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Location Rhinecliff
Architect George Veitch
Architectural style Norman
Part of Hudson River Historic District (#90002219)
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 14, 1990[1]
Designated NHLDCP December 14, 1990[2]

Wyndcliffe is the ruin of a historic mansion near Rhinebeck in Dutchess County, New York.The records at the Library of Congress state that the brick mansion was originally named Rhinecliff and constructed in 1853 in the Norman style. The mansion was built for New York City socialite Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones (1810-1876) as a weekend and summer residence. The design is attributed to local architect George Veitch. A master mason, John Byrd, executed the highly varied ornamental brickwork using only rectangular and few molded bricks.

The adjacent hamlet to the north of Wyndcliffe was originally platted as "Kipsbergen" (1686); the hamlet was later renamed as "Rhinecliff" after the Jones-Schemerhorn estate of the same name. Writer Edith Wharton was a frequent childhood visitor.[3] The phrase "keeping up with the Joneses" is thought to originate from the Wyndcliffe estate.[4]

Wyndcliffe was later known as Linden Hall or Finck Castle, for subsequent owners. The mansion was abandoned sometime around 1950. Originally situated on 80 acres including waterfront access to the Hudson River, the property was eventually reduced to 2.5 acres.[5] Portions of the mansion have collapsed after many years of abandonment. In 2003 the mansion was purchased by its current owners. The new owner erected a security fence around the property but the announced plans to restore the house never came to fruition. As of 2014 major sections of the exterior walls had collapsed.[6][7]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Hudson River Historic District". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-14. 
  3. ^ "Wyndclyffe, Mill Road, Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, NY". Historic American Buildings Survey. Library of Congress. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Smith, Alexandra. "Wyndcliffe: the Abandoned Mansion that allegedly inspired the idiom: ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’". Urban Ghosts Media. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Surreal in New Jersey - Wyndcliffe". Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Wyndclyffe Rhinebeck, New York". Hudson Valley Ruins. Robert J. Yasinsac. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Inside the Haunted Abandoned Wyndcliffe Mansion in NY's Hudson Valley". 2014 Untapped Cities, LLC. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Historic information about the site is available at Historic American Buildings Survey: