Lyndhurst, also known as the Jay Gould estate, is a Gothic Revival country house that sits in its own 67-acre (27 ha) park beside the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York, about a half mile south of the Tappan Zee Bridge on US 9. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
Designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis, the house was owned in succession by New York City mayor William Paulding, Jr., merchant George Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould. Paulding named his house “Knoll”, although critics quickly dubbed it “Paulding’s Folly” because of its unusual design that includes fanciful turrets and asymmetrical outline. Its limestone exterior was quarried at Sing Sing in present-day Ossining, New York.
Merritt, the house’s second owner, engaged Davis as his architect, and in 1864–1865 doubled the size of the house, renaming it “Lyndenhurst” after the estate’s linden trees. Davis’ new north wing included an imposing four-story tower, a new porte-cochere (the old one was reworked as a glass-walled vestibule), a new dining room, two bedrooms and servants’ quarters.
Gould purchased the property in 1880 to use as a country house, shortened its name to “Lyndhurst” and occupied it until his death in 1892. In 1961, Gould’s daughter Anna Gould donated it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The house is now open to the public.
Unlike later mansions along the Hudson River, Lyndhurst’s rooms are few and of a more modest scale, and strongly Gothic in character. Hallways are narrow, windows small and sharply arched, and ceilings are fantastically peaked, vaulted, and ornamented. The effect is at once gloomy, somber, and highly romantic; the large, double-height art gallery provides a contrast of light and space.
The house sits within a landscape park, designed in the English naturalistic style by Ferdinand Mangold, whom Merritt hired. Mangold drained the surrounding swamps, created lawns, planted specimen trees, and built a conservatory. The park is an outstanding example of 19th-century landscape design with a curving entrance drive that reveals “surprise” views of rolling lawns accented with shrubs and specimen trees. The (390-foot-long (120 m)) onion-domed, iron-framed, glass conservatory, when built, was one of the largest privately owned greenhouses in the United States.
Released at the convention of the National Trust for Historic Preservation on October 9, 1980, the four stamps (Scott #1838-1841) of the 1980 American Architectural commemorative series comprise the second group of American Architecture Series stamps issued since 1979 . The featured buildings include the Trinity Church (Boston, Massachusetts), the Smithsonian (Washington, D.C.), Lyndhurst (Tarrytown, New York), and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Each embodies the very best of nineteenth-century American architecture. According to the United States Postal Service, these specific buildings were chosen for depiction based on their “enduring beauty, strength and usefulness,” a fitting description for them all.
Designed by four of the most outstanding architects in American history, these buildings have stood the test of time in terms of beauty and sound structure. When constructed, they extended the limits of American architecture and inspired originality and ingenuity throughout the field of architecture. Henry Richardson, James Renwick, Alexander J. Davis, and Frank Furness, the respective architects, boldly designed these buildings, which represent patriotism, creativity, and fearlessness while inspiring a deep sense of nationalism in any American who visits them.
Artist Walter D. Richards of New Canaan, Connecticut, designed the stamps for this series. The Postal Service’s production of the four 15-cent stamps of the 1980 American Architecture Series totaled 152,420,000 stamps. Recess-printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and perforated 11, Scott #1841 saw a printing of 38,105,000.