Kykuit is a prominent landmark of the Hudson Valley. A trip to the famous estate offers beautiful scenery, history, art, stunning gardens, and amazing architecture. The paradise atop a hill was the home of four generations of the Rockefeller family, starting with John D. Rockefeller, philanthropist and founder of Standard Oil. He became the richest man in the United States through his business acumen, and set the stage for the Rockefeller family to become one of the most well-known families in America. Kykuit is now a historic site under the care of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The remarkable landmark has been carefully maintained for over one hundred years.
A tour of Kykuit takes guests through the six-story stone house's main rooms. After exploring the building, the tour moves on to the extensive, terraced gardens that contain the exceptional twentieth century sculpture collection of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. Artists represented at Kykuit include Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, David Smith, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, and more. Underground art galleries feature the Governor Rockefeller's collection of tapestries by Picasso, as well as the cavernous Coach Barn, which contains a collection of horse-drawn carriages and classic automobiles. The tour guide shares several stories with visitors that highlight aspects of the daily life of the Rockefeller family, as well as their contributions to business, philanthropy, government, the arts, and conservation.
Visitors can choose for a variety of different tour options for their visit to Kykuit. Each tour starts at the Philipsburg Manor's Visitor Center, where tour participants will take a short ride via shuttle bus to the estate. Tour selection vary from regular guided tours, to special tours that maximize time outside in the spectacular gardens of Kykuit to tours that combine a visit to the estate with other nearby landmarks.
One of the popular combination tours is Kykuit and Historic Philipsburg Manor. This tour includes a visit to the Philipsburg Manor and a choice of Kykuit tours. Philipsburg Manor is a water-powered grist mill and working farm from the mid-eighteenth century. The site has been restored and preserved through John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s generosity. The combination of these two landmarks is great due to the very different subject matter of each visit. Mostly self-guided, the Philipsburg part of the tour is more of an informal and relaxing experience.
Another great choice is Kykuit and Washington Irving's Sunnyside. Sunnyside, the home of Washington Irving, was bought by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and preserved for generation to come. First-time visitors of the area, especially those who probably won't visit again, will appreciate this tour that combines a visit to both Sunnyside and Kykuit. The charming home along the river of the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, as well as other stories, is one of American history's most famous houses. Both of the houses are National Historic Landmarks that a must-see for any visitor to the area.
639 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, New York, Phone: 914-366-6900
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