Photographs taken May 2007.

    This burnt-out ruin adjoins one of the most-visited historic sites in the Hudson Valley. Hyde Park, once home to Roosevelts and Vanderbilts, also counted a Wayne Karmgard as one of its own as the 20th century neared its end. Karmgard actually arrived from origins unknown in Tivoli, in northern Dutchess County, in 1979 with his partner Joseph deCastele. Tivoli's own colorful history took another odd turn as the pair bought up almost all the storefronts in the village, which was then nearly a desolate ghost town. Strangely, shops in Rhinebeck closed down around this time, only to reopen in Tivoli. Supposedly Karmgard and deCastele hoped to gain a return on their investment by forcing an economic boon on Tivoli, which, according to some theories, just might have become the  "East Bank's gay Woodstock" under the duo's guidance. For the full story, visit the Ferment Magazine website

    Fast forward a decade, and Karmgard is in Hyde Park; he discovered he was HIV-positive and in November 1991 placed his house, Shagabak, in trust and bought out a large insurance policy on the home. Shortly before then, a fire damaged the house. Incredibly, two more fires broke out, in May and June 1992, the latter of which left the mansion in its present state. The insurance company of course believed the fires to have been intentionally set, but settled with the Trust for claims of $800,000 after a round or two of court action. What happened after 1992 is uncertain. A decade and a half later though, the fire-charred ruins of Shagabak remain standing, each day getting closer to the time when the house will fall in on itself. I wonder if the tourists next door would hear it collapse.


Yaz’ Hudson Valley Ruins 
and Abandoned Buildings, etc.

Yaz’ Hudson Valley Ruins and Abandoned Buildings, etc.

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This page copyright © 2007 by Robert J. Yasinsac. 
Reproduction of these photos without the permission of Robert Yasinsac is prohibited.