Lyndhurst’s Lower Landscape
What Lyndhurst refers to as the lower landscape encompasses the part of the estate from the mansion to the Hudson River. There has been significant historic restoration done to several elements of the lower landscape, including a series of rock outcroppings that are featured in a series of walkways, historic plantings and custom seating areas that created shaded viewing platforms for visitors in the 19th and early 20th century to enjoy a cool and private place for contemplation.
The lower landscape connects to the Westchester County Riverwalk and through a recent extension, to the Old Croton Aqueduct at the south end of Lyndhurst’s lower landscape.
Step off the Lyndhurst veranda and walk a restored path all the way down to the riverside bowling pavilion. Along the way, you’ll experience three rockeries, marble benches, and historic specimen trees, including Blue Atlas Cedar, Crimean Linden, Red Maple, and London Plane tree Sycamore. The winding sidewalks that connect these three alcoves lead down the lower landscape, with beautiful scenic views of the Hudson river and the mansion.
Set with benches and sidewalks mimicking those in Central Park, a series of three rockeries connected by pathways offer picturesque views of the Hudson River and the Lyndhurst landscape. In 2019 and 2020 restoration work was done to recreate the rockeries and seating areas of the lower landscape.
Walk up the steps to the second rockery for a quiet seating area perfect for reading or contemplation. The rock steps leading up to the cobbled path are original to the rockery and were reinstalled in 2019 during the landscape restoration.
The third rockery is directly below the Hudson overlook seating area, and has a newly planted Camperdown elm seated in a d-shaped bench. Historically, the Camperdown elm provided shade to those sitting in the rockery. There is a clear view down to where the original kitchen garden was planted.
Untitled, Sherry Edmunson Fry
This untitled piece of a posed young man was designed by Sherry Edmunson Fry, who was educated in sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago and in France with the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He worked closely with sculptor Frederick McMonnies (who designed Boy with Duck). Forged in bronze by Tiffany Studios (Foundry), it was a wedding present to Helen and Finley in 1913. Fry went on to become prominently associated with the earliest use of camouflage by the United States in WWI with fellow artists.
"Lily", J.W.Fiske & Co.
New York City company, J.W.Fiske & Co. was the leading manufacturer of cast Iron in the late 19th century and created a wide range of fountains and garden furniture. The fountain was in place in the 1960s when the National Trust for Historic Preservation was bequeathed Lyndhurst by Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand. Historic photographs of the greenhouse show that the concrete basin was installed in George Merritt’s greenhouse with a different fountainhead.
"Boy With Duck", Frederick William MacMonnies
Recently completed in 2019, this seating area is based off historic photographs showing marble seating areas in front of the mansion. The urns and sundial leading up to the fountain are original to the property, and the Carrara bench was also a restored piece. The “Boy with Duck” fountain was generously donated by Sheila and Richard J. Schwartz.
Hudson River Overlook
Lyndhurst is at the center of a group of land parcels that stretch from former Lehman family estates (now owned by Montefiore Hospital) down to Washington Irving’s Sunnyside comprising approximately 150 acres of parkland directly on the Hudson River. This is one of the largest parcels of Hudson River-adjacent land in lower Westchester and these parcels are connected by both the Old Croton Aqueduct and the Westchester Riverwalk. Lyndhurst continues to work with partner organizations to connect these parcels to create a “Central Park” for Lower Westchester.