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Named after a small town where feniks spent her childhood the sim Briarcliff was brought online sometime in August 2004, under the ownership of feniks Stone and Taylor Thompson. Running out of things to do with another other project, Venice, the two set out to recreate the spirit and community feeling that was strongly present during Second Life's Beta period.
One of the first things built was also perhaps a sign of the creative and friendly atmosphere to come, a telehub inside a bathroom stall. Soon thereafter a small town was built on the island and residents were also allowed a certain freedom in building and experimenting on Briarcliff Manor as well.
Residents started stopping by Briarcliff Manor and hanging around, eventually moving into the sim and setting up shops in the small town. The welcoming feeling on the island brought in friends and the town started growing. The town stood with short one and two story buildings positioned next to each other in an orderly fashion and in an oddly shaped backwards L like pattern around a small pond on the southern end of the island. It was presented in a well laid out fashion that gave a very realistic and warming small town feel.
The town became home to shops of many varieties from avatars to scripts. It was also often used as a gathering place and the frequent setting for fun events, helping in part to build on the sociable aspects of Briarcliff Manor.
All of the residents of Briarcliff would most likely agree that the biggest feature of the island was its community. The community was made up of many talented residents who flourished in different creative endeavors and boosted the local moral of Briarcliff Manor. Closeness in fellowship and comradeship grew through the island, creating connections that may otherwise not have existed.
The residents, town, and Briarcliff Manor itself continued on in well form until sadly on 02-23-2005 feniks and Taylor announced that Briarcliff would be not around much longer. The residents of Briarcliff were devastated, but understanding, and on the 25th a going away bash was held, a great and fun time were had by all with fireworks and music to help the celebration of what Briarcliff meant to them all.
The community and friendships are still around even if the island itself is not. The bonds that developed are hard to be broken and continue to strive on.
In large part the original goal of feniks and Taylor was met in excellent form.
Special thanks to feniks Stone for helping with this. :)
[http://forums.secondlife.com/showthread.php?t=36753 Forum Link: "The Gates" appear in Briarcliff]