Today I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the famed Kykuit: The Rockefeller Estate, a massive 40-room estate situated on the highest point in the hamlet of the Pocantico Hills.
Divided into various tours based on interest and time, I took the Classic Tour, which was noted for being “perfect for first-time visitors.” This guided look into Kykuit included a look into some of the main rooms of the estate, the gardens, Nelson A. Rockefeller’s in-home art gallery and the coach barn filled with classic cars.
The tour started out right on time at the tourist center at Philipsburg Manor where our group loaded up in a tour van as our tour guide started with the history of the Rockerfeller’s.
Only a short distance from Philipsburg Manor, it was incredible to drive up to the property that was surrounded by a combination of well-manicured and luscious greenery as well as a collection of modern sculptures. While unable to see the massive scope of the house from the van, I was amazed after we got off the van, soaking in the incredible architecture of the side of the house. Massive windows, a greenery on the side of the house and sculptures donned the home that overlooked a gorgeous and calm garden.
Once in the house we were unable to take pictures but had the chance to view a collection of rooms where four generations of the Rockerfeller’s lived. We saw John’s office where he planned his philanthropic causes, the ladies’ waiting room, the butlers’ kitchen, the library, the dining room, the piano room and back to another side of the garden. What was the most remarkable was not only the attention to detail in the designs throughout the house but how much the home was an the location of an incredible collections of Chinese and European art, ceramics and rugs. While many of these areas are roped off, we did have the opportunity to view the massive art collection of Nelson A. Rockefeller, including original works of Pablo Picasso.
As we weaved from room-to-room, we also had the opportunity to learn more about the family as well as the details of each room. Our guide, who was filled with a wealth of knowledge, shared so many interesting stories and tidbits about the family including how they actually lived quite modestly, despite their wealth, and how they strived to give to back.
Another highlight was walking through the expansive gardens, viewing the outdoor pool, beautiful flowers and soaking in the most stunning views of the Hudson River. My daughter was also on the tour with us and she loved looking at the greenery and starring at the water–a mesmerizing view that was calming in its beauty.
I found the tour to suite anyone who has a deep interest in the family or even those that know very little as you’ll be amazed at by the fascinating tour and knowledgable tour guide who recounts the history of the family and of the house with great depth.
Lasting around two hours, the tour was an incredible way to learn more about the history of the Rockefeller’s as well as to spend some time viewing parts of a massive estate that they once called home.
For more information on the tours and other tours through the Hudson Valley, please visit: http://www.hudsonvalley.org/historic-sites/kykuit
We were provided tickets for the purposes of this view. All opinions are our own.