If you're a faithful reader, you know that this is my second visit to the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park (Hudson Valley.) Husband and I headed up to the Valley last October to celebrate our first anniversary. Vanderbilt Mansion was on my (long) to-do list for the weekend, but it's a popular place on a good-weather weekend, so tickets were sold out by the time we arrived. We got to see the grounds (peak foliage and views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains) and gardens, which are gorgeous, even off season.
So. Husband took a boys trip to the mountains of Pennsylvania and I headed back up to Hudson to (finally) get a peak at this Vanderbilt Mansion. Of the forty of so mansions built by the grandchildren of OG Cornelius Vanderbilt, the owner, Frederick William Vanderbilt, of this Beaux-Arts masterpiece "cottage" received the smallest inheritance. He used (part of) it to purchase 600 acres of land and build his dream (vacation) house from 1896-1899.
In comparison to the other Vanderbilt estates I've seen, say the Breakers or Marble House in Newport, Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC (the largest house in the United States) and even the Vanderbilit Museum in Long Island, this home of 50,000 square feet is modest in comparison. I say that with barely a straight face. The foyer to this "summer cottage"-- only used a couple months a year-- is bigger than my entire apartment.Read More