What to Know
- Four teens have been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed the Cyrus Lawton House, known as Wildcliff mansion, in New Rochelle
- More than three dozen firefighters were unable to save the mansion after a fire tore through it on Nov. 26
- Three of the teens have been charged with criminal trespass, while one has been charged with criminal trespass and fourth-degree arson
Four teenagers have been arrested in connection with a massive fire that destroyed a historic mansion in New Rochelle last month, police said.
More than three dozen firefighters were unable to save Cyrus Lawton House, known as the Wildcliff mansion, after a fire tore through it on Nov. 26.
On Wednesday, the New Rochelle Police Department said four 13-year-olds were responsible for the blaze.
Three of the teens have been charged with third-degree criminal trespass, and one has been charged with third-degree criminal trespass and fourth-degree arson, according to police.
Built in the 1850s, the mansion was owned by the city and wasn’t occupied when the fire started.
After the fire, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of the mansion he “personally [knew] and loved.”
Wildcliff was designed by architect Alexander Jackson Davis, and the Gothic cottage was gifted to the city of New Rochelle by the Julius Prince family in 1940, the city said. It overlooked the Long Island Sound atop a hill on Woodcliff Road.
An article published in April 2012 on theLoopNY.com, a community website in Westchester, said the 20-room house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, but has since continued to fall into ruin.
The city had been looking to have the storied property leased for use. Officials said the home had "many lives over the years."
"We just put in a new roof and new custom windows in the last 6 to 8 years, so it's been vacant," Suzanne Reider, senior project manager for the city, said last month.
"Hopefully we'll be able to do something but nothing would replicate what was here," she added. "It was a spectacular space."