Dutchess County, New York

Hidden Gem on the Hudson River

Parlor of Edgewater, Barrytown, Dutchess County, New York.

Mr. Jenrette described sneaking onto the property in 1969 while it was owned by Gore Vidal, and soon learned that Vidal was looking for a purchaser. Jenrette promptly tendered an offer, which was accepted. Jenrette inscribed his own deep affection for the property by quoting Robert Donaldson’s reverie—“the consummation of earthly bliss”—on one of the neoclassical buildings added in the late twentieth century.

Pool House of Edgewater, built in 1997 and designed by Michael Dwyer for Richard H. Jenrette.

Donaldson, Downing, and Davis

Guest House of Edgewater, built in 1997 and designed by Michael Dwyer.

This was not the first time that Robert Donaldson had worked with Davis, as Davis had designed his former house, Blithewood, as well as its gatehouse. Donaldson was also a sponsor of Davis’s architectural pattern book, Rural Residences.

For its romantic landscape, Donaldson turned to the prominent American landscape designer Andrew Jackson Downing. After years of collaboration, Downing was so impressed by Robert Donaldson’s patronage that he dedicated his own pattern book, Architecture of Country Houses, to him, calling Donaldson an “arbiter elegantium,” or “arbiter of elegance.”

Richard H. Jenrette continued this tradition of hiring talented architects to improve the grounds at Edgewater when he commissioned Michael Dwyer to design a new guest house and pool house in 1997.

Pool House, built in 1997 and designed by Michael Dwyer.


National Register of Historic Places
Historic American Buildings Survey