Empire Explorer

Hoyt House aka “The Point”


Hoyt House aka “The Point”

One of my favorite hidden relics of the Hudson Valley is this gothic-revival beauty that’s been withering away in the woods of Staatsburg for the last 50 years. Hoyt House and its grounds were designed by Calvert Vaux (Central Park, Olana, The Met, so much more) in 1855 for Lydig Monson Hoyt, a wealthy NYC merchant. The Hoyt family lived in the house until 1963, when they were evicted by Robert Moses’s parkland acquisition policies. The plan was to destroy the house and build a public swimming pool, but after funds fell through, the house was left abandoned. For decades it stood vulnerable to vandalism and neglect. When I first discovered it some years ago, it had become the source of silly legends and superstitions that claimed that the Hoyt family had all killed themselves within and that the home had secret underground tunnels for entering and exiting unseen. Luckily, in recent years, the Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance has worked to raise funds and restore Hoyt House. Their efforts have already resulted in a restored roof, gutters, and chimney and they continue to raise funds for further restoration. If you want to visit Hoyt House, it can easily be visited on a hike in the Mills Memorial State Park, but don’t expect to peek inside, it’s fenced off and alarmed 😉

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