by Barrett Seaman
In the wee hours of December 14, 2014, random individuals—a woman in Dobbs Ferry having trouble sleeping, a state trooper across the Hudson—reported seeing flames shooting skyward on the hilltop straddling the border between Irvington and Dobbs Ferry. A fire that started in a dumpster abutting the kitchen of the Ardsley Country Club (The Hudson Independent, January 2015) eventually gutted a third of the building, Though no one was hurt in the fire, clubhouse activities were shut down for more than two-and-a-half years.
Over this past Labor Day weekend, following insurance investigations, negotiations with architects and builders, Planning Board approval by the Village of Irvington and frequent updates by the club’s board to a longsuffering membership deprived of facilities ostensibly covered by their dues, the club opened its doors with an all-members cocktail party and buffet dinner—back in business at last.
Serendipitously blessed with insurance coverage expanded less than a year before the fire, the club was able to use the catastrophe to upgrade the facility significantly with a relatively modest financial burden on members. An elevator has been installed, bringing the clubhouse into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. What had been a large, canopied outdoor porch has been expanded and enclosed for year-round use as a venue for weddings or charity events. A new chef has a state-of-the-art kitchen from which to serve diners in three indoor and outdoor dining areas—each with views out over the Hudson.