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Sunnyside

  • Also Known As: Washington Irving House

  • Travel Genus: Sight , Visit
  • Sight Category: Museums

About five-and-twenty miles from the ancient and renowned city of Manhattan, formerly called New-Amsterdam, and vulgarly called New-York, on the eastern bank of that expansion of the Hudson, known among Dutch mariners of yore, as the Tappan Zee, being in fact the great Mediterranean Sea of the New-Netherlands, stands a little old-fashioned stone mansion, all made up of gable-ends, and as full of angles and corners as an old cocked hat. Though but of small dimensions, yet, like many small people, it is of mighty spirit, and values itself greatly on its antiquity, being one of the oldest edifices, for its size, in the whole country. It claims to be an ancient seat of empire, I may rather say an empire in itself, and like all empires, great and small, has had its grand historical epochs. In speaking of this doughty and valorous little pile, I shall call it by its usual appellation of "The Roost". - Wolfert's Roost and Miscellanies, Washington Irving

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Sunnyside
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Timeline

Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1685/00/00 Van Tassel cottage is built as a simple two-room stone tenant farmhouse. The date of its construction is supposed by some of the local inhabitants to be 1656 and by others to be in the 1680's.
1798/00/00 Washington Irving Visitor At the age of 15, Washington Irving first sees the Van Tassel cottage on the Hudson River, a few miles below Tarrytown. The dutch cottage is a simple, old stone house with a central chimney, much like the common colonial saltbox.
1835/06/07 Washington Irving Home Irving purchases, Wolfert's Roost, a 17th century Dutch house on the Hudson River for $1,800.
1835/09/00 George Harvey Architect Irving and George Harvey remodel the Dutch cottage into 2.5 story house with a new stone ell. The porch includes 2 cast-iron benches by Harvey. Plaque in Dutch: Founded 1656-Improved by Washington Irving 1835-George Harvey Master-Builder.
1841/00/00 Andrew Jackson Downing Visitor Andrew Jackson Downing mentions Sunnyside in "Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening in America". Through historic sketchs and descriptions, several of the paths have been recreated.
1847/00/00 Three story stone tower, stuccoed, is erected at the NE corner of the house and connected to it by a short one story passage. The tower combines Gothic elements with pagoda-like Chinese influences.
1859/11/28 Washington Irving Died Washington Irving dies of a heart attack in his bedroom at Sunnyside.
1945/00/00 John D Rockefeller Jr Benefactor Through the Sealantic Fund, John D Rockefeller buys Sunnyside from Louis Irving for historic preservation.
1947/00/00 After substantial restorations, Sunnyside is opened to the public.

Data »

Particulars for Sunnyside:
Sight Category Building
Physiographic feature Forest
Architectural Style Gothic Revival
Area of Significance Literature
Level of Significance National
Criteria Person
Owner Private
Historic Use Single dwelling



US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration: 15th October 1966

PLACE DETAILS
Registry Name: Sunnyside
Registry Address: Sunnyside Lane
Registry Number: 66000583
Resource Type: Building
Owner: Private
Architect: Harvey,George
Architectural Style: Gothic
Area in Acres: 27
Contributing Buildings: 2
Contributing Structures: 1
Other Certification: Designated National Landmark, National Landmark boundary approved
Certification: Listed in the National Register
Nominator Name: National Historic Landmark
CULTURAL DETAILS
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Literature
Applicable Criteria: Person
Period of Significance: 1850-1874, 1825-1849
Significant Year: 1835, 1859
Associated People: Irving,Washington
Historic Function: Domestic, Landscape
Historic Sub-Function: Single dwelling, Forest
Current Function: Recreation and Culture
Current Sub-Function: Museum

Creative Works »

WorkTypeAsNotedInCreatorNote
Sleepy Hollow (film) Film Tim Burton In the feature film, Sleepy Hollow, New York City police constable Ichabod Crane stays at the home of Baltus Van Tassel in the hamlet of Sleepy Hollow.

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