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Report - Old Rumsey Hall, Cornwall, CT - December 2009

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by arntzville, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. arntzville

    arntzville Guest

    I've wanted to get into this place since I was a kid. When I was about 13 my friends and I started doing 30, 40, 50+ mile bike rides to the surrounding towns in our corner of Connecticut, and this building absolutely transfixed me as soon as I saw it. It was built in 1848 as The Alger Institute, a private boys' school, and was occupied from 1901 to 1949 by the Rumsey Hall School, which then moved to nearby Washington, CT.


    Baseball team, 1921

    1930's postcard currently for sale on eBay that I can't quite bring myself to pay $6.50 for

    It has apparently been vacant since the late 1960's, slowly deteriorating into the unsalvageable mess that it is today. It's right in the middle of Cornwall village, on the campus of the former Marvelwood School, though it doesn't seem that Marvelwood (which closed in the mid-1990s's) ever actually used it.

    In 1989, a tornado ripped through this corner of Connecticut, destroying the nearby Cathedral Pines, the finest stand of 200' white pine in the country, as well as many buildings. Old Rumsey Hall had its roof mostly ripped off, and sat that way for a number of years. This was also when a number of the columns on the front of the building were blown down and subsequently stored inside (see photo 5). A private investor bought the property in 1996 and installed a tarp covering the ruined roof, but said tarp has since failed, allowing part of the roof to completely collapse into the building. All in all, the present state of the building is an atrocious tragedy; the town of Cornwall will regret not taking stronger measures to save it from demolition.

    Here are a few exteriors; these are mostly 2-3 years old.





    With houses right across the street and next door, and the only easy way in being blatant, it took until today, with demolition finally imminent, for me to just go ahead and do it. It was a gray, drizzly day, and I figured the local denizens wouldn't be looking out their windows; I figured I would be safe from what a British friend of mine calls "the twitchy curtain brigade."

    Here's an interior shot I took through said window last Thanksgiving (2008)


    And here are the results of me finally growing some balls as a result of this news story; a demolition permit has now been applied for:

    6. From just inside the front door


    8. Moss

    9. Will they save this fireplace when demo occurs?

    10. These doors were laid down to bridge areas of the floor that had failed. I didn't try to cross them.

    11. Much of the building looked like a mid-demolition project.

    12. Here is where the roof has been allowed to completely fail; photo 6 is taken from one story below.

    13. Here is a shelf of TP, old Coke bottle, and other stuff


    15. Probably my favorite photo I got today
    #1 arntzville, Dec 28, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2009

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