Millbrook School | Elyse Harney Real Estate
Elyse Harney Real Estate

Millbrook School

 Millbrook School is a private, coeducational preparatory school located in Dutchess County, New York.  It is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees, and is accredited by the New York State Association of independent schools and the Board of Regents of the State University of New York. Institutional memberships include the Cum Laude Society, the Secondary School Admission Test Board, the National Association of Independent Schools, the New York State Association of Independent Schools, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and A Better Chance. As of 2009, the school’s endowment stood at approximately $20 million; relatively modest in comparison to other private schools in the region.

Millbrook School was founded in 1931 by Edward Pulling. Pulling was a graduate of both Princeton University and Cambridge University, and he taught at both Groton School and Avon Farms, as well as private schools in the United Kingdom. While at Avon, Pulling began to think of creating his own school. His philosophy for a school was heavily influenced by the traditional setting he experienced at Groton and in the UK as well as the progressive ideology that Avon possessed. After searching for suitable grounds to house the school — including an offer from then Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt to build in Hyde park, NY,  Pulling and his wife decided on the Stephenson farm just 5 miles (8 km) outside Millbrook, NY.

After the purchase of the property Pulling drafted his first board of trustees, which included Endicott Peabody Sr., who was headmaster at Groton, and Henry Harkness Flagler, who became the first President of the Board of Trustees. With the generous support of the Flagler family and Pulling’s father-in-law Russell Leffingwell,  the campus increased from the original farm buildings to include a vast majority of the current campus infrastructure.

The Millbrook School campus is situated on 634 acres of woods, streams and farmland. The surrounding area is all farmland that is now protected from development, preserving the area’s natural beauty. The campus proper is situated around West Quadrangle, which is the main academic quad. It is organized much like a New England green with the Flagler Memorial Chapel at the head. Schoolhouse, which is the main academic building and holds the Harkness Library, is the other main building on the west quad. Pulling Quad is the other major quad which is surrounded by the Prum Hall as well as the headmaster’s residence and “The Barn” both of which are holdovers from the original farm. The newest quad is commanded by the brand new Holbrook Arts Center completed in 2001. Much of the campus has been renovated since the early 90’s including a new 80,000 square foot (7,000 m²) Mills Athletic Center completed in 1997.

The campus, which sits atop a small hill, looks down onto the playing fields and most of the school property that extends south. On Ski Hill, which is at the southern end of the property, is a forest canopy walkway for biology research and below is a wetlands preserve where regular and advanced biology classes go “marsh-mucking” every fall and spring.