The definition of HALCYON …calm, peaceful, tranquil !
To my eye this place looks anything but calm, peaceful & tranquil but in it’s heyday the main part of the building was called Halcyon Hall. Now this abandoned and eerie building is all that remains of Bennett College, an exclusive school for girls in Millbrook, NY
When my husband and I and our three children moved to Dutchess County in 1964 this was an ongoing Junior College. Our children attended High School in Millbrook and they would pass this each day on the school bus.
My two boys told me recently about some of their night-time escapades spying on the girls. This was a complete surprise to me but I guess since it happened over 30 years ago they felt they could let me in on the secret now !
Generations of young women from prominent American families attended Bennett over its 90 year history, but it went into bankruptcy in 1978. Halcyon Hall was never reopened and quickly fell into ruin.
When I was in Millbrook in October I took this picture. I was surprised to see that the town has not sold, renovated or razed this structure since it’s demise in 1978. Perhaps it is tied up with legalities or is too expensive to contemplate. I do know that Halcyon Hall has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places but I doubt if it’s salvageable at this point.
Of course a building like this must have a resident ghost or two and, sure enough, I talked to one young man who swore he had seen one. He made me promise not to tell his name since he was trespassing, but, according to him he was wandering the rooms at night and came across a young girl playing the piano. He could even hear the music, he said, but it all faded the closer he got.