Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Holladay Chapel (Old Chapel)

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Institution Name: Manhattanville College
Original/Historic Place Name: Holladay Family Chapel
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1860soriginal construction Unknown
2005restoration Lin, Maya Todd, Nancy Todd, John
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: stone
Roof: slate (original, no longer extant)
ca. 1860chapel (private family chapel)
ca. 2005other ("stabilized" ruin)

Significance: architecture, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

This is the oldest of one of only three family chapels in Westchester County, New York. It was built for the devoutly Catholic wife of Ben Holladay, who operated the Pony Express and the Overland Express Stage Coach company. Ann Holladay and three children were originally buried under the chapel, but their remains were relocated in 1919.

The Holladays were a colorful local family with ties to the West. Buffalo grazed on the grounds of Ophir Farm, and trees and shrubs from the West were imported and grown there. Holladay lost his fortune in a stock market crash in 1873; his wife died the same day.

Currently (2005) the chapel is a "stabilized" ruin. The college has hired a structural engineering firm and determined the building to be sound, although in need of renovation. The renowned architect Maya Lin has created plans and is currently overseeing the process. The Harrison Town Board granted all approvals and permits necessary to do so on January 13, 2005. In addition, within the chapel and surrounding area a "Living Machine" will be created, an organic system using all natural, micro and aquatic organisms to purify water flowing through a nearby stream (nicknamed Holladay Stream). John and Nancy Todd of Ocean Arks International developed the concept, and their company will oversee its implementation.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Gold, Anne. Ophir Farm and Manhattanville College. Purchase, NY: Manhattanville College, 2005.

Lucia, Ellis. The Saga of Ben Holladay, Giant of the Old West. New York: Hasting House Publishers, 1959.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections
Other: Director of Community Relations

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Last update: November 2006