Saturday, February 10, 2007


If you have never visited New York's Hudson Valley, it is well worth a trip. Chock full of rich and vibrant history, you can make a long weekend trip to traverse the Hudson from Sleepy Hollow to Olana and all in between.

Sadly, the house that started the mansion craze is in ruins. Wyndclyffe or sometimes spelled Wyndcliffe, in the storybook hamlet of Rhinecliff, NY, sits nearby Wilderstein on the Hudson, built by Edith Schermerhorn Jones, an Astor relation. She built Wyndclyffe and the rest of the Gilded Age Mansions of the Hudson River, such as the Vanderbilts and the Livingstons copy catted Wyndclyffe to not be outdone. Rich and majestic, looming with secrets of the past, the now large ruins of Wyndclyffe were to be restored by its supposed new owner in 2003.

The mansion, once boasting 80 acres of splendor on the Hudson, was reduced to an overgrown 2 acres, surrounded by mostly 1970's styled homes with neighbors who prefer that it be razed and erased. It was for sale for about $250K in 2002. What I never understood was the complete lack of interest in those with the means to save it; had no one any appreciation for the complex beauty that lied within its falling walls? Its sale prompted talk about its purchase so that it could be destroyed completely once and for all. Revolting.

For those interested in Wyndclyffe, the following links are of interest. Not much information is available on this most important relic of New York's Historic Hudson Valley.


Michael said...

Thanks for the link to my site!


Gucci Muse said...

Michael: Oh, you are welcome!

Brionity said...

So strange was about to write an entry for my blog and saw this. I am sort of obsessed with this house as well as a couple other decaying buildings.

Do you know of any other actions since 2003?

Gucci Muse said...


Yes, I know what you mean. I was obssessed for months, calling and emailing everyone I could get a name who may help, none had any interest. I was going to purchase it myself, but I did not have the money to restore it-just wanted to save it. When I visited Newport, RI, I was driving them crazy about trying to save it because without this house, there probably would not be a Newport.

Anyway, one of the local historian group persons told me the person who purchased it was going to restore it-but that was the last I heard. I was going to go there again to see if I could peek through the trees to see what was up.

Its so sad-it was nestled in this overgrown "forest" of trees, with the most unattractive 1970's styled homes so close it it, like on its main lawn.

The group at Wilderstein, the house next door, was not interested at all, but they were pretty friendly and probably would respond to an email about the status of the house.

MvR Photography said...

My understanding is that the trees have been cleared from around the house, but nothing has been done to the building sinc the intial flurry of work in 2003/2004.

Gucci Muse said...

MVR- thanks for the update-I do wish they would do something to save it-it is so sad to me that it sits there and rots.

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