Photographs July 2016
I paid a visit to Wydnclyffe in
the summer of 2016, just for an update. It proved to be timely as a
short time later it was revealed that the house and property were going
to auction. Just a few years ago the former owner clear-cut the
immediate surrounding of the house. It took less than a decade for a
small forest to grow back. The house itself wasn't faring any better. No
worse than the last major collapses of the late 2000s, but certainly no
better. Wyndclyffe was evocative as ever of the overgrown abandoned
mansion of Edith Wharton's 1929 novel "The Willows":
which was painted a dark brown, stood at the end of a short
grass-grown drive, its front so veiled in the showering gold-green
foliage of two ancient weeping willows that Vance could only catch,
here and there, a hint of a steep roof, a jutting balcony, an
aspiring turret. The facade, thus seen in trembling glimpses, as if
it were as fluid as the trees, suggested vastness, fantasy, and
secret. Green slopes of unmown grass, and heavy shrubberies of
unpruned syringa and lilac, surrounded it; and beyond the view was
closed in on all sides by trees and more trees. "An old house -
this is the way an old house looks!" Vance thought."
This pile of lumber used to be
a staircase and the northwest corner rooms of the house.
Esopus Meadows Lighthouse and Mt. St.
Alphonsus, viewed from nearby property.
Panorama view from nearby
property. A similar view may once have been obtained from Wyndclyffe.
Posted October 1, 2016