Tarrytown, NY
United States

Landscape Information

Lyndenhurst | The Knoll | Paulding's Folly

Designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis for William Paulding, former mayor of New York City, Lyndhurst is the first and most celebrated of Davis’s Hudson River Gothic Revival homes. In the 1860s George Merritt acquired the 67-acre estate. He hired landscape gardener Ferdinand Mangold, who drained the surrounding swamps, opening 20 acres to vast lawns with extensive vegetable gardens bordered by fruit trees and one and one half acres of grape vines. Along the winding drives and pleasure walks, he planted shrub and tree specimens, creating a ‘hide and reveal’ sequence of vistas. In 1870 Merritt built an enormous Gothic Revival greenhouse that burned. Jay Gould purchased Lyndhurst in 1880, engaged the architect John William Walter, and in 1881 hired Lord & Burnham to reconstruct the greenhouse of glass and steel, the first private conservatory of its kind in the country. Daughter Helen Gould Shepard inherited the property upon Gould’s 1892 death, and in 1900 donated 230 orchids and palms from this greenhouse to the New York Botanic Garden’s new conservatory. Shepard also commissioned the creation of the circular rose garden, its central gazebo, and the children’s playhouse, known as the Rose Cottage. The property remained in the Gould family until the 1961 death of Gould’s daughter Anna, Duchess of Talleyrand-Perigord, at which time it transferred to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Lyndhurst was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966.