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Panoramas: Middle Valley

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The grounds of Wilderstein is one of the few remaining nearly intact landscapes of Calvert Vaux, one of the most important designers of the 19th century. Vaux created the grounds of Wilderstein in the Romantic style, structuring the views, carefully placing specimen trees and controlling your experience of nature.

In the 20th century, much of the plan became overgrown as the fortunes of the family disappeared through poor judgment and circumstances. The views of the river vanished, the nearby lands overgrew and most of Vaux's conception disintegrated.

But housed in the rabbit warren like rooms of the house was the landscapes salvation. Buried in the archives, waiting to be rediscovered, was the actual plan of Vaux, carefully laid out and detailed. The Wilderstein Preservation, the organization rescuing the house, is slowly restoring the grounds as well as stabilizing the structures. Already they have reopened one of the vistas down to the river, and more is planned for the near future.

Besides being one of the most interesting of the Hudson Valley's Great Estates, besides being owned by one of the most interesting characters in the history of the Hudson Valley, Wilderstein also is one of the most important landscapes in America.

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