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Great Estates & Historic Mansions of the Hudson Valley

Did you know that the Hudson Valley has the largest concentration of Nationally recognized Historic Places of anywhere in the US? The history and events of the Colonies in the Valley streatch back into the 17th century when it was the major trade route north into Canada and west into the deep frontier. People and places in the Valley played pivotal roles throughout the history of the Colonies as it unfolded into a new nation, and right into the 21st century.

Being the path north first from New Amsterdam, and then New York, the Valley was the central crossroads of great people and great events. Trading with the native cultures in furs, wars, revolutions, giants of industry, agriculture, ecology, art and as the most celebrated scenic location in America, all this swirled through the great flowing waters of the Hudson River. From its beginnings the mighty Hudson River has played a pivotal role in the bloody conquest and dominion of the North American wilderness by European cultures.

In 1996, the Hudson River Valley was designated as a National Heritage Area by Congress. In that legislation the Valley was described as the "landscape that defined America." It continues in that role even today and is positioned economically and culturally to carry that leadership role into the unforseeable future.

The region has played a central role in shaping the history of the United States for nearly 400 years. In that time it has been the location of possibly the most significant domestic structures ever conceived and erected in this nation. The Hudson Valley gave birth to the romantic movement in domestic landscape and architecture in the works of AJ Downing, Calvert Vaux and others. The monied class flocked up into the Valley from New York, building estates and mansions of uncomparable beauty in location, landscape and design. This movement from urban congestion and strife continues right up to today. The Valley continues to contain the most significant collection of homes and landscapes of anywhere in the world.

In this article we bring to you the collection of Great Estates that are accessible to you to visit and enjoy. Although a long list, it is by no means a complete list as most of the Great Estates remain in private hands and continue to be scenes of domestic encampment. The Valley remains the most desirable of locations to settle in. As you drive our Valley, watch the hillsides and river banks, look through the trees and across the meadows, peer through the groves and past the ornamental fences and discover the full panoply of domestic life on the River.

Hudson Valley Great Estates

Home of Thomas Cole




Montgomery Place



Vanderbilt Mansion

FDR Home & Library

Locust Grove





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