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19th Century Ghosts

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Historic Houses

The Victorian Cottages of New Brighton, Staten Island

Nestled in the New Brighton neighborhood of Staten Island are a small number of quaint, Victorian cottages, vestiges of one of America’s earliest suburban developments. Eleven of the original houses still stand. One beautiful Saturday in September I did a walking tour with Victorian Society in America and got to see these beautiful houses in person. I even got to tour three of them!

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Singer Castle of the Thousand Islands: A Storybook Dream

Singer Castle on Dark Island of the Thousand Islands is a marvel straight out of a storybook. Literally! The architect, Ernest Flagg (1857-1947), based his design around the medieval castle depicted in Sir Walter Scott’s 1832 novel Woodstock.

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Boldt Castle of the Thousand Islands

The Thousand Islands are a wonder in their own right. But two majestic architectural specimens residing within them deserve special attention: Boldt and Singer castles. In the Gilded Age the nation’s wealthiest flocked to the Thousand Islands for their summer retreats. Boldt Castle and Singer Castle are what remain of this era. Each, in its own way, is straight out of a fairytale. This first of two posts concerns Boldt Castle.

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A Gilded Age Wonder: Bannerman Castle

On Pollepel Island in Fishkill, NY stands a decaying wonder of the Gilded Age: Bannerman Castle. Not much remains of the once grand architectural complex, now merely a ghost of its grand predecessor, as an explosion, fire, vandalism, and natural disaster reduced it to its current fragile bones.

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