Rhinecliff, New York
Rhinecliff, New York
Rhinecliff rooftops overlooking the Hudson River in winter
Location of Rhinecliff, New York
|• Total||1.01 sq mi (2.61 km2)|
|• Land||1.00 sq mi (2.58 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||55 ft (17 m)|
|• Density||427/sq mi (165.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||962439|
Rhinecliff is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) located along the Hudson River in the town of Rhinebeck in northern Dutchess County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Rhinecliff was 425.
It was founded in 1686 as the town of Kipsbergen by five Dutchmen, among them Hendrikus and Jacobus Kip, who moved from Kingston to live in the settlement along the eastern shore of the Hudson. In 1849, under the influence of the Hudson River School of painters, the hamlet was given the more picturesque name of "Rhinecliff". The name was borrowed from the original name of the Jones-Schermerhorn estate, now known as "Wyndcliffe".
Rhinecliff is located in the western part of the town of Rhinebeck, 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Rhinebeck village. It is directly across the Hudson River from the city of Kingston. The closest river crossing is the Kingston–Rhinecliff Bridge (New York State Route 199), 4 miles (6 km) to the north. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Rhinecliff CDP has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), of which 0.02 square miles (0.04 km2), or 1.37%, is water.
Rhinecliff is one of the oldest intact hamlets along the Hudson River and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributor to the Hudson River National Historic Landmark District. At 20 miles (30 km) long, this historic district is the largest National Historic Landmark (NHL) designation in the country. 
As part of the town of Rhinebeck, the hamlet of Rhinecliff is included within the jurisdiction of the town government. citation needed][
A proposal to build a large contemporary residence overlooking the Hudson on Grinnell Street in the hamlet is generating controversy in Rhinecliff. Several Rhinecliff residents have spoken out against the proposal, objecting to the size of the proposed residence, its modern style, and that it blocks views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. Other Rhinecliff residents have defended the proposal, arguing it will be a beautiful addition to the hamlet and that it blends the historic and the modern in a creative way. In 2014 the matter was before the Rhinebeck Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.
According to her biographer Louis Auchincloss, Edith Wharton was a frequent childhood visitor who later described the Wyndcliffe mansion as "The Willows" in Hudson River Bracketed. In her autobiography, A Backward Glance (1933), Mrs. Wharton wrote about Wyndcliffe and her aunt.
...But no memories of those years survive, save those I have mentioned, and one other, a good deal dimmer, of going to stay one summer with my Aunt Elizabeth, my father's unmarried sister, who had a house at Rhinebeck-on-the-Hudson. ... I can still remember hating everything at Rhinecliff, which, as I saw, on rediscovering it some years later, was an expensive but dour specimen of Hudson River Gothic; and from the first I was obscurely conscious of a queer resemblance between the granite exterior of Aunt Elizabeth and her grimly comfortable home, between her battlemented caps and the turrets of Rhinecliff...
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Rhinecliff CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
- Edith Wharton (2013). A Backward Glance. Lulu Press. ISBN 1-291-63720-6.
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