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Sunnyside, Home of Washington Irving


Sunnyside, Home of Washington Irving
Tarrytown, New York

Sunnyside is an important historic property that has been preserved and presented to the public by Historic Hudson Valley (HHV) and the former Sleepy Hollow Restorations since originally securing the property in the 1940s. Washington Irving, the highly popular 19th century author, developed the house and grounds as an expression of refined taste and aesthetic sensibilities. The Irving era landscape of Sunnyside was articulated in a series of spaces with distinctive landscape character, which remains partially intact today.

Heritage Landscapes was commissioned by Historic Hudson Valley to create a Landscape Master Plan focusing on the restoration of Sunnyside and the redesign and rehabilitation of the Grinnell property to absorb more intensive and diverse uses. The Landscape Master Plan included exploration of options for: restoration of the historic core of Irving's property; entry character and vehicular and pedestrian access; parking and circulation patterns; trail linkage, visual separation, perimeter security and physical connections to the newly acquired, adjacent Westchester County Park; and other relevant factors. Heritage Landscapes worked with Sunnyside staff in creating options for siting and related design of the adjacent Grinnell property for a new program of administration, educational and event uses. Conceptual plans addressed issues related to consideration of visual relationships, scenic views and visual screening between Sunnyside, neighboring properties and the Hudson River. Based on available historic documentation schematic restoration plans and estimates were developed for detailed areas of the property including Irving's gardens and intricate water system of pools, runnels and ponds for grant submittals. A targeted small study explored the storm water management problems that recur in storm events endangering the historic water system and adjacent landscape so that Historic Hudson Valley could work with the responsible municipalities toward solutions. The completed project won a VTASLA Planning & Analysis Honor Award and a CTASLA Landscape Architectural Communication Merit Award in 2005.

Historic Hudson Valley

Sunnyside Landscape Master Plan 2002; Sunnyside Landscape Rehabilitation, Preliminary Phasing, 2003; Sunnyside Brook Watercourse Assessment, 2003

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes lead for master plan, Sunnyside Brook Watercourse Assessment and Preliminary Phasing in coordination with Diveny Tung Schwalbe.

Award-Winning Project