Lyndhurst (mansion)

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Jay Gould Estate (Lyndhurst)
Lyndhurst Tarrytown NY - front facade.jpg
Front facade
Location Tarrytown, New York
Nearest city White Plains, New York
Coordinates 41°03′21″N 73°51′55″W / 41.05583°N 73.86528°W / 41.05583; -73.86528Coordinates: 41°03′21″N 73°51′55″W / 41.05583°N 73.86528°W / 41.05583; -73.86528
Area 67 acres (27 ha)
Built 1838
Architect Alexander Jackson Davis
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Governing body National Trust for Historic Preservation
NRHP Reference # 66000582
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 13, 1966[1]
Designated NHL November 13, 1966[2]

Lyndhurst, also known as the Jay Gould estate, is a Gothic Revival country house that sits in its own 67-acre (27 ha) park beside the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York about one-half mile south of the Tappan Zee Bridge on US 9.


Designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis, the house has been owned by New York City mayor William Paulding, Jr., merchant George Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould. In 1961, Gould's daughter Anna Gould donated it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is now open to the public.

The house was first named "Knoll", although critics quickly dubbed it "Paulding's Folly" because of its unusual design that includes fanciful turrets and asymmetrical outline. Its limestone exterior was quarried at Sing Sing (now known as Ossining). The second owner, Merritt, doubled the house's size in 1864–65 and renamed it "Lyndenhurst" for the estate's linden trees. His new north wing added an imposing four-story tower, new porte-cochere (the old one was reworked as a glass-walled vestibule) and a new dining room, two bedrooms, and servants' quarters. Gould purchased the property in 1880 for use as a country house, shortened its name to "Lyndhurst" and occupied it until his death in 1892.

Unlike later mansions along the Hudson River, Lyndhurst's rooms are few and of a more modest scale, and strongly Gothic in character. Hallways are narrow, windows small and sharply arched, and ceilings are fantastically peaked, vaulted, and ornamented. The effect is at once gloomy, somber, and highly romantic; the large, double-height art gallery provides a contrast of light and space.

Architectural detail.

The house sits within a park, designed in the English naturalistic style by Ferdinand Mangold, whom Merritt hired. He drained the surrounding swamps, created lawns, planted specimen trees, and built the conservatory. The resultant landscape was the first such park along the Hudson River.[citation needed] It provides an outstanding example of 19th-century landscape design, with rolling lawns accented with shrubs and specimen trees, a curving entrance drive that reveals "surprise" views, and a remarkably large [390-foot-long (120 m)] steel-framed conservatory (the first in the United States).

This house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.[2][3]

It was the set for the 1970 movie House of Dark Shadows, and the 1971 movie Night of Dark Shadows, both based on the famous gothic soap opera Dark Shadows.

ABC's holiday telefilm The Halloween That Almost Wasn't, a.k.a. The Night Dracula Saved the World, was shot here. The scenes were used as the backdrop for both Count Dracula and the Witch's castle. It later aired on the Disney Channel during its Halloween season until the late 1990s.

Director Sidney Lumet used Lyndhurst as a film location twice for Reversal of Fortune (released in 1990) and Gloria (released in 1999).[4]

The History Channel's The Men Who Built America filmed at Lyndhurst in the summer of 2012.[5]

The major motion picture Winter's Tale filmed at Lyndhurst in January 2013.[6]

Featured in Travel Channel's Castle Secrets & Legends series (season 1, episode 3, original airdate 2/9/14).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Lyndhurst". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-08-97.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ Richard Greenwood (May 30, 1975), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Jay Gould Estate, Lyndhurst, National Park Service  and Accompanying photos, exterior, 1975 and undated. PDF (3.32 MB)
  4. ^ "Lyndhurst Earning Keep as a Film Site". The New York Times. November 30, 1997. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Lyndhurst Closed Friday For Documentary Filming". Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch. July 2, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Hollywood Snow Falls on Lyndhurst". Rye Patch. January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Hound of the Baskervilles, Lord Gordon Gordon, Escape from Colditz". Travel Channel. February 9, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

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