Wilderstein, Morton Road, Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, NY
Significance: Situated on a bluff looking south on the Hudson River, Wilderstein is an interesting adaptation of a mid 19th century villa to a variation of the Queen Anne style. Wilderstein has been the seat of the Suckley family since its design in 1853 by John Warren Ritch. In 1888-89, the addition of a tower, new verandas, porte ochere, and service wing designed by Poughkeepsie architect Arnout Cannon, greatly altered the simple villa character. A rich interior scheme, furnished by J.B. Tiffany and Co., is comprised of oak, mahogany and cherry as well as 44 leaded glass panels. Downing Vaux altered the main stair and added the shady in 1892, Vaux and Co. designed an extensive landscape architecture plan to improve the grounds which were originally pasture. Vaux and Radford designed the Gate Lodge.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: FN-311, FN-312, FN-313, FN-314, FN-315, FN-316, FN-317
Survey number: HABS NY-5629
Building/structure dates: ca. 1853 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1878 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1889 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1890 Subsequent Work
In 1837 Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young founded Tiffany & Company in Brooklyn, Connecticut, as a "stationery and fancy goods emporium". Charles Tiffany's father who financed the store with only $1,000. Charles Lewis Tiffany along with his friend John B. Young established the jewelry company Tiffany in 1837 as Tiffany, Young and Ellis. They settled in Manhattan selling imported high-class glassware, silverware jewelry, and porcelain. Unlike other stores at the time, Tiffany clearly marked the prices on its goods, only accepted cash payments, and did not allow purchases on credit. The first Tiffany mail order catalog, known as the "Blue Book", was published in 1845, and publishing of the catalog continues it to this day. The company began designing its own jewelry in the 1850s, relocating to Fifth Avenue and opening branches in Paris and London. Tiffany adopted the British silver standards, establishing the term "sterling" in the US. Charles Comfort Tiffany succeeded his father as director and led the company to become one of the leading proponents of the Art Nouveau style and shortened the name to Tiffany & Company, changed emphasis on jewelry in 1853. In 1862 Tiffany supplied the Union Army with swords (Model 1840 Cavalry Saber), flags, and surgical implements. In 1870, the company built a new store building at 15 Union Square West, Manhattan, designed by John Kellum. It was described by The New York Times as a "palace of jewels". In 1956, legendary designer Jean Schlumberger joined Tiffany, and Andy Warhol collaborated with the company to create Tiffany holiday cards (circa 1956–1962).