3. Bennett College

Bennett School for Girls buildings
Halcyon Hall was demolished in 2022.

Bennett College was a women’s college in Millbrook, a small town in Dutchess County. The college opened in 1890 in Irvington, Westchester as the Bennett School for Girls, a high school with two extra years. The school moved to Millbrook in 1907, taking over Halcyon Hall, which was built in the Queen Anne style as a luxury hotel. By the time the school relocated, there were 120 students. Shortly after the move, it was converted into a junior college with a two-year curriculum with majors ranging from fashion and interior design to child development to equine studies. The school even had a full-time teaching nursery school as well as a riding stable.

In addition to Halcyon Hall, the college included the Kettering Science Center, an outdoor theater, a chapel, and dormitories. Alumni included artist Ray Eames, socialite Betsy Bloomingdale, and actress Mildred Natwick. With the growth of the education movement, the school struggled to survive, and it became co-ed in the early 1970s. The college attempted to merge with Briarcliff College nearby, though the merge failed and Bennett College shut its doors in 1978. Halcyon Hall, which remained abandoned for decades, was demolished in 2022.