Presidential Weekend

After a few intensively researched posts, I’m going to keep this simple. Here are some shots from a couple days exploring this weekend.

1. Ossining
A quick visit to a doomed old house.

Next, I met up with Christopher Radko and we photographed gatehouses, iron gates, and Gothic-revival mansions in Irvington and Dobbs Ferry.

2. Dows Lane

I didn’t expect to see the purple, blue and green trim, but I think their subdued tones work on this fine stone gatehouse.

3. West Clinton Avenue

The one and only “Octagon House” (Armour-Stiner House).

4. Ardsley (Cyrus Field estate)

We liked the small rounded dormer projecting from the turret, and wondered what it was like inside.

5. Ingleside, Dobbs Ferry

Alexander Jackson Davis designed this mansion. It is very much a smaller, albeit now stripped-down, version of Lyndhurst in Tarrytown.

6. Anchor Brewery, Dobbs Ferry

A great old industrial building still in use, though no longer a brewery.

7. Strawberry Hill, Irvington

Our last stop of the day was this fantastic granite chateau. It is partly still in use as a private home, and parts seem to be in state of suspended restoration.

Although the house still appears much as it did in the 1870s, land immediately north and west of the house was sold off for McMansions, ruining the context of the house. There is still a incredible view to be had from the top of the hill however.

The newish McMansion-type dwellings are already showing their age, and unlike stone and wood villas, these synthetic-sided structures do not age well.

The next day Stephanie Larose and I visited the old hospital in Poughkeepsie. We made friends with some other photographers from Connecticut who had been here before and reminisced about the days of old (pre-fire).

8. State Hospital

Standing here I imagined the intense heat as the flames curled around the corners and up the walls, and the cracking of nearby roof timbers and the collapse of entire floors.

The weather was warm and the light was perfect for color photography. But I really liked the way the black-and-white photos came out.

9. The old landing towns.
On the way home I skipped off Route 9D and took the river roads through the old landing towns. Now mostly bypassed by commuter trains (especially up in Columbia County and northern Dutchess) and bereft of commercial river traffic, many of these once-bustling towns are now places where people only sleep. They work, pray, eat, and shop elsewhere, but one hundred years ago you could do all of that in one of these places.

This house above in New Hamburg was a notable landmark on my early train rides up north. It appeared quite ruinish ten years ago.

Much of the train ride north of Westchester is views of the woods on the land side, but once in a while you pass a place like Chelsea, and a bunch of great old homes zip by the window really fast.

This one seems to be a restoration project.

I got to Peekskill in time for the magic hour, and stopped at Charles Point where I took my last photographs of the day.


Happy Martin Luth-,err, Presidents Day.

This entry was posted in Dutchess County, Non-ruins, Westchester County. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Presidential Weekend

  1. Rebecca Elise says:

    Wonderful photos and fabulous post. Thanks Rob.

  2. nailhed says:

    wowww…these two pics especially:

    that octagon house is crazy too! we have a few octagon houses and barns in Michigan, but none that ornate.

    • HV-Rob says:

      Thanks! I was very happy with all of my shots from that day at HRSH. I kinda wish I went for another angle in the stained-glass room though, like this image (not mine). This photograph is from the corner opposite where I shot from, just to give you some more perspective.

      I don’t think it would be a stretch to call the Irvington Octagon the best surviving example in this country of that kind of house. It was by all accounts a near wreck when the present owner purchased it 30 years ago. He has done an amazing restoration job there, and I’ve had the fortune of a private tour inside there once or twice.

  3. Jason Toews says:

    Hey Rob ~ it was nice to meet some fellow explorers last Sunday, especially ones as informative and knowledgeable as you. Only one of us (the group you met) is from CT, but who’s counting? What a beautiful day that was. We left after dark, and spent some time in the woods, just looking at the myriad stars that we never see in our hometown. Chilly, but peaceful, and a great end to the day. You’ve created a fantastic resource here on your site, and I will definitely be perusing for exploring ideas! If you are ever headed someplace extra-special, and it’s within reasonable driving distance, I’d love to join you. Peace.

    • HV-Rob says:

      Thanks for your kind words Jason. That was an awesome day indeed. We cut out in late afternoon, but I’d like to spend some time there at night too. That must have been awesome. I look forward to seeing your photos and hope to meet up with you guys again.

  4. Fred Rieck says:

    I would tend to suspect, Rob, that the Irvington Octagon would kinda “take the cake” as the epitome of the octagon craze …or come damn close to it. Nice views -Fred

  5. Derek Baker says:

    Hey, I love all of your posts. I’m a history fanatic of the Hudson Valley Region and your posts and pictures are great.

    I just wanted to point out that I think that the “restoration project” house in Chelsea is the Cornelius Carman House, listed on the National Register. Here is the wikipedia link for the property:

    Also, the house in New Hamburg is called the “Carriage House”, and was converted to the Central Hotel in 1867, according to the New Hamburg website:

  6. HV-Rob says:

    Hi Derek,

    great stuff, thank you for the information and the links, much appreciated. Glad you enjoy all the posts.


  7. Linda Little says:

    I noticed on your President’s weekend post 2012 you had a picture of Strawberry Hill Manor. My sister-in-law and two of her friends used to house sit there in the 80’s. I was wondering if you had any history on the house ie the original owner, year built? Anything would be appreciated. I noticed you posted that someone was living in part of it. I had heard it was going to be made in to condos. I also heard it was a ‘trust’ property.
    Thanks for any info!

    • Katy Haggerty says:

      Hi Linda,
      I don’t know if you will receive this message but
      My family owned Strawberry Hill until the early 1980’s
      I spent my early childhood living at Strawberry Hill
      And have wonderful memories of it.
      It was very nice to see the picture
      ~Katy Haggerty

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