Crumbling castle in Westchester County with a storied past seeks $3.7M

Posted On Thu, August 3, 2017 By

Posted On Thu, August 3, 2017 By In Getting Away, Historic Homes, Quirky Homes, Upstate

Built in 1927 by David T. Abercrombie, Elda Castle, as it was known, was named after the first letter of each of his four children’s names (h/t Curbed). Abercrombie was the founder of Abercrombie and Fitch, which was originally a purveyor of high-end hunting and safari gear. The vision of his wife, Lucy Abbott Cate—the project’s architect—was the driving force behind the 4,337-square-foot steel-girded estate of granite and local fieldstone at 249 Croton Dam Road that once had 25 rooms, arched doorways, a tower accessed by a winding spiral staircase of cast iron and too many courtyards and patios to count. The fascinating home sits on 49.5 acres in the Westchester County town of New Castle (though it has an Ossining postal address). It’s in need of total renovation, and if the internet is to be believed, whoever buys this romantically overgrown estate currently asking $3.69 million may have quite an adventure on their hands.

249 croton dam road, cool listings, ossining, elda castleImage courtesy of Sotheby’s

The estate is the subject of a trove of local lore. After the original owners it had many lives including ownership by Harrick Scientific company president James Harrick and JP-Morgan-heir-turned-radical-dissenter Corliss Lamont, Ph.D., in the hands of various caretakers and use as a rental cabin. Several owners who attempted to restore it to its former glory were thwarted by an explosion and fires, malicious vandals and other terrible setbacks that have prompted those familiar with it–including the descendants of its creators–to wonder in passing if it might be haunted.

249 croton dam road, cool listings, ossining, elda castleImage courtesy of Sotheby’s

A post by historic house blog Old House Dreams managed to rustle up commenters from relatives of the building’s original contractor to neighbors, visitors, caretakers and others who tell stories of fascinating details spotted on its grounds including a time capsule, man-made ponds with a diving board, an ore bucket, a dungeon and more.

249 croton dam road, cool listings, ossining, elda castleImage courtesy of Sotheby’s

Much of the castle’s infrastructure remains unclaimed by time and nature despite fires and several failed renovation attempts and relapses into ruin. Massive steel-framed arched windows stand tall; a spiral staircase still winds its way up a tower that looks out over the property’s trees; windows are broken but a stone chimney and stairs remain.

249 croton dam road, cool listings, ossining, elda castleImage courtesy of Sotheby’s

The castle was was originally surrounded by over 350 acres with outbuildings. grottoes, ponds and a boathouse. The listing says the vast property can also be subdivided, but its remaining 50 acres certainly sound good if you want to be left alone on your crumbling estate.

[Via CurbedNY]

[Listing: 249 Croton Dam Road by Christina DiMinno for William Pitt Julia B Fee Sotheby’s International]

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Images courtesy of Sotheby’s

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