Friday, October 21, 2011

Kykuit- A Rockefeller Estate

On Columbus day I convinced my boyfriend to take a ride up to Sleepy Hollow, NY to visit Kykuit, a Rockefeller Estate. Our original plan was to go to Newport, Rhode Island and tour the mansions but plans got changed and we weren't able to go. Even though our plans had changed I still had the desire to explore a piece of history.

John D Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and one of the wealthiest men in America during his time, built Kykuit in the Pocantico Hills overlooking the Hudson and the NYC skyline in the far distance.

To get to the house you first have to go to the Philipsburg Manor where you take a bus up to the estate. There are several tours to choose from to accommodate different schedules and tastes. We chose the classic tour that was 2 1/4 hours long and cost $23 per person. I'm a history buff so when I take a tour I want to know about the people who lived in the home. I want to be able to close my eyes and be able to picture these people and how they played their lives out within the walls of the home. I didn't really get that with this tour.

I've toured the Newport Mansions and was surprised to find this home to be much more modest than the Vanderbilt's summer homes. Not to say that the house is small because it is far from small but when you compare it to say the Breaker's whose foyer alone is 50x50x50 it is surprisingly smaller than expected.   And because the rooms were small and with a group of close to twenty people it got cramped and made it difficult to admire the rooms. Plus I didn't want to be that person that stood in front of everyone admiring while others tried to look over my shoulder. So I looked, took it in as quickly as I could and stepped aside for others to have a turn. The guide talked more about the fixtures in the home than the family.

The grounds were beautiful. From breathtaking views to gorgeous landscaping, the grounds made it all worth it. I could only imagine how amazing the view would look with the all the changing fall leaves. I kind of wish we waited a week or two to visit so I would have been able to witness it in all its glory. Still, it really was amazing. The grounds were also adorned with sculptures. The Rockefeller's especially John Jr. was a collector. In the basement of the home is the gallery. Picasso and Warhol are just two of the famous artists that hang on the walls. It is a rather large collection and if you are a fan of modern art then I highly recommend checking it out.
For more information regarding Kykuit, you can visit the website:


  1. That is beautiful. I like the picture.

  2. Thanks :) And it really was breathtaking. The view was unbelievable.