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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northgate edward j. cornish estate

Northgate, the Edward J. Cornish Estate, Cold Spring

In 1917, Edward Joel Cornish, then president of the National Lead Company, and his wife, Selina, acquired 650 acres from a diamond merchant named Sigmund Stern. What is known is that the mansion, garage, swimming pool, gardens, and other outbuildings existed at the time of purchase by Cornish. Who designed them remains a mystery. The couple died within two weeks of each other in 1938 and the estate seems to have lain abandoned more or less since then, although Central Hudson Gas and Electric bought the property in 1963 and toyed with the idea of building a power plant on nearby Breakneck Ridge. But by the end of the 1960s, the ruins of the Cornish estate became part of the newly formed Hudson Highlands State Park and are now a regular stop for hikers.

All that remains of the structures on the estate are their stone walls. According to a local newspaper article, there was a fire in the fall of 1956 that destroyed the interiors of the mansion. Other surviving structures include the swimming pool, the greenhouse, a pump house, and a large stone cattle barn, where Cornish raised prized Jersey cows. 

Yasinsac is thrilled to note that in April 2010, a descendant of Edward Cornish contacted him and sent him photos of the estate in its heyday. “One of the greatest things that has come out this [Hudson Valley Ruins] project is the fact that we hear from people who want to share this information and photos. Northgate was one of the biggest mysteries because nobody had ever seen a picture of what it looked like.” To see the historic photos of Northgate, visit www.hudsonvalleyruins.org.

» Next: Hutton Company Brick Works, Kingston, 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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