This makes me sick :(

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Don M
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Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by Don M »

I remember this house when it was on the boards several years ago. I was hoping the fellow who posted it would buy it & return it to it's former grandure but I thought then that it would take big bucks to bring it back. There is a big mansion in Carlisle, PA called Thornwald which was gutted by fire last summer. It was arson and it had been unoccupied for ten years; there is interest in restoring it but I imagine it will eventually be torn down. The Little Falls Mansion is fortunate this hasn't happened to it; maybe because it is off the beaten path. Good Luck in school Nick'd.
1840 Limestone Farmhouse

Mark Leskovec
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:14 pm

Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by Mark Leskovec »


First off, I'm really glad to hear that someone my age is also interested in architecture and preservation of important properties that many people take for granted.

Places like Overlook are the only castles America has, and we are losing them left and right due to foolish and greedy people who only care about self gain. But enough on that.

I have been researching and photographing Burrell's mansion since the Bed and Breakfast it housed closed in 2002 and it frustrates me to no end that it is deteriorating so rapidly and so severely.

I am an architecture student at RPI in Troy, and I have decided that "enough is enough" I am going to do something to save Overlook, no matter how much work it involves. I'm not sure yet where to start, but I have begun rallying resources and asking my professors, etc, because i think that would be the best place to start.

If you are at all interested in helping me or sharing suggestions, please contact me.

facebook : Mark Leskovec

My grandparents live in Little Falls and only visit them a few times per year so I have not been to the mansion or the grounds recently. If you have any recent photographs that I could use for the preservation proposals, it would be great if you could attach them to an email.

Otherwise, best luck in school.


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Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by Jen »

Nick, it's so nice to hear that the "next generation" is taking an interest in historic preservation! I had always hoped that my oldest son would take an interest in old homes and preservation, but that hasn't happened. So I'm trying a little harder with my younger ones!

Anyway, the pictures broke my heart. The only thing I have to say on the flip side is that I know how hard it has been, financially as well as time-wise, to get even a small bit done on my 13-room 3000 sq. ft. house, so renovation of a house that size to me is just mind-boggling. But the fact that nothing whatsoever is being done is just atrocious.

I would find it hard to believe that there would be no help available out there to restore this home! Local government,historical societies, the National Trust. . . there would have to be some historical interest in the house.
"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
- William Morris

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Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by mgb1234 »

Sold on 5/15/09 for $50,001.00 on the courthouse steps.
1915 Dormitory

1880 Stick Victorian
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Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by 1880 Stick Victorian »

I just found this on the WKTV site about the house....

* Overlook Mansion sells for $50,001 on auction block

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - One man's loss is another man's gain. That's the case for a Little Falls man who just purchased the city's largest house after it went into foreclosure.

"Any other bidders on this property for a thousand dollars?" asked the auctioneer earlier in the week.

On a rainy morning in Herkimer, half a dozen bidders weighed their options on whether to buy one of Little Falls most famous landmarks - the Overlook Mansion.

"When I went to see it about a month and a half ago, it was a very, very sad site very sad site," said Carin Mei.

Mei owned the mansion for about 10 years before she sold it two years ago. In its hey day, it was a bed and breakfast and a restaurant. But since she sold it, Mei says the place has fallen into deep disrepair.

"I felt partially responsible, because you think 'well, if I would have sold it to somebody else, this would not have happened' or 'should I have kept it open even though business was not as it should have been'," pondered Mei.

The mansion will easily cost millions to repair. But for local preservation enthusiasts, it's worth it.

"It's an important enough house to warrant that kind of an investment," said James Tomaso, the proud new owner of the mansion.

"This is a life-long goal of mine and I've been working at it for 5-6 years," Tomaso said. "So, it's all come to a head and I'm pretty excited."

Excited, and just slightly overwhelmed.

"The long term goal right now is to get it fixed up," Tomaso said. "And it's not an easy task it's a huge task."
Theo. & Alice Fries House
Lyons, New York - 1880

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Location: Ontario

Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by HouseNut »

This is something that hubby and I have been talking about a lot lately.

It seems there's this bias against anything "old" today, whether it be a house, a car or even a person. When something gets old the automatic reaction is 'get rid of it'. If it's a house you tear it down and build something new and modern, a car goes off to the junkyard and people, well, they end up forgotten about in old age homes.

Yes I'm feeling cynical so I'm going to go rant about something else. lol
1820's Urban Farmhouse in Eastern Ontario
(The picture is the "before" picture... before the PO's bought it and destroyed it. We're still trying to get it back to that.)

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Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by angolito »

how do we contact mr. tomaso and thank him for saving this home? he is going to preserve her, yes? we should all send him notes of thanks for stepping in to save her.

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Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by jtjgvle »

Excellent news that someone preservation minded has bough tit! I remember this house was mentioned here at the time the fixtures were being auctioned.

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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by grandchild »

Hi Nick...
I am so very sad to see what has happened to the Burrell Overlook Mansion.
My grandmother lived at 17 Diamond St and was a maid at the mansion. She was a single mother, to my father, and worked for many years for the Burrells. She worked at the mansion and also at their summer home in Salisbury, where I too worked when I was 10 yrs old. I took care of the young grandchildren of the Burrell family.

About 10 years ago, I think, I was in Little Falls doing some research on my family. Burrell Overlook Mansion had been turned into a bed and breakfast. I decided to stay there one night while in town. It was quite an experience to stay where my grandmother had once cleaned the silver and made the beds.

Another memory I have from when we lived briefly with my grandmother was exploring the woods that led up to the mansion. The caves were especially mysterious to our imaginations.

I have many good memories of Little Falls, including going into town to the park where musicians would play in the summertime. When I see movies that have scenes like that I know exactly what the feeling is all about.

Tho I am extremely sad to see what has happened to the mansion, I'm glad I found this site and read your thoughts about this magnificent building. I will look at the picture I took of the mansion when I was there and hopefully will block out the sites of what it looks like now. How can people let such an amazing building deteriorate like this? What a shame!


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Re: This makes me sick :(

Post by jharkin »


Kudos to your on your passion. When I was your age (not that long ago) I knew nothing about old houses....

Best of luck to you at whichever of those fine institutions you choose. However as an RPI alum I'd be remiss not to recommend you give the institute strong consideration. In addition to the great academics you will find a lot of great late 19th and turn of the century architecture on campus to explore.

As a frosh you will have to suffer through life in the 60s concrete housing on the east end of campus. Later on if you stay on campus you should definitely put in to to move into the quad. Those dorms were all build in the teens after the original campus burned down - brick construction, copper roofs, marble entryways with wrought iron and wonderful old woodwork inside. Many of the older academic buildings are the same - some are even more interesting like West Hall which used to be a hospital in the late 1800s, the computer center in a converted church (almost a small cathedral) and the alumni sports complex built in a converted 20s Armory. you wont ever get bored...


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