Lyndhurst Mansion, Tarrytown New York
Lyndhurst (Jay Gould Estate) was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838 for General William Paulding, former mayor of New York City. The villa was the first in a series of designs by Davis in the style which came to be called "Hudson River Gothic." In collaboration with Andrew Jackson Downing, prominent horticulturist, landscape designer, and chief exponent of the picturesque Gothic style for country houses in the 19th century, Davis provided the illustrations for the "rural architecture" chapter of Downing's 1941 book, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, and included sketches of "Paulding Manor."
The house was first named "Knoll", although critics quickly dubbed it "Paulding's Folly" because of its unusual design that includes fanciful turrets and asymmetrical outline. Its limestone exterior was quarried at Sing Sing in present day Ossining, New York.
The second owner, Merritt, doubled the house's size in 1864-1865 and renamed it "Lyndenhurst" for the estate's linden trees. His new north wing added an imposing four-story tower, new porte-cochere (the old one was reworked as a glass-walled vestibule) and a new dining room, two bedrooms, and servants' quarters.
The house sits within a park, designed in the English naturalistic style by Ferdinand Mangold, whom Merritt hired. He drained the surrounding swamps, created lawns, planted specimen trees, and built the conservatory. The resultant landscape was the first such park along the Hudson River. It provides an outstanding example of 19th-century landscape design, with rolling lawns accented with shrubs and specimen trees, a curving entrance drive that reveals "surprise" views, and a remarkably large (390-foot-long) steel-framed conservatory, the first in the United States.
Gould purchased the property in 1880 for use as a country house, shortened its name to "Lyndhurst" and occupied it until his death in 1892.