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Archive for hudson river

An Exceptional Sense of Place

By Linda Tancs

Frederic Church, a major Hudson River School painter, had talents beyond the brush. A self-taught architect and landscape designer, he indulged his influences from world travels in the design and construction of a Victorian villa with Middle Eastern accents and named it Olana after a fortress-treasure house in ancient Greater Persia. Its 250-acre naturalistic landscape is one of Church’s great works of art and is one of the most intact artist-designed landscapes in the United States. Because it was created in the area of the birthplace of the Hudson River School arts movement, it possesses an exceptional sense of place—not to mention enviable views of the Hudson River valley. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Olana’s opening to the public, which includes the seasonal, popular guided house tour and year-round, self-guided landscape tours.

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Paulding’s Folly

By Linda Tancs

New York City mayor William Paulding constructed a Gothic Revival mansion in the 1800s overlooking the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York. Unusual in the post-Colonial era, it sported fanciful turrets and an asymmetrical design that earned it the moniker “Paulding’s Folly.” Its second owner, merchant George Merritt, doubled down you might say by adding to the fanciful Gothic structure and naming it Lyndenhurst after the abundance of Linden trees on the property. Railroad tycoon Jay Gould was the third owner of the estate who, like other wealthy patrons of his day commissioning the construction of mansions along the bluffs of the river from New York City to Albany, used the property as a country retreat. Known today as Lyndhurst, the art, furnishings and antiques remain intact and reflect the character of its three owners, and its grounds survive as an outstanding example of 19th century landscape design.

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