Scenic USA - New York

Wilderstein Historic Site

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Wilderstein Historic Site - Rhinebeck, New York

Photo by Rolf Muller
CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

     During the late 19th century, American aristocracy and socialites recognized the beauty of the Hudson River Valley and many of America's elite were drawn to the area. When considering building their residences along the river, they looked to employ only the finest craftsmen and designers to create new homes. The river, named for the first European explorer Henry Hudson and a major waterway in eastern New York State, became known as millionaires row.
     The Wilderstein Historic Site, originally built in 1852, followed an Italianate villa style. The original two-story villa was built by Thomas H. Suckley, designed by John Warren Ritch, and named The Cedars. The Suckley history shows the home was transformed during the 1880s into a stunning Queen Anne style. The circular tower, the mansion's most impressive feature, soars five stories high. Joseph Burr Tiffany, cousin of famous Louis Tiffany, was responsible for the interior changes and Calvert Vaux was responsible for transforming the 40 acre site following an American Romantic Landscape theme.
     Dedicated volunteers worked miracles during the late 1990s, reviving this National Historic Landmark and returning it to its former grandeur just in time for its 150 year anniversary. Afternoon mansion tours are conducted Thursday through Sunday from May to October.

     Area Map

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