Kykuit

Kykuit_signature_CharlesBirnbaum_2011.jpg
Sleepy Hollow, NY
United States
Kykuit

Along the Hudson River, the Rockefeller philanthropic legacy is manifest in the landscape, from the Palisades to the Cloisters, and northward to the gardens at Kykuit, the Rockefeller family estate in Pocantico Hills.  To complement the Beaux Arts house by Delano & Aldrich, William Welles Bosworth designed an interwoven series of seven distinct gardens within the larger bucolic landscape. Kykuit was Bosworth’s single largest commission and represents his longest client relationship, from 1907 to 1916. Charles Platt consulted on the 1913 forecourt redesign, referencing the Italianate Boboli Gardens in Florence from the grand stairways to the axial terraces, and even to Kykuit’s  Oceanus Fountain, modeled after Giambologna’s “Oceanus and the Three Rivers.” Commanding views from the house extend through these gardens out into the Hudson Valley. In the 1930s, Arthur Shurcliff developed the more intimate and herbaceous Brook Garden. The original Japanese garden and Meiji-style teahouse, designed in 1908 by Bosworth in collaboration with Japanese designers Ueda and Takahashi, was refined by David Harris Engel in the 1950s. Under the direction of Nelson Rockefeller, the 1960s saw the garden terraces revised and many monumental sculptures incorporated into the surrounding landscape, along with a second teahouse by Tokyo architect Jungo Yoshimura and George Shimamoto. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, 86 acres of the Kykuit estate were given to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by Nelson Rockefeller.