Last week, we left off on a rocky outcrop by the shore. We were done exploring Sleepy Hollow and on to the next stop. Specifically, we were on to Untermeyer Gardens. Tipped off by a friend, we set off south to catch a view and snap some pics.
Let’s talk about some history. Before it was known as Untermeyer Gardens, it was a part of an estate called “Greystone”. Back then, it was owned by presidential candidate Samuel Tilden. (Side note, that election was one of the instances where a candidate won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote.)
Samuel Untermeyer purchased the estate when Tilden died in 1899, and planned to donate the estate to the United States. Before he could, he passed in 1940. The City of Yonkers eventually accepted at least a third of the estate, and it was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1974.
Untermeyer Gardens is located in Yonkers, Westchester County. It is a 43-acre park, featuring what they call a “Grecian garden”, an amphitheater, a classical pavilion, pergola, statuary, Temple of love, and a “Vista” staircase. We must have been particularly oblivious as I don’t remember seeing much of those 43 acres.
Small educational side note on Grecian Gardens. What they actually have is a form of Persian Paradise Garden. Paradise Garden has an old Iranian origin, dating back to the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian empire. The main quality of a paradise garden is the enclosed cultivated land by perimeter walls, often containing ponds, tills, or sometimes fountains.
When we entered the garden, we were blown away by the beauty of it. We were also kind of disheartened by its gloom. It was the last day of March and plants had only just begun to bloom. I saw Picturesque photographs on pamphlets by the entrance. They promised a beautiful garden and luscious plants and flowers. Since spring had only just begun, the fountains were off and no plants were visible.
Next, we walked on over to the Grecian amphitheater. An amphitheater is just an open, circular building. I could see the characteristic Corinthian columns holding up the structure. The amphitheater was remarkably well kept, although I did notice haphazard attempts at renovation like slipping on cement to fill cracks.
Finally, we walked over the “Vista” staircase. The Vista staircase is simply a long staircase that faces the Hudson River. It really offers great views of the Hudson River and Palisades to the West. The staircase is lined my stonework, and trees to either side towards the bottom.
All in all, it was a great trip. I think we have to definitely go one more time during this spring or summer. Sleepy Hollow was also a good time. Maybe the next time goes well be able to go inside the lighthouse. I hope you enjoyed this week’s #onethingoneweek and that it inspired you to go out and have your very own fun.