July 2, 2018

It’s a Blur, Sir…. (#65 Hudson Valley Revisited – Washington Irving’s Sunnyside)

I remember this tour being awesome, our guide was super knowledgeable and even though it was a bazillion degrees inside the house it was really interesting, but alas... I didn’t write this immediately after and therefore “it’s a blur, sir”.



Washington Irving was American’s first internationally famous author.  And the first (or one of the first) to make a living entirely from writing stories.


He purchased a small, stone cottage on ten acres adjacent to the Hudson River in 1835.  He remodeled it extensively in the Romantic style embraced in mid-19th-century America which placed emphasis on appreciating and incorporating the natural landscape.  



The house and grounds are much as they were when Washington Irving resided here in the 1850s.



In 1842, he became Ambassador to the Court of Isabella II of Spain.  He left the care of Sunnyside to his brother, Ebenezer, who lived there with his four daughters, who supervised running the household.  Shortly after his return, he added the “Spanish Tower” – which if you’ve been to the Alhambra will look familiar.  This added 4 bedrooms to the house – which if I recall correctly, was where the staff lived.