Welcome to a Virtual Tour of Lyndhurst, a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
This is the east elevation and carriage entry to Lyndhurst. The house was designed by American architect Alexander Jackson Davis as a “villa” in 1838 and was then known as “Knoll”. It was expanded to its current size and renamed Lyndhurst in 1866.
The vestibule was originally the carriage porch for “Knoll”. The furniture, designed by A.J. Davis, has been in place since at least 1870.
A tour through the house presents a journey through time: a room or group of rooms represents different owners. The Drawing Room, furnished to the Paulding era (1842-1865), features furniture designed by A.J. Davis for the house.
The Entry Hall, Reception Room and Library represent the Merritt era (1867-1880). The Reception Room, or Salon, was primarily furnished with items acquired on their European travels. The figures on the ceiling represent the passage of the hours through day and night.
The addition of a grand dining room in the late 1860s allowed the Merritts to convert the Paulding’s former dining room into a library. The books in the Davis designed bookcases were purchased as a collection for Lyndhurst by Jay Gould.
This is Jay Gould (1836-1892) in a portrait by Herbert von Herkomer, 1883. Gould purchased Lyndhurst in 1880, complete with furniture. His family owned the estate until Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand-Perigord, his younger daughter, bequested it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. It has been open to the public since 1965.
The cabinet-secretary ordered by Jay Gould from the Wooton Company of Indiana around 1875 is in the Estate Office. Here the business affairs of the estate would be conducted.
The Dining Room, added to the house in the 1860s, is the ultimate expression of Alexander Jackson Davis’s work; he designed the space, the interior decor and the furniture, which was used by the Gould family until 1959.
Stained glass was a feature of Lyndhurst from the beginning. Few of the original panes by America’s earliest stained glass maker, William Gibson, remain. These panels in the Dining Room were made by Henry Sharpe in the 1860s. Most of the current glass was installed by the Goulds, probably in the early 1880s.
The Art Gallery is upstairs where the rooms represent the Gould’s two daughters: Helen, who owned Lyndhurst from 1899 to 1938, and Anna, from 1939 to 1961. The current paintings were acquired by Jay Gould in 1880-1881 for Lyndhurst, primarily from Goupil (now Knoedler) Gallery in New York City.
“First Caresses” by William Bouguereau, 1866, is the best known painting in the collection. The academic school European paintings are primarily important as a collection that has stayed together in the space for which they were intended.
The South Bedroom was used by Jay Gould and then by his elder daughter Helen until her death in 1938. The bed was an A.J. Davis design for the Merritts, their monogram is on the footboard. The dresser is believed to be from the Paulding era; it is one of four.
The North Guest Bedroom is one of the rooms with European furniture that reflects the taste of Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand-Perigord, who married into the French nobility. Returning to this country in 1939, she lived on the fourteenth floor of the Plaza Hotel, but maintained Lyndhurst both as a showplace for her auction acquisitions and as a retreat for herself and friends.
Part of the Veranda, an essential part of the American country house, looking south.
Looking northwest from the Veranda to the Tappan Zee bridge across the Hudson River. Some of the original apple trees from the orchard still remain on the lower slope. Lyndhurst offers visitors sixty-seven acres of restful and recreational environment. Both the Croton Aqueduct and the Hudson RiverWalk trails go through the estate.
Helen Miller Gould had the rose garden constructed in 1911. Her sister replaced the original wood gazebo with the current marble and iron structure, which is often used for weddings. The rose garden was restored by the Garden Club of Irvington on Hudson in the 1960s and has been maintained by them ever since.
Only the framework of the steel greenhouse built by Jay Gould in 1881 remains. It replaced the wooden Merritt structure which burned.
The fern garden was re-created and is maintained by the Taconic Garden Club.
Looking southwest from the Greenhouse toward the mansion. Nature offers an ever changing exhibition on the site.
The Rose Cottage, constructed circa 1915, was a playhouse for the four children Helen and her husband, Finley Shepard, adopted after their wedding in 1913.
This is the courtyard of the carriage complex, constructed by the Merritts in the 1860s. The complex now offers visitor amenities and is used for Lyndhurst’s special events. It is available for rental for weddings, corporate events and special occasions.