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Tuxedo Park, NY - Gilded Age, International, Modernism in one place

Mark Twain in Tuxedo Park, New York in 1908

"When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain." Mark Twain

During America’s Gilded Age, numerous people focused on the new industrial fortunes as markets for their services. Richard Morris Hunt became a go-to architect for Gilded Age mansions and Frederick Law Olmsted was sought out to landscape Gilded Age estates (see Biltmore, for example, where George Vanderbilt hire both Hunt and Olmsted to design his French chateau-esque estate in Asheville, North Carolina in the 1890s). The Vanderbilt fortune, of course, was largely built on railroad during the era of America’s great railroad expansion, particularly centered on the New York City region.

Tuxedo Park, about an hour’s drive north of New York City, is one of the first planned communities in the United States. Developed in the 1880s by the heir to a tobacco fortune—Pierre Lorrilard IV—Tuxedo Park soon set the style, and name, for men’s evening dress the Tuxedo. The property was developed as a private hunting and fishing reserve and, surrounded by a high fence, essentially became America’s first gated community.

Catering to wealthy Gilded Age patrons, the developed lured both J.P. Morgan and William Waldorf Astor to have homes there amongst other luminaries. (The photo above of Mark Twain in Tuxedo Park in 1908 is in the public domain). Originally conceived with small cottages for rent, the development’s popularity soon led to the development of a private club, the Tuxedo Club and the Tuxedo Park Association. The development remained popular into the 1920s when the stock market crash and the subsequent Great Depression led to many residents selling their properties.

Following the Gilded Age architecture of Tudor-style shingled cottages, the next wave of construction in the 1940s and later included more up-to-date mid-century modern or international style architecture. One such property for sale includes a modern (1970) house “in the "style of Phillip Johnson or Mies van der Rohe” set amongst the ruins of a Gilded Age estate. Numerous other properties in Tuxedo Park are for sale as well (see links below).

Tuxedo Park (scroll down the linked page) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and the Tuxedo Park Historical Society was formed in 1982.


Modernist home built on ruins of Gilded Age estate asks $2.4 million

By Megan Barber


May 17, 2019

Also see

Tuxedo Park: The Gilded Age Community that time forgot

By Robert Khederian


March 2, 2017

Old-World Estate with 21st Century Luxuries

By Lanning Taliafarro

Patch New City

April 13, 2019

What you get f or $2.25 million

The New York Times

By Sean Carney

April 22, 2019

Mint-Condition International Style House In Hudson Valley

By Michael Woyton

Patch Mid Hudson Valley

May 18, 2019

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