Historic Hudson Valley Castles, Mansions, Ruins, Estates, and Sites 2011

Some of the Hudson Valley’s forgotten cultural treasures lie in disrepair. Two native sons have made it their mission to catalogue the history of these important sites


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wyndclyffe in rhinebeck

Wyndclyffe, Rhinebeck

The great mansions of the Hudson River Valley are remnants from the time of the great merchants and bankers of the 19th century. Then, as now, social status was important; and having a larger, grander residence than your neighbors was paramount. This house was built in 1853 for Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones, a relative by marriage to the wealthy Astor family; it is believed that this is where the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” actually originated.

A later owner was New York City beer baron Andrew Finck. Wyndclyffe, then known as Linden Hall or Finck Castle, supposedly had an underground tap line from the mansion to the tennis courts. The house was a private residence until 1936, and was finally abandoned for good sometime after 1950. Wyndclyffe remained remarkably intact through the 1980s, but the eastern turret collapsed in 1998, and other sections have fallen since. Yet Wyndclyffe is still an imposing sight — from the river, it’s not even readily apparent that it is a ruin. “Unfortunately, it is probably just going to fall down on its own,” says Yasinsac.

» Next: Middlehope Drive-in Theater, Newburgh, NY

Jump to the ruins:
» Wyndclyffe in Rhinebeck, NY
» Middlehope Drive-in Theater, Newburgh, NY
» Fresh Air Home, Tomkins Cove, NY (near Stony Point)
» Northgate, the Edward J. Cornish Estate, Cold Spring, NY
» Hutton Company Brick Works, Kingston, NY


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