Bannerman Castle Is Falling Down

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The castle before (top) and after the collapse. The black lines indicate roughly where the collapse took place. Photo: Barbara Gottlock, top, and Tom Johnson, BannermanCastle.org

Bannerman's Castle, the romantic turn-of-the-century ruin on an island in the middle of the Hudson River, has withstood storms and fires over the past hundred-odd years. But it may have been the blizzard of mid-December that finally defeated the gorgeous old structure. Last Saturday night, a week after the tempest, a large chunk of one of the castle's exterior walls crumbled in a heap of stone, brick, and cement. According to the Times, two-thirds of the eastern tower is now gone, along with a third of the southern wall.

You should check out the Bannerman Castle Trust website for a complete history of the building, which was built starting in 1901 by military-surplus magnate Frank Bannerman to house his wares. Situated on the isolated Pollepel Island in the Hudson River Valley, the site has been aggressively preserved and updated, and since 2004 visitors have been able to visit with guided tours. Though most of the castle, as you can see, remains standing — and there's much more loveliness to see on the island than just this one spot — it would be very difficult and costly to securely reinforce the entire structure. Whatever happens, why not pick this summer to take a day trip up there and check it out?

River Castle, Ever More an Apparition, Further Crumbles [NYT]
Bannerman Castle Trust [Official Site]