This gatehouse is the only original surviving building on Mathew Vassar’s Springside estate in Poughkeepsie, a commission that AJ Downing was awarded upon his return from England with his new design partner, Calvert Vaux, in 1850. As Frank Kowsky writes in his book, Country, Park and City, “This gate lodge alone survives intact to give us a good idea of the charm that Springside’s architecture once possessed. (It is in fact the second version of the design for the entrance building. The first scheme, showing a stucco covered gatehouse survives as a drawing by Vaux).” Much of the original estate land was sold off for condominiums, whose owners have to drive on a paved road through these historic grounds to reach their dwellings. About 20 original acres remain, reflecting Downing and Vaux’s layout, based on Downing’s principles.
photo (c) Alan Strauber (all rights reserved)