Less than a mile north of Sunnyside is Lyndhurst (635 S. Broadway/Rte. 9, 914/631-4481, www.lyndhurst.org, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sun. May–Oct., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Nov.–Apr., adults $12, seniors $11, students 12–17 $5), a magnificent Gothic Revival mansion designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838.
Originally built for William Paulding, a former New York City mayor, Lyndhurst was later owned by the unscrupulous financier Jay Gould. Among Gould’s many questionable acts were his attempt to corner the gold market, which resulted in the disastrous panic of Black Friday, September 24, 1869, and his engineering of a deal that ruined his former business associate, Cyrus W. Field. Not surprisingly, none of this history is discussed at the site.
Covered with gables and chimneys, turrets and towers, Lyndhurst from the outside is a magical place. Inside, however, it feels heavy and dark. Much of the Goulds’ heavy furnishings and art collection are still in place.
Surrounding the mansion are 67 acres, complete with formal gardens, a children’s playhouse, a bowling alley, nature paths, and spectacular views of the Hudson. Don’t miss the romantic ruins of an enormous greenhouse, the 14 rooms of which once housed a renowned orchid collection.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition