As guests of preservationist Dick Jenrette, the fall of 2002 brought a unique opportunity for Conservancy members who were invited to board the sleek cruiser “SeaStreak” and head up the Hudson River for an afternoon at enchanting “Edgewater.” Built in 1825 on the Hudson River in upstate New York, the historic house combines classical architecture with a dramatic setting to create one of the Hudson Valley’s most charming riverside homes. The house is built on a small peninsula extending into the river and faces due west across the river to the Catskill Mountains. Surrounded by green lawn, ancient trees, and water on three sides, the house seems secluded and has the feel of being on a small island.
With its high ceilings and tall windows, Edgewater seems more suited to a Southern climate than the Hudson Valley. There is some reason to believe that the design of the house may have been provided by Robert Mills, a prominent American architect of the early 19th Century and a native Charlestonian who returned to work in Charleston in the 1820s. Edgewater, with its Doric columns, Roman-arched doors, and tri-partite windows, is very similar to Mills’ work in South Carolina at the time. Overall, the house is more Roman than Greek, and the interior woodwork details seems more Federal period than Greek Revival.