wildcliff from City Historian Barbara Davis.)
I remember petting goats at Wildcliff on elementary school trips as a kid, attending performances as an adult, and working to rehabilitate the building as a Council Member and Mayor. And although a sustainable reuse of Wildcliff proved elusive in recent years, all of us were confident that the Manor would eventually be restored as a community asset. Now this.
I want to express my gratitude to the members of the Fire, Police, Public Works and Parks Departments who have worked (and are still working) through an evening of horrendous conditions to protect and secure the surrounding neighborhood. They have done all they possibly could.
The FD will be investigating the cause of the blaze and examining the structural integrity of the remains, but it seems unlikely that Wildcliff will survive. A sad, sad day.