In 1900 New York City military surplus dealer Francis Bannerman purchased Pollepel Island in the Hudson River, south of Poughkeepsie. Over the next 17 years he built a castle-like structure as a combination summer home and storage warehouse. After Bannerman’s 1918 death the structure underwent a series of destructive incidents, including an explosion and later a fire, that destroyed the interior. In 1967 the family, who had continued living there during the summers, sold the building to New York State.
Last winter I was returning from Manhattan by train on a wintry day and took these pictures out of the passenger car window, which due to conditions turned out to have an almost abstract look.
Then, this past December, the New York Times reported that two thirds of the eastern tower and a third of the adjacent wall had crumbled, due to over a century of poor weather.
So, there’ a slightly smaller portion left to see today. Still, worth a look, if you get a chance.
© 2010 David Minor / Eagles Byte
A Preservation News Story on Banerman's Castle can be found at