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Where In the Hudson Valleyâ€¦?
A Gatehouse Gift
By Sasha Tropp
Many notable figures — including four U.S. presidents — have been guests at the ritzy 19th-century resort hotel on whose grounds this unusual building stands. Constructed out of stone from the surrounding mountains, the structure was built as an elaborate gatehouse, and once served as the stagecoach entrance for the hotel (which was founded by two members of a prominent local family; their descendents still own it). Designed by architect James E. Ware, the immense gateway was erected in 1907 to commemorate the 50th wedding anniversary of one of the hotel’s founders; 1,200 friends and guests contributed close to $20,000 toward the cost of construction.
After the advent of the automobile, the gatehouse slowly fell into disuse; cars began taking the much quicker mountain road that had been too steep for horses and carriages to use. No one knows the exact date when the final car passed under the 12-foot-high stone archway, but by the early 1960s the building was being used as a nature museum. (It is now a private residence; if you wish to see it in person, you’ll have to do so from a distance — no trespassing is allowed.)
Standing approximately 66 feet high, the lookout tower affords spectacular views of the surrounding forest — as well as the mountain ridge that’s been dubbed one of the “last great places on Earth” by the Nature Conservancy. A plaque on the gateway reads “Quare Monumentum Circumspice” — to seek their monument, look about. It is a fitting testament to the founders’ ability to create a harmonious union between their castle-like resort and the natural beauty surrounding it.
Do you know where in the Hudson Valley this refined roadhouse is located? If you do, e-mail us at email@example.com. The first person to correctly identify the spot wins a small prize. Check next month’s issue for the answer.