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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
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.