It is interesting to be able to visit once private homes built by owners with no or very high budget restrictions. Recently, my partner and I went on a tour of some of the Hudson River Valley estates. We had traveled to New York City several times over the years, but never seemed to leave the city much to investigate other areas in New York state. We took a train from Grand Central to Tarrytown, about a 45 minute ride and rented a car to travel the valley area. Our first stop was Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate. I think it may have been my favorite of the houses we saw on this trip. It was a wonderful, comfortable home with amazing details and a fabulous modern art work collection both in the house and throughout the gardens. In addition, the views of the Hudson River and surrounding grounds were amazing! No interior photos were allowed, but the exterior and grounds provided many opportunities. Our guide, Peter, was very knowledgeable, had volunteered there for years, and obviously loved the place. The Selected Highlights Tour let us see the interior of the house, as well as several of the gardens. Four generations of Rockefellers lived in the house before they turned it over to the Historic Hudson Valley organization for public tours.
I suppose I also find this house attractive because of the use of natural stone in the construction of the house and many of the garden walls. There are amazing details everywhere including the grotto room and tea house, both of which are unique detached structures.