Monday, August 17, 2009

KYKUIT - The House & Gardens of the Rockefeller Family

A day at Sleepy Hollow, Kykuit ….

For years I wanted to visit Kykuit, but not until today this trip became real, and thanks to Jen who was my driver!
Kykuit, a Dutch word for “lookout”, no question it is one of America’s treasures. This hilltop paradise was private residence to four generations of the Rockefeller family and, currently, it is still a residence to some of the Rockefellers. Thanks to Nelson Rockefeller (1908 - 1979) who left 1/3 of the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and now Kykuit is open to the public for tours.
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I have seen quite a few big and small, formal and informal gardens in England and France, but never toured a formal garden in America. Kykuit was simply amazing, its architecture, garden, art, history, and spectacular scenery, and it is only a little less than an hour by car or train from NYC.
The stone mansion was completed in 1908, and it involved with various architects and designers. Chester Holmes Aldrich and William Adams Delano started the project, and later redesigned by Ogden Codman, Jr, and landscape architect, William Welles Bosworth.
Click image to enlarge
The only way to see Kykuit is with tour guide. 2 ½ hours to see the stone mansion and garden was quite intense, and no picture allowed in the mansion. The rooms in the mansion were actually comfortable. Ops! I managed to snap a picture of the drawing room when the tour guide was not paying attention!
Rockefeller collected many fine Chinese porcelains and modern arts; many pieces of Picasso could be seen at the lower gallery. Many classic and contemporary sculptures are placed throughout the gardens, creating an outdoor gallery. The gardens are beautiful maintained and the views of the Hudson are magnificent.
I am planning to visit Kykuit again for the foliage later this year!

For more information on Kykuit
go to

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