“gloomy, sombre, & highly romantic”
Lyndhurst, also known as Jay Gould estate, is a Gothic Revival country house within its own 67 acre park beside the Hudson River, located in Tarrytown, New York approximately 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. 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. 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.
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