One doesn’t generally associate castles with America,but castles in the United States have been creatively reinvented. You don’t have to skip across the pond to indulge your royal fantasies—it turns out we have towering turrets, secret passageways, and medieval moats aplenty right here at home, not to mention some fascinating stories about how these great houses came to be.With a list that spans the East Coast to the West, we have re-discovered the beauty of castles, from the old, the new and the most magnificent. Though they’re not nearly as old as the fortresses that dot the European countryside, many of their designs were inspired by centuries of European castles.
1.Hearst Castle – San Simeon, Calif.
2.Boldt Castle – Thousand Islands, N.Y
3.Castello di Amorosa – Napa Valley, Calif.
4.’Iolani Palace – Honolulu, Hawaii
5.Biltmore – Asheville, N.C.
6.Fonthill Castle – Doylestown, PA.
7.Lyndhurst Castle, Tarrytown, New York
Narrow hallways, pointy arched windows and peaked ceilings made this Gothic Revival castle — originally owned by New York City Mayor William Paulding Jr. in 1838 — an ideal “Collinwood” for two Dark Shadows movies.
Designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis, Lyndhurst castle sits on a 67-acre plot of land–much of which is covered by the gardenesque style landscaping work of Ferdinand Mangold–in Tarrytown, New York. Over the past two centuries, Lyndhurst has been modified many times by various owners. You can now see for yourself, given that Lyndhurst is open to the public.
8.Hammond Castle,Gloucester, MA
This medieval-style castle served as both home and laboratory for prolific inventor John Hayes Hammond Jr. after it was completed in 1929.
The building left Hammond with including a great hall with elaborate rose windows and pipe organ plus a courtyard featuring a two-story meat market/wine merchant’s house brought over from southern France. And, yes, like any proper mad scientist, he made sure there were secret passageways.
The castle is now a museum that displays his collection of Roman, medieval, and Renaissance art,in addition to Hammond’s inventions.(Hammond is largely credited as the “Father of the Radio Control,” as in tanks and planes and remote-controlled cars.）
About 1,000 feet off the coast of the Hudson River’s eastern shore lies a small, rocky island called Pollepel. It was here Bannerman Castle built by Scottish immigrant Francis Bannerman.Intended to be a warehouse for the businessman’s arsenal of military surplus goods, the castle faced deterioration and destruction due to explosions and fires over the years. Bannerman designed the castle himself, and had his crew build it without help from professional architects or engineers. A smaller castle served as a private home for Bannerman right next to the warehouse, where the Bannerman family lived until 1940.
After everyone eventually left, in 1957, the castle was left vacant for decades, until the Bannerman Castle Trust dedicated itself to preserving the remains of Bannerman Castle it remains abandoned.
No American castle is as fabulous as the Belvedere Castle, which was designed by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould.Built in 1869 as a lookout point over Central Park, this Gothic-style castle still offers some of Manhattan’s prettiest vistas.Since 1919, the National Weather Service has used it for a weather tower, but visitors can still enjoy the views from its upper floors.
Built in 1865 as a novelty lookout point in the park, the castle now houses National Weather Service offices, but visitors can still enjoy the views from its upper floors.Today it also houses a visitors center and the Henry Luce Nature Observatory.
Belvedere Castle is free and open to the public daily. pond and the open-air Delacorte Theater.