Halloween weekend was the perfect time to visit Kykuit in Tarrytown, NY. This stunning estate was home to four generations of Rockefellers and was lived in by John D., Jr. and Nelson Rockefeller. Perched on the top of a meticulously landscaped hilltop, this home has sweeping views of the Hudson River and palisades. With an art collection full of Picasso, Calder and Matisse, this estate is full of wonderful surprises. The visitor’s center for this historic home is in Sleepy Hollow, and is an easy 45 minute drive north of New York City.
I do want to mention that Kykuit is part of the national trust as well as the Historic Hudson Valley organization. You can find more information at: www.preservationnation.org as well as www.hudsonvalley.org
William Welles Bosworth is the Architect responsible for the landscape design around the estate. Landscapes like this are few and far between in the U.S. John D. Rockefeller spent as much on the landscaping as he did on the actual house, and it shows. Bosworth worked under Frederick Law Olmsted (think Central Park) and many feel that the entrance garden of Kykuit is some of his best work in the country.
The gardens are divided into many outdoor rooms and there are plenty of walls, hedges and paths that guide you through the landscape. Bosworth studied in Paris, and the garden feels like a combination of Italian and English gardens as well. JDR JR. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller loved classical art and modern art respectively. They are responsible for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as well as the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Williamsburg, VA. Because of their love for artwork, the garden is full of sculptures. The entire East façade of the house is covered in Wisteria and I cannot wait to go back to see it in spring.