Also known as "Linden Hall" or "Fink's Castle" (circa 1900) The estate of Wyndcliffe was built in 1853 on the eastern bank of the Hudson River near Rhinebeck, New York. It was built for Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones who was a cousin by marriage to the wealthy Astor family, and aunt to novelist Edith Wharton. It was Miss Jones family who supposedly inspired the old adage, "keeping up with the Joneses" . The house was constructed on an 80 acre property known as Linden Grove, which at one time was combined with the property to the south now occupied by Linwood. Wyndcliffe was one of the grandest homes on the Hudson, with 24 rooms, carriagehouse, boathouse, tennis court, and great terraced lawn cascading down to the river. Miss Jones died in 1876 and Wyndcliffe was sold to Andrew Fink of New York. Fink was a cooper by trade, who had made beer barrels for Jacob Ruppert, owner of nearby Linwood. Fink kept Wyndcliffe until 1936 when it was abandoned and sat empty for 14 years. Then in 1950, a group of Hungarians turned Wyndcliffe into a nudist colony, however the good people of Rhinebeck objected to this and asked them to leave. At some point after this, Wyndcliffe became the property of a Carl Wilson, and Paul Kent of New York City, and Barrytown, New York who Once again, abandoned and boarded it up,..this time for good! A crucial point in Wyndcliffe's history, may be when vandals broke in and threw rocks at the Tiffany skylight over the great hall. Not only did it rip the skylight to shreds, but also the clear protective glass just above it. Once rain began pouring in, rotting out the walls and flooring, the building was doomed!

I was introduced to the home in 1998 by Robert King and have been visiting, prowling and photographing it ever since.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As of November 2003, restoration work is underway at Wyndclyffe. This is the first serious attempt to save the house in 25 years. Under new ownership, the mansion is no longer derelict and abandoned, but is now a private home undergoing reconstruction. Anyone interested in seeing the house should regard the property as such. Best of luck to the new owner in this ambitious effort to save one of the most historic houses in the Hudson Valley.

Here are some of the thousands of images I have made of the house--I would welcome the chance to hear from any others who have photographed the house or have any historical images and would be willing to share their photos with me - please email me!