Burrell Overlook Mansion

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nick

Gaithersburg, MD

#1 Sep 5, 2006
I'm not from little Falls, so I was wondering if anyone knew anything about the Burrell Overlook mansion, a big historic 18,000 sq. ft. mansion originally built for D.H. Burrell overlooking Little Falls. It used to be an inn, but got closed down in 2002 I think.
City resident

Syracuse, NY

#2 Sep 7, 2006
nick wrote:
I'm not from little Falls, so I was wondering if anyone knew anything about the Burrell Overlook mansion, a big historic 18,000 sq. ft. mansion originally built for D.H. Burrell overlooking Little Falls. It used to be an inn, but got closed down in 2002 I think.
The mansion is currently empty. I have had the chance to go through the building a few times, and I would compare the architecture to Boldt Castle from the St Lawrence River. The building is currently heading towards disrepair and is in extreme need of quick help. It is a shame to see it sitting on the hillside overlooking the city in its current condition. I believe the mansion is currently for sale, however there were rumors of an investor from Texas possibly interested in purchasing it. If you go to the City of Little Falls Website there is a photo overlooking the City that I believe was taken from the mansion. www.littlefallsny.com
Curious Resident

Interlaken, NY

#3 Nov 2, 2006
I'm intrigued by the overlook mansion in Little Falls. I'm interested in more information about the history and stories behind it and the Burrell family. Thanks!
Glazed Overlook

Verona, NY

#4 Nov 2, 2006
Burrell Overlook Mansion in "Richardsonian Romanesque" style, was designed by Archimedes Russell and completed in 1889. It is built of limestone quarried from a hillside site 500 feet above the Mohawk River. No mortar was used in its construction.
The home has 26 rooms and 18,000 square feet of living area. The design included a small self-contained hydroelectric plant, an elevator, an indoor swimming pool and a bowling alley. The home has a commanding view of Little Falls to the south and the countryside beyond.
The building stayed in the family for several years after Burrell's death. In recent years the mansion operated as the Overlook Mansion Inn.
In May of 2002 everything in the mansion was put up for auction. The first 200 items were simultaneously auctioned on site and over the internet through E-Bay. Items liquidated included everything of value in the home: all furniture, kitchen equipment, even the light fixtures (some of which brought more than $2,000 each). What was left of the mansion was donated to charity.
Glazed Overlook

Verona, NY

#5 Nov 2, 2006
A bit about D.H. Burrell....David H. Burrell (1841-1919) made his fortune as an inventor. His father, Harry Burrell (1797-1879), founded a cheese business and at the age of 14 David went to work for the family business. He became a salesman in New York City at age 17. While traveling abroad to study manufacturing methods he became convinced that the future development of the dairy products industry lay in improved equipment.
The D. H. Burrell Co. was founded in 1885 to design, develop, manufacture and distribute dairy apparatus and supplies. Perhaps its best known product was the Burrell Milking Machine.
In 1985, in an official proclamation, President Ronald Reagan declared the year "Oil Heat Centennial Year" because it marked 100 years since the U.S. Patent Office granted "...to David H. Burrell of Little Falls, New York, a patent for the first technically sound oil burner -- a furnace that could burn liquid and gaseous fuels." Burrell's invention made possible the entire oil heat industry as we know it today.
Glazed Overlook

Verona, NY

#6 Nov 2, 2006
I just found the link to the above information along with pictures

http://syracusethenandnow.org/Architects/Russ...
Curious Resident

Interlaken, NY

#7 Nov 11, 2006
Thanx 4 the info. Did David H. Burrell have any kids? If so, what were their names and birthdates?
Curious Resident

Interlaken, NY

#8 Nov 11, 2006
Also, are there any stories about the Burrell kids?
Informant

Dallas, TX

#9 Nov 13, 2006
He had at least two kids that I know about:DH Burrell Jr and Loomis Burrell. Ironic that you ask this question, because their is actually a sole surving granddaughter of DH Burrell Sr who still resides in Little Falls, although in not so great health from what I hear respectively.
Jean

