An American icon of architecture and landscape.
The mansion and its contents are largely as its last residents left it, a fabulous repository of gilded-age Americana.
Lyndhurst, 635 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591, 914-631-4481. This Gothic Revival mansion was originally designed in 1838 by American architect Alexander Jackson Davis for former New York City mayor William Paulding, Jr. Paulding named his country villa “Knoll.” In 1864 Davis doubled the size of the house for its second owner, George Merritt, who renamed it “Lyndenhurst” after the Linden trees growing on the property. In 1880 railroad baron Jay Gould purchased the estate, maintaining it as his summer home and country retreat until his death in 1892. The mansion and what is now a 67-acre estate remained in the Gould family until 1961 (it once exceeded 500 acres). The house and grounds are now a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The grounds and outbuildings are a fine example of 19th century landscape design. Much of the layout was accomplished by Ferdinand Mangold, whose tenure spanned both Merritt and Gould ownership of the property. Both Mangold and Merritt are buried nearby in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Paulding is in the adjacent churchyard of the Old Dutch Church. Jay Gould is further away in a private mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery.
Fans of the 1960s television series Dark Shadows may recall that Lyndhurst in served as the Collinwood estate in the feature-length films House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971). Sleepy Hollow Cemetery’s receiving vault made a cameo in House of Dark Shadows as the Collins family mausoleum.
The grounds are host to annual craft fairs and other special events. Mansion tours, Thursday through Monday, 10 am to 4 pm: see www.lyndhurst.org for current ticket prices and tour times. Other rates apply for special events.
Parking: on site.