(Stern / Cornish Estate)

UPDATE, APRIL 30, 2010:
I am very pleased to announce that historic photographs of the Northgate mansion and estate have surfaced, ending years of mystery in the Hudson Valley for those of us who wondered how the house and grounds appeared before
falling into ruin.

In mid-April, 2010, I received an email from Stephen Rasche, who informed me that his wife Victoria Rasche is the grand-daughter of Joel O'Donnell Cornish, a nephew of Edward J. Cornish, and that they had in their possession a family scrapbook of photographs of the Cornish estate, which the Cornishes and their heirs called "Northgate." Until this point, no pre-ruin images of the mansion and estate were known to exist in any public collection.

About a week-and-a-half later, we met at the home of Thom Johnson (a former teacher of mine who introduced me to the Northgate ruins in 1997) and at last I was able to see how the mansion appeared. The photographs in the Rasche collection date from about 1918, shortly after Edward Cornish purchased the mountainside estate from Sigmund Stern, to 1958, when it was destroyed by fire. Other photographs in the Rasche collection show the swimming pool, rock garden, driveway, greenhouse, garage, pump-house, barns and farm buildings, and views of the estate with Storm King in the distance. Victoria Rasche has generously allowed me to host a small sample of her images on this website. 

We ask that you please do not copy these images for hosting on any other website nor should the images be reprinted without permission from Victoria A. Rasche. Please, however, feel free to link from your website to In the meantime, the Rasche's will investigate other avenues of publication to share the remaining images of their fantastic collection.

These images were copied using a hand-held digital camera with indoor lighting, resulting in image files of lesser quality than the original prints, which will be scanned at high-resolution for backup purposes and for other publication. 

The release of these images solves the great mystery of how the mansion appeared when it was lived in by the Cornishes. Other questions remain unsolved for now. We are learning more about Sigmund Stern, the diamond merchant who built the mansion and sold it to Edward Cornish. Stern was connected to the nearby Surprise Lake Camp, and perhaps by extension there is some connection between the camp buildings and estate buildings by way of the same architect or builders. As of yet we do not know who designed the Stern/Cornish mansion. Hopefully, the release of these images could spur more interest in Northgate and bring to light information that is not yet widely known.


The Cornish mansion, from the southeast, with Breakneck Ridge in the distance.
Nearly all of the stonework seen in these images survives today, including the porte cochere, which unbeknownst to us, had a room above it as seen here at lower left in the image.
The Collection of Victoria A. Rasche.

The Cornish mansion, from the southwest. 
This view is from the swimming pool and corresponds roughly with this view.
The Collection of Victoria A. Rasche.

The Cornish mansion, from the northwest. The house was an eclectic mix of both Shingle-style and Tudor-revival architecture. Unsuspectingly, a small porch existed above the west wall, the wall punctuated by the tall round-arched window.
The Collection of Victoria A. Rasche.

View of the main barn complex by the reservoir. The large stone barn is at left, and the photo suggests that it may have had a gambrel roof, with end walls covered in board-and-batten. The small structure with irregular roofline still exists today, minus the roof of course. 
The Collection of Victoria A. Rasche.


Northgate (Stern/Cornish estate) photos - page 1

Yaz’ Hudson Valley 
Ruins and Abandoned Buildings, etc.

Yaz’ Hudson Valley Ruins and Abandoned Buildings, etc.

E-mail Rob Yasinsac


This page copyright © 2010 by Robert J. Yasinsac.
Historic images of the Cornish estate are the property of Victoria A. Rasche and may not be reprinted, reproduced or published in print or on another website without the permission of Victoria A. Rasche.