AOL

#10 Dec 8, 2006
Did the Burrell Overlook Mansion sell? Or is it just off the marker for the winter?
Nick

Arlington, VA

#11 Jan 3, 2007
I asked the realter; the mansion is no longer for sale. Apparently the owner got a $1.7 million grant from the city to restore it. (which I think got it from the New York Preservation organization)
chris

Syracuse, NY

#12 Jan 3, 2007
thats awesome! I miss the Overlook
Paul

Schaumburg, IL

#13 Jan 16, 2007
Actually, the grant fell through (selling off all the contents, and then asking for a grant to restore it is, um, rather low).
I get to see the overlook right out my backdoor (I have a house on East Monroe St)... It IS a gorgeous building. The waterfalls that used to power the hydro plant can be heard running, day and night, a good ways downtown.
I looked into purchasing the place in October '06(they wanted about $900K for it), but given the state of disrepair, I could pick up a handful of classic houses downtown, and restore them (i.e. that is my hobby).
Wendy

Pleasanton, CA

#14 Jan 27, 2007
What do you mean the grant fell through? They didn't get the 1.7 million for restoration?
Last fall when I spoke with the website manager he said that the last offer that was entertained was for $600K, and that the financing fell through.(Just from looking at the photos on the web, 900K seems way too high, anyway.)
I wonder if the owners will put it back on the market.
Paul wrote:
Actually, the grant fell through (selling off all the contents, and then asking for a grant to restore it is, um, rather low).
I get to see the overlook right out my backdoor (I have a house on East Monroe St)... It IS a gorgeous building. The waterfalls that used to power the hydro plant can be heard running, day and night, a good ways downtown.
I looked into purchasing the place in October '06(they wanted about $900K for it), but given the state of disrepair, I could pick up a handful of classic houses downtown, and restore them (i.e. that is my hobby).
David

Durhamville, NY

#15 Jan 27, 2007
If that kind of public money goes to this privately owned property does it then become public property? I would love to be able to go to the mansion time and again to check it out. Too bad about the furnishings!

Hey Paul, do you need any help with that hobby? I prefer older buildings myself.
Wendy

Pleasanton, CA

#16 Jan 29, 2007
David wrote:
If that kind of public money goes to this privately owned property does it then become public property?
That's what I was thinking! Why would the city grant the owners $1.7 million when it could just purchase it for $900K instead? Then I'm sure the other $800K would go pretty far towards repairs, wouldn't you think? And how could they qualify for a restoration grant after that big estate sale that helped put the place into a state of disrepair? It's akin to selling off all the lumber on your property and then applying for a reforestation grant.
Informant

United States

#17 Jan 30, 2007
From my understanding, the city just doesn't have that sort of extra money. The grant that was requested was only done through the city along with money for a couple of extra projects, while the the money itself was to come from elsewhere.
John Wright

Albany, NY

#18 Feb 2, 2007
It's just a shame that Carin Mei was able to buy this property and the adjacent caretakers home in the first place. They never seemed to have a long term plan and dedication for its restoration and preservation. Obviously, the fact that he was willing to strip the furnishings for profit is proof of that. They always seemed to me to be more impressed with themselves and the fact that they owned this property than they were in its protection and upkeep. This home and the Burrell family hold a very important place in the history of Little Falls. They gave back much of the wealth that was earned in the city. It would be a total shame to see their homestead fall into a state from which it can not be salvaged. Unfortunately, if much more time passes before something positive happens with the property, it may be too late. Thanks for nothing Mr. Mei.
Dtheshadowman

Ithaca, NY

#19 Feb 5, 2007
I have many pictures of the place. Watch my site for them to pop up when we find time.

http://theshadowman.com
D
Fred the black cat

Syracuse, NY

#20 Feb 10, 2007
I was walking up by the Burrell house in mid Jan and saw a large survey crew up there. I asked them what was up? They said it was sold and they were rushing to get a survey done so it could close. If you go by there you will see orange tape all over the poperty.

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