Rochroane / Grey Towers, now demolished.
Tucked away in
the back part of Irvington is the remains of a once-grand estate. The centerpiece
was a stone castle-like mansion known as Rochroane. Designed by local resident
A.J. Manning for village president Melchior Beltzhoover in 1905, the house
has been called a "Rhine Castle," as it was said to be a replica
of a German Castle. (I've yet to see a photo of such to validate this,
but just about any castle in the Hudson Valley is said to be a replica
of some European edifice.) The estate was acquired by Benjamin Halsey in
1927, who renamed it Grey Towers. The pond now goes by the name Halsey Pond.
was donated by Mrs. Halsey to the local Roman Catholic Church in the mid
1970s. Promptly enough, the house burned due to fire of unknown origin.
Rochroane/Grey Towers was demolished soon thereafter. The local Catholic
Church has a record of losing old structures, as the Old Immaculate
Conception Church itself suffered a similar fate. Anyhow, we have now lost
both buildings - the church was demolished in 1996 after standing for many
years in ruin. The church was probably just after the money, as the property
was sold to a developer, who gave the pond to the village in exchange for
being allowed to develop the rest of the estate. The same developer now
wants to build on land surrounding the pond that did not get covered over
the first time around.
The teahouse is the only remaining structure on the old estate, besides some towers that are found in private backyards. It is a quaint little building, two floors, with an open hexagonal tower featuring gothic-arched windows. A walkway surrounds the pond, surpassing along the way a stone bridge, remnants of a fountain, and a dam. Foundations of other structures can be seen in the woods. Neglected for many years, the teahouse was restored in 1997.
Yaz’ Hudson Valley Ruins and Abandoned Buildings, etc.
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