Locusts on Hudson

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Locust on Hudson, designed by architect John Churchill

Locusts on Hudson is a 76-acre (31 ha) estate in Staatsburg, New York, owned by hotelier André Balazs. The property has both an operating farm and manor. The historic estate now acts as an events venue due in part to its naturalistic landscape.[1] A portion of the produce and animals of the farm are sent to The Standard Grill, The Standard, High Line Hotel, and Narcissa at The Standard, East Village Hotel, also owned by Balazs, in New York City, New York.[2][3] Designed by architect John Churchill in the early 1940s, the estate's manor is of a neo-baroque style.[4] Beside the manor, there are many grey and white, antique remnants of dairy barns on the property.

History of the estate[edit]

One of the antique farm buildings on the Locusts on Hudson estate

American Revolutionary War officer and Associate Justice Henry Brockholst Livingston bought the "Wittemount" estate from a man by the name of De Witt in 1782.[5] Brockholst Livingston developed the land on the estate more than had been done before. In 1797, he gave the property the new title “The Locusts” (not to be confused with Locust Grove) for its black locust trees.[6] Brockholst Livingston removed a log cabin from, and added a red brick mansion to, the property.[7] Brockholst Livingston resided on the estate for some years before selling it to Major George William Augustus Provost.[5]

In 1871, William B. Dinsmore, president of the Adams Express Company, built a mansion and other structures on the property. He added extensive gardens, farmland, and greenhouses to the estate.[8] Furthermore, in the 19th century, the property was the subject of at least one American School painting.[9] Helen Dinsmore Huntington inherited the estate from her grandfather, William Dinsmore II, in 1941; the property was called "Staatsburg on Hudson".[10] Huntington had the mansion demolished and replaced it with the manor that is currently on the property. After divorcing her husband[11] of 26 years, Vincent Astor, she married Lytle Hull. During that time, many famous musicians, such as Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, and Elsa Maxwell, visited the estate for galas held to support her philanthropic projects.[12] Bob Guccione, founder and publisher of Penthouse Magazine, owned the property, utilizing it as a weekend country house. At the time, the property was referred to as “The Willows”.[13] In 2004, the estate was foreclosed before being bought by Uma Thurman and André Balazs.[14]


  1. ^ "Locusts on Hudson". Luxury Retreats. Luxury Retreats. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  2. ^ Spartos, Carlos. "NYC's Night Life King Gets Dirty". New York Post. New York Post. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  3. ^ Walther, Gary (2015-04-23). "Why Chelsea Clinton Loves Narcissa's Veggie-Centric Menu". Gotham Magazine. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  4. ^ Bethany, Marilyn. "Winnakee Land Trust's High Society Bash". Rural Intelligence. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b S. Van Vliet, George (2 March 1940). "A Guest Editorial: Brockholst Livingston" (PDF). The Poughkeepsie Eagle News. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  6. ^ Abraham, Henry J. (1992). Justices and presidents : a political history of appointments to the Supreme Court (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-506557-3.
  7. ^ Smith, E.M. "Documentary History of Rhinebeck". Internet Archive. Rhinebeck, N.Y. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  8. ^ Meserve, Helen. "Dinsmore Estate in Staatsburg: The Locusts Was Magnificent" (PDF). Fulton History. New York Historical Newspaper. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "American School, 19th Century Dinsmore Place Staatsburg-on-Hudson New York". Skinner. Skinner Inc. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  10. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation, Volume 3. Hudson River Valley (N.Y. and N.J): Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1258.
  11. ^ "VINCENT ASTOR WEDS HELEN HUNTINGTON" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  12. ^ Hughes, Tyler. "Helen Huntington Hull". Find A Grave. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  13. ^ Associated Press (October 20, 2010). "Bob Guccione, Penthouse magazine founder and former Dutchess weekender, dies at age 79". The Daily Freeman.
  14. ^ Schiffman, Betty. "Miss Jackson Sells". Forbes. Retrieved October 14, 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°51′50″N 73°55′39″W / 41.863790°N 73.927395°W / 41.863790; -73.927395