The Persistence of Memory

From 1988 to 1992, I attended The King’s College, a small, private college in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Though the school was afflicted with dire financial circumstances, it afforded me a good college experience, and I haven’t ever regretted the decision to attend. Among the chief charms of my college experience was the site of the campus; perched on the rim of the Hudson River Valley, the beautiful site afforded students a combination of beauty and access to culture that’s matched in few places. In 1994, two years after I left, the school’s financial difficulties caught up with it, and it closed. It has subsequently been purchased by Campus Crusade for Christ, and reopened as a non-residential school in the Empire State Building in New York City.

The fate of the old campus has been in question for many years, and this morning by friend Bob Albright sent me a link to this website, which details more of the history of the site than I ever knew as well as the current state of the campus. Curiosity quickly turned to sadness as I saw the state to which the once-beautiful property had been reduced. A magnificent fireplace in front of which I spent many hours has been ripped out. The grand staircase is sorely damaged. The gym floor is warped from water damage. Most unsettling of all was the fact that the music building, where I spent much of my life for those four years, has now been demolished altogether. (In this photo you can see the 2nd story windows I’d climb out of and wait outside for my music theory class to start, when I’d startle Bill Clemmons, my professor, by entering that way instead of through the door.) Amazing and sad to think how quickly such a place can be reduced to ruins.

Thanks to Rob Yasinsac for his documentary efforts, and for the rather lamentable trip down memory lane.