Saturday, November 6, 2010
On a recent visit to the Rockefeller estate I realized again what treasures lie just in front of my door. A few miles west sits one of the most spectacular homes build in the 19Th century for one of the leading American families. Their influence stretches from oil business to philanthropy, from art collecting to environmental preservation. They have touched literally millions of people through their many foundations.
To learn more about the family and Kykuit read more here!
I was just again overwhelmed with the loveliness of the situation of the house and the gardens. Even on a rainy, cold and overcast day the place has a magical feel to it. So get comfortable, have a cup of tea and join me for awhile to follow me to this wonderful place...
The impressive front of the house faces east, to reserve the view outside the most impressive rooms of the house for the west, overlooking the Hudson and the gardens.
Turning back from the entrance overlooking the drive and front gardens one has sweeping views towards the fountain (Oceanus) and further inland in the direction of White Plains.
Some detail on the front elevation.
Entering the house over a few steps up leading up to an portico and the vestibule. Looking back one more time the flame lamps and the flowers frame the spectacular view.
The ornate ironwork everywhere is incredible.
Here like a frame it shows off sculpture right behind.
Small detail at one of the garden gates.
One of many stunning light fixtures in the house. This one hanging over the covered entrance area.
To the left one enters the formal yet eclectic gardens with fountains, a linden alley, sculptures and stunning views of the house and the landscape around. French, Spanish and German influences are mixed and the result is sheer beauty.
Temple of Aphrodite!
The house shows its size only when viewed from the side...
There is a charming little tea house with a Japanese style pool in front.
There is so much to see in the gardens: Sculptures, the pool, flowers, shrubs and impressive trees. There are vistas and beautiful details...
The tour takes about two hours and it's time well spent.
The interiors are beautiful and well preserved, as the last of the there residing Rockefeller has left it. And there is a wonderful art collection housed in the basement gallery, where stunning paintings, sculptures and custom made Picasso wall hangings take your breath away! There is currently Picasso's Guernica tapestry (usually at the UN in NYC) on display and while there is some dispute of where this artwork will go after some inheritance issues are resolved, you can get a rare glimpse of it. I will come back in late spring, the gardens must be incredible then, when borders are in bloom and trees are blossoming.
It is stunning to see so much beauty and well preserved architectural history.
I have not show you anything from the inside. Picture taking is prohibited. It is as gorgeous inside as it is beautiful outsides.
There are many additional buildings on the grounds, most impressive a 'playhouse', larger then many family homes around here. It is still used today for family gatherings and not on the tour to visit. Then there is the Rockefeller foundation, which has it's headquarter and meeting rooms at the former coach house, a large building which also houses the coach and car collection.
The cars and coaches can be seen and it is quite a sight to behold!
It is a rose!
If you have any chance go and see this gem of a house, learn something about America's heritage and one of it's most impressive families. Make a pilgrimage to Kykuit!
Pictures by V.Zlotkowski