DAY TRIP| Boscobel, the remarkable Dyckman family seat on the Hudson
Boscobel, a Federal-style masterpiece, is framed by yesterday’s sunset.
Yesterday, we took a quick trip to Garrison to explore Boscobel, one of the finest examples of Federal-style architecture and interior design in the country.
Built between 1804 and 1808 for States Dyckman family in Montrose, Boscobel was one of the greatest estates in all of Westchester. The Dyckmans — yes, those Dyckmans of Upper Manhattan — owned the home for four generations, but by the end of the 19th century, the home and its estate had fallen into the county’s hands. Initially the site of a large county park, the Dyckman estate was sold to the federal government and eventually became the Montrose campus of the Veterans Administration’s Hudson Valley Healthcare system.
Boscobel was nearly lost in the 1950s, when the federal government sold the home to wreckers. Preservationists stepped in and, with a generous gift from Lila Acheson Wallace, publisher of Readers’ Digest, Boscobel was moved north 15 miles to Garrison.
Painstakingly restored, the home was opened to the public for the first time in 1960. In the mid-1970s, when documents that included an inventory of the Dyckmans’ furnishings and detailed descriptions of the home’s appearance, a second restoration was begun. In June 1977, Boscobel reopened to the public, having been brought back to the condition its original owners enjoyed by Berry B. Tracy. Tracy, curator of the Metropolitan Museum’s American Wing, redecorated the house to reflect its appearance under the stewardship of Elizabeth Corne Dyckman, the widow of States Dyckman who ran the estate until her death in 1823.
The subject of a recent feature in Martha Stewart Living, Boscobel has been on our list since Labor Day, when we visited nearby Cold Spring. We drove up to Garrison yesterday and were stunned not only by the house’s beauty — its neoclassical flourishes like carved swags, delicate balustrades and three-section windows were revolutionary when the place was built — but also by its views. Boscobel has complete visual command over its neighbor across the river, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the river valley below it. While all the leaves were down, we realized that the place must be quite lush at the height of summer. There’s also an orchard, an herb garden and a very nice rose garden.
It’s well worth the trip.
1601 State Route 9D
Garrison, New York 10524