3. Ericstan, Tarrytown

The lost Hudson Valley estate of John Herrick
Image via NYPL

John J. Herrick’s castellated Gothic mansion designed by Alexander Jackson Davis looks like something straight out of a fairytale. It was designed in 1855, shortly after Davis completed another Tarrytown castle, Lyndhurst (which still stands today). Herrick, a dry-goods merchant, could enjoy stunning views of the Hudson River from the top of his three-story tower which faced west over the water.

Inside the granite castle – which was known as Ericstan and simply, The Castle – there were 30 rooms including a circle drawing room with a vaulted ceiling on the first floor of the tower. Herrick’s dining room table could easily seat 18 guests! Herrick wrote of his castle that it was the “best and most commanding building on the Hudson and the most beautiful and will stand through all time.” Sadly, Ericstan could not weather the test of time. Herrick’s dry-goods fortune dried up in 1865 and he was forced to sell the castle. From 1895 to 1933 it served as a private school for girls. When the school closed in the midst of the depression, no buyers could be found. The castle sat empty for over a decade before being demolished in 1944.