In 1903, John Jacob Astor added a lavish sporting pavilion, designed by the renowned architect, Stanford White, to the Ferncliff estate in Rhinebeck, NY. Tragically, John Jacob perished ten years later in the sinking of the Titanic. His son Vincent inherited the property, turned the ‘Casino’ into his residence, and built the “Tea House” where the former estate once stood.
Inspired by the Garden Pavilion at Versailles, the Tea House was constructed in 1948 as an architectural ‘folly’ – a place to take tea on the banks of the river. It included a central octagonal room in brick with arch-topped French doors and concrete pillars. Over time, the Tea House evolved into a private residence and was purchased by Robert Duffy in 2013.
Mr. Duffy, the co-founder and former president of fashion company Marc Jacobs, is also a collector and connoisseur of architecture and design, having renovated properties around the world. Since purchasing the Astor Tea House, he has carefully restored it with respect for its French-inspired design vernacular. The river view is once again visible, the stone walls that border the property have been repaired, historic paths through the grounds and gardens have been rediscovered and an octagonal pool house, reminiscent of the original Tea House design, now stands beside the new pool.
Mr. Duffy has offered his exquisite and historic home, the Astor Tea House, to the Winnakee Land Trust for a Gala Event to support its work.
Winnakee Land Trust is hosting its annual gala fundraiser on Saturday, June 4th from 7 to 11 pm under a tent at the historic Astor Tea House, this lovely and iconic private home off River Road in Rhinebeck overlooking the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. This elegant setting will play host to an evening featuring sunset cocktails, dinner and dancing to live music and a silent auction.
Winnakee’s annual Gala is a critical part of the Land Trust’s fundraising strategy. Every year since 2007, more than 200 supporters gather at iconic venues on in Northern Dutchess such as The Locusts, Rokeby and the Belvedere Mansion, with this year’s gala at the historic Astor Tea House. Time is short but you might consider attending. Not only will you be in the company of some of the most generous donors to a worthy cause, but you will have an opportunity to visit the grounds of this secluded, private, and historic property on the banks of the Hudson River.
For more info please see click here.
Winnakee Land Trust protects and preserves open spaces in the northern Dutchess County. From the base of operations in Rhinebeck, NY, the land trust works with landowners and municipalities to protect scenic views, farmland and natural resources and to establish trails and parklands. The Mid-Hudson region is under tremendous development pressure and Winnakee’s work in protecting communities’ unique character is more important than ever.