Especially given today’s date, here are some local notes, for whatever they’re worth:
The St. Joseph’s complex stands on the site of the Palisades Mountain House, a grand Victorian resort that burned – spectacularly – in the early morning hours of June 4, 1884 (here’s an article about the fire
Thereafter, William O. Allison, the resort’s principal owner and, later, the first mayor of Englewood Cliffs (and a founding member of the Historical Society), built his estate on the grounds. On November 7, 1903 his manor house also burned to the ground. (Allison Park
, just south of the Sisters, is named for him, and a couple of the estate’s stone outbuildings still stand, one in the park and another on the Sisters’ property.)
Among their activities, the Sisters operated an orphanage on the grounds, St. Joseph’s Home for Boys. On April Fool’s Day 1953 (you saw this one coming, didn’t you?) it burned; the orphanage was moved to Rockleigh.
I’ve read somewhere that the Novitiate building was constructed with fireproof materials…