Washington Irving's Sunnyside House, Irvington

#7 of 22 in Historic Sites in Westchester County
Must see · Historic Site · Tourist Spot
The Washington Irving Memorial is located at Broadway and West Sunnyside Lane in Irvington, New York. It features a bust of Irving and sculptures of two of his better-known characters by Daniel Chester French, set in a small stone plaza at the street corner designed by Charles A. Platt. It is near Irving's Sunnyside estate.
A local woman, Jennie Prince Black, pushed for the memorial's creation and construction in 1909, since Sunnyside was then still an Irving family residence closed to the public and his admirers had few places to pay their respects to him. Her dream took almost 20 years to realize. The memorial went through a difficult construction process, passing through several proposed locations and many financial difficulties before it could finally be dedicated in 1927, a year later than originally planned. The opening of Sunnyside since then has led the Irving admirers there instead, but after a major restoration in the late 20th century it remains true to its original design. In 2000, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The memorial sits on a small triangle of land at the southwest corner of the junction, which marks the northern end of Irvington. Sunnyside Creek, a small tributary of the nearby Hudson River, flows through a culvert underneath and lends a sloping, wooded character to the land behind the memorial.
It consists of three parts: a tall central panel 10ft high and 8ft wide, bronze sculptures of two of Irving's characters, Rip Van Winkle and King Boabdil, flanking a bust of the author on a 6ft pedestal. Curved wing walls 4ft high and 12ft long come out on either side, further extended by 10ft of wrought iron fencing. All the stone is pink Vermont granite with dark veins. An inscription carved in the center memorializes Irving's multiple careers, and identifies the two characters depicted at his sides.
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163 reviews
  • This house was not special and would have hardly been worth the trip had not our guide been so informative. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was not Irvings only book. He was a prolific writer, but...  more »
  • Having visited Sunnyside as a child 50 plus years ago, I had clear and fond memories. What I found here was a sadly neglected house and yard that disappointed and upset me. It would have taken very....  more »
  • I had to see this amazing place, built by the USA’s first writer,based on his travels in Europe. Mentored by Sir Walter Scott and ambassador to Spain! Excellent views of the Hudson! The man and legend built a beautiful home! Must see sight. The wisteria he planted still flourishing and lush!
  • Such a lovely historical trip back in time. Our guide was a lovely lady who said she was originally from Sweden. She had such a joy, knowledge and passion about this home. She really brought the history to life for our group! A very worthwhile place to visit! Plus, there are lovely grounds you can walk around, great views of the Hudson as well as an area with picnic tables if you wanted to bring your lunch and sit outside.
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