Pleasure Grounds

Pleasure Grounds tells the story of the major estates that once comprised the Bard College campus of Annandale-on-Hudson along with the people that imbued them with character and historical value. From the late 1700s throughout most of the 19th century the town of Annandale, then called Cedar Hill, flourished as a mill center. As designers and artists came to discover the breathtaking scenery of the Hudson Valley the term pleasure grounds was born. The area grew in aesthetic popularity and gorgeous estates began to spring up along the river. Between years 1775 and 1835 these estates were designed in a particularly Neoclassical style, and most often modeled after European architecture. By the mid-1800s the romantic period had reached its peak. A shift occurred in architectural leaning from Neoclassical riverfront estates to new romantic designs that stressed emotion, individualism, eclecticism, and an appreciation for beauty. It also goes without saying that these elaborate homes could not have been constructed and maintained without the hands and strength of laborers. These laborers, either on their own volition or by enslavement, worked long, arduous hours building, tending, cooking, and child-rearing. This exhibit uses a map to plot out important buildings and locations along with the people associated with those places.


Laila Iravani ('15), Edited by Cynthia Koch, Jeremy Hall ('98) & Meghan Hogan ('17)