The Hudson River is lined from one end to the other with grand manor houses, but none compares to Kykuit (pronounced "Kye-cut"). It's not the oldest or even the largest of the estates, but many people find it the most spectacular. When John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, built Kykuit in its present classical Greek-Roman style in 1913, he was the richest man in the world. The estate, which became home to four generations of one of America's most famous business and philanthropic families, is architecturally grand and spectacularly sited and landscaped, with lovely stone terraces, fountains, and extensive Italianate formal gardens. Kykuit also houses Governor (and later Vice President) Nelson Rockefeller's incredible collection of 20th-century modern art, which graces the gardens and fills the entire lower level of the house. The sculpture collection includes important works by Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Constantin Brancusi, and David Smith among its 70 works, all placed with great care to take maximum advantage of the gardens and their sweeping views of the Hudson (both of which are perhaps unequaled by any of the great river estates). Outstanding among the pieces in the very Sixties art gallery in the house is a unique series of giant and shockingly vibrant tapestries commissioned from Pablo Picasso.
Visits to Kykuit begin at Philipsburg Manor ; coaches shuttle visitors to Kykuit. Tours of Kykuit last between 2 and 3 hours. Choose from among seven different tours depending on your interest: House and Inner Garden Tour; Gardens and Sculpture Tour; in-depth Grand Tour; Modern Art Tour; Family Tour; Selected Highlights Tour; and Time Saver Tour. In high season, tours often sell out by midday; advance reservations for individuals are suggested for the Grand Tour and Modern Art Tour.
- © Frommer's 2013
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Ask Poughkeepsie Locals about Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate
- Very Highly Recommended 2010
- visit website
- tel: 914/631-9491
- Pocantino Hills, (Rte. 9, 2 miles north of the Tappan Zee Bridge)
- Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
- Late Apr to early Nov Wed-Mon House and Inner Garden Tour 10am-3pm (until 4pm on weekends and during daylight saving time); Gardens and Sculpture Tour 11am weekends; Grand Tour Wed-Mon 9:45am and 1:45pm, also 3:15pm weekends; Family Tour (1 hr.) 10:50am weekends; Selected Highlights Tour 11am and 1:15pm weekdays and 1:15pm weekends; Time Saver Tour 12:50 and 3:35pm weekdays and 3:35pm weekends; Modern Art Tour 12:50pm weekends. Visitor center at Philipsburg Manor opens at 9am to sell Kykuit tickets for that day only; tickets also available online
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