Sunnyside

This past summer, I made a trip to Philadelphia and stopped at two houses in Terrytown, New York (right near where the Tappan Zee Bridge crosses the Hudson River), on the way. The first was Sunnyside, which was the home of author Washington Irving. Although the earliest history of the building goes back to an old Dutch farmhouse built in 1656, Irving completely transformed it into his own home in the nineteenth century, after purchasing the property in 1835. Irving really did put his mark on the property, which is right along the river, with his own landscaping plans. His house, which has many Gothic and Romantic touches, became a famous American landmark as well. I strongly recommended visiting Sunnyside, as it is a home which, more than most, reflects the full spirit of its owner. The house is owned by Historic Hudson Valley, which has other house museums in the region. The gift shop at Sunnyside was also notable, being larger than average. Irving is most famous for Rip Van Winkle and Sleepy Hollow, but he wrote a large number of works, including biographies of Mohammad and George Washington. Sunnyside is one of the most evocative homes one can visit, for those with an interest in literature as well as those interested in the Romantic movement in America.

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