Wilderstein Historic Site, Rhinebeck, NY
Wilderstein Historic Site, Rhinebeck, NY



United States

Wilderstein Historic Site

This 40-acre estate on the east bank of the Hudson River became Thomas Suckley’s family home in 1852. It was divided from neighboring Wildercliff, which had belonged to his Livingston-Beekman relatives since the days of the Dutch patroon land ownership system of the seventeenth century. Originally an Italianate villa designed by architect John Warren Ritch, the mansion was remodeled in 1888 by architect Arnout Cannon for Thomas’ son, Robert, and Robert’s wife Elizabeth Montgomery. The interior design was completed by Joseph Burr Tiffany, a cousin of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Ritch’s Queen Anne design ornamented the gabled house with a five-story circular tower and an expansive veranda capturing borrowed views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. The landscape commission was given to Calvert and Downing Vaux, who capitalized on the site’s Picturesque qualities. Intricate networks of drives and trails were laid out with specimen trees and shrubs. Prospect points were augmented with rustic gazebos or sheltered garden seats. The outbuildings, including the gate lodge, carriage house, and potting shed, all by the Vaux firm, were intentionally eclectic in design.

Until 1991, Wilderstein was the home of Thomas’ granddaughter Margaret Suckley, a close friend and companion to her cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Located within the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and Hudson River National Historic Landmark District, Wilderstein became a National Historic Landmark in 1990. Today the Wilderstein Historic Site houses an extensive decorative arts collection and is open to the public as a not-for-profit museum

Location and Nearby Landscapes

Nearby Landscapes