Hudson Mansions, NY, 3/17/13

Last day on the Hudson. Homemade breakfast at InnTheWoods B&B. Private tour of the 54 room Vanderbilt mansion – nouveau riche showing off their wealth. Sara Roosevelt was not impressed. Built in 1899, it was the first building in the area to have electricity (from their own hydroelectric plant). Vanderbilts used this cottage only a couple of months a year. It was FDR who signed the order designating this example of a Gilded Age mansion as a National Historic Site.

Took a hike down to Bard Rock on the property, where the Vanderbilts had their boathouse.

We continued on to the next mansion, Staatsburgh State Historic Site, owned by Ogden Mills, Secretary of the Treasury. His was was a Livingston, descendant of a signer of the Declaration. Expanded to 65 rooms. Undergoing renovations on the exterior and some interior rooms. No photos allowed, but most rooms have the original fabric drapes, upholstery, in shreds and tatters from exposure. A restored bedroom with red fabric walls is stunning. State budgets don’t prioritize preservation. Beautiful grounds with summer concerts.

More mansions and historic towns up and down the river. Yay, more sights for the future.

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