The Overlook Mansion in Little Falls has had several lives.
In recent years, however, it stood empty until James Tomaso acquired the property and began what is an ongoing restoration.
Original construction began when successful local businessman David H. Burrell hired the architect Archimedes Russell to design him a mansion in the High Victorian style. Local limestone was used. At completion, there were 26 rooms. The Burrell family lived in it for many years. Ultimately it was sold and operated for about a decade as an inn. It then fell into a nine-year period of disuse and neglect, until Tomaso acquired it in 2009.
He was able to get some support from Mayor Robert Peters, his staff and the Urban Renewal staff as he tackled the project.
Work is not yet finished, but progress has been made over the past few years. A new roof has been put on, electrical and plumbing systems have been replaced and, room by room, the interior has been painted, decorated and furnished. The entrance lobby, the main ballroom, five suites and a few other areas are now complete. Outside, damaged stonework was repaired or replaced and the landscaping was upgraded.
Restoration continues, but the work has allowed Tomaso to re-open the mansion as a bed and breakfast inn and to host events, including weddings, anniversaries and other special occasions.
Thanks to his efforts and investment, the Overlook Mansion is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Because of his efforts, Tomaso has received a fall preservation award from Preserve Our Past.