Kykuit-the country home of John D. Rockefeller Sr., John D. Rockefeller Jr., Nelson A. Rockefeller, and their families-stands majestically atop a hill overlooking the Hudson River. Built between 1906 and 1913 by architects Delano and Aldrich, it has just recently been opened to the public. But visitors will never see the estate in as intimate a way as it is presented in this volume. To preserve the memory of what Kykuit was like when it was a private home, photographer Mary Louise Pierson, granddaughter of Nelson Rockefeller, spent years photographing the estate: the Big House-as family members call the main residence-and its interiors, designed by the renowned Ogden Codman; the outbuildings, including the Coach Barn, which now houses an impressive collection of horse-drawn carriages and an equally noteworthy collection of vintage cars, the orangerie, and the Playhouse, a Tudor-style mansion containing an indoor swimming pool, tennis court, fully equipped gym, and bowling alley; and the magnificent gardens, from the formal gardens designed by William Welles Bosworth to the golf course to the Japanese garden, and all the sculptures that three generations of Rockefellers installed on the grounds.
The text, by Ann Rockefeller Roberts, Governor Rockefeller's daughter, recounts the history of the magnificent estate, from its founding early in the century through its recent transfer to the National Trust, focusing on how each successive generation left its stamp on the decor, the gardens, and the painting and sculpture collections. Illustrated with dozens of historical photos, ranging from the construction of the house to snapshots of family members, the text includes never before published reminiscences of five generations of Rockefellers. Complete with a family tree, a map of the gardens, and visitor information, Kykuit: The Rockefeller Family Home offers a deeply personal look at the country residence of one of America's most distinguished families.