THE DR. OLIVER BRONSON HOUSE & ESTATE
NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK
PHOTO COURTESY: HISTORIC HUDSON
HISTORIC HUDSON IS COMMITTED TO THE PRESERVATION OF OUR CITY'S HISTORIC HERITAGE THROUGH EDUCATION AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT, EVENTS, AND LEADERSHIP IN THE RESTORATION OF SIGNIFICANT SITES.
EXCERPT FROM HISTORIC HUDSON: “The Dr. Oliver Bronson House was built as a three story Federal style residence for Samuel Plumb in 1811-1812. The house and grounds were reinvented by architect Alexander Jackson Davis into a fully realized Romantic-Picturesque estate for Dr. Oliver Bronson and his family in two successive remodeling campaigns dating to 1838 and 1849. The house is the earliest extant design by Davis in the “bracketed mode,” and its dramatic setting framed by the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River fully expressed the romantic vision of the Hudson River School painters Thomas Cole and Frederic Church who owned villas within a three mile radius of each other.
… the Dr. Oliver Bronson House is comparatively unknown due to its twentieth century history in which the estate was absorbed into the grounds of a penal institution: the New York Training School for Girls; a progressive era reform school for female juvenile delinquents. Used for many years as the superintendents’s house the Dr. Oliver Bronson House was abandoned in 1970 and suffered many years of unchecked neglect.” READ MORE FROM HISTORIC HUDSON
DESIGN HUDSON’S 2ND ANNUAL DESIGNER SHOWCASE EVENT:
COCKTAIL PARTY AT THE BRONSON HOUSE 2019
EXCERPT FROM DESIGN HUDSON: “While wandering through the historic Oliver Bronson House, visitors will experience the juxtaposition between the historic architecture and the furniture, art and decorative wares available from Hudson antique dealers, art galleries and modern home furnishing stores.
The Bronson House was first built as a Federal-style residence for Samuel Plumb in 1811-12. The house and grounds were reinvented by architect Alexander Jackson Davis into a fully realized Romantic-Picturesque estate for Dr. Oliver Bronson and his family in two successive remodeling campaigns dating to 1838-39 and 1849-50. The house is the earliest extant design by Davis in the “bracketed mode,” and its dramatic setting framed by the Catskill mountains and the Hudson River fully expressed the romantic vision of the Hudson River School painters Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, who owned villas nearby.
In 1919 the private estate was absorbed into NYS Training School for Girls and used as the superintendent’s house until 1970. The house was abandoned, suffering 38 years of unchecked neglect. It is now part of the Hudson Correctional Facility. In 1997 Historic Hudson began a sustained program of advocacy for the house leading to the designation as a National Historic Landmark in 2003. In 2008, house and just 1.2 acres were secured with a long term lease with New York State. The exterior conservation and stabilization plan began and is nearing completion in 2020.
Historic Hudson continues to work to preserve the Bronson House and a portion of the proceeds from Design Hudson will support this work. In addition, plans are underway for a public access park incorporating the 55 acres of the National Historic Landmark designation, just one block away from Warren Street. READ MORE
THE MAGAZINE ANTIQUES | by Alan Gray Neumann | With photography by Anthony D’Argenzio for Zio & Sons
EXCERPT “Hidden on the grounds of the New York State correctional facility in Hudson, New York, is an elegant villa that dates to 1812. Abandoned in 1970 when the prison took possession of the house and the land around it from the New York State Training School for Girls, the house had been the residence of the superintendent of the reformatory established in 1904. The villa was scheduled for demolition as a fire department training exercise in the early 1970s when Richard Hampton Jenrette learned of it. The famed historic preservationist had purchased Edgewater, an 1825 estate in nearby Barrytown, in 1969, and personally intervened to secure the Bronson House’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places in February 1973.” READ MORE FROM THE MAGAZINE ANTIQUES