Kinderhook in Columbia County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
1849-50 A House Transformed
Martin Van Buren Nat’l Hist Site
— National Park Service —
Architect Richard Upjohn’s renovations to Lindenwald in 1849-50 had a tremendous influence on the main house, originally built in 1797 by Judge Peter Van Ness. The red brick was painted yellow and brown and a four-and-a-half story Italianate tower was added to the rectangular Georgian structure to break up the symmetry characteristic of the earlier style. A Gothic Revival front porch with elegant Victorian tracery was added. When the renovations were complete the house was far more fashionable and had many more rooms.
The additional rooms were welcomed since the house was often filled with the President’s family and guests as well as household servants and farm hands. Van Buren had four sons, three daughters-in-law and 11 grandchildren ranging in age from infancy to their 20’s. There were two maids, a cook and a laundress – usually Irish immigrants – employed and living in the house. Friends, politicians, business associates and farm hands came and went and sometimes stayed the night.
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #08 Martin Van Buren series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1797.
Location. 42° 22.181′ N, 73° 42.22′ W. Marker is in Kinderhook, New York, in Columbia County. Marker is on Old Post Road, on the right when traveling south. Marker is on the grounds of the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kinderhook NY 12106, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fertile Political Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); Marble Mounting Block (within shouting distance of this marker); A Bustling Household (within shouting distance of this marker); Fallen White Mulberry Tree (within shouting distance of this marker); Lindenwald and the Old Post Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Lindenwald (within shouting distance of this marker); Farm Operations (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); An Agrarian Lifestyle… (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kinderhook.
More about this marker. The background of the marker contains a picture of Lindenwald. A portrait of Van Buren appears at the top of the marker, while two photos on the bottom right depict another view of Lindenwald and a picture of Upjohn. These have captions of “The addition of the west side of the house and the 66-foot-tall tower are clearly seen in this photo from the Historic American Building Survey.” and “Well-known architect Richard Upjohn, whom Van Buren jokingly called ‘the great architectural oracle,’ designed changes to the mansion in 1849.”
Also see . . .
1. Martin Van Buren National Historic Site. National Park Service website homepage (Submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
2. Biography of Martin Van Buren(Submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 723 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 2. submitted on October 12, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 7, 8. submitted on June 23, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.