Tag: New York State

Bannerman Island Castle                                     POB 843                                                       Glenham, NY 12527

Bannerman Island Castle POB 843 Glenham, NY 12527

I recently visited Bannerman Island (Pollepel Island) just outside of Beacon, New York on a cool cloudy day and I highly recommend the twenty minute boat trip to this mysterious and scenic island. The only way to visit the island is by boat or kayak and the ride is very quick depending on the weather and the waves on the Hudson River.

Once you get to the island, you are greeted by the tour guide and then have to walk up 74 steps from the harbor to the ridge of the island so this is NOT ADA compliant.  At the top of the stairs starts the path around the island. Our tour guide that lead the tour had been there since the tours started in 2004 and gave us many insights on the history of the island and its purpose to the Bannerman family.

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Bannerman Island

Our first stop was the Bannerman Munitions Storage facilities that were in the form of a castle that can be seen from the rail system up to Poughkeepsie, NY. For years I thought (as most people do) that this was a home but it was the Bannerman Munitions Warehouse for all the Army surplus items that Mr. Bannerman had brought up here from New York City. All the Military items were stored up here and the orders were fulfilled from this island.

The company has not been in business since the early 60’s and when the children of the founder closed the company after the laws in the Federal Government changed to where private citizens could not sell explosive, it put a damper into operations. In 1967, the storage buildings were destroyed by fire and the compound was a shell of the former factory. The home was also abandoned at the top of the ridge when the family sold the island.

Bannerman Castle III

The Bannerman Island Munitions Storage Facility

Once you leave the former storage facility which is now being held up by stilts because the structure is so weak, you will proceed up the path past the formal gardens that are planted along the trail. The local garden clubs now come to the island to replant Mrs. Bannerman’s formal gardens and beautify the island.

At the top of the point, there is the former home of the Bannerman family that is currently under renovation. It houses a quick tour of the family and there is a small gift shop inside. The porch area has the most amazing views of the Hudson River and the surrounding mountains. Here the Friends of Bannerman Island show movies in the warmer months and hold plays just outside the home. The last movie had been “Abbott and Costello Meet the Frankenstein”, which had been sold out according to the tour guide.

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The Bannerman House and Gardens

As you exit the tour, you will be heading down another flight of stairs to go back to the harbor. Please watch out for poison ivy! It is all over the place. Then it is back on the boat to the Beacon harbor. The tour guide gives you plenty of time to take pictures.

The tours are finished at the end of October and will reopen again in the Spring. You must book on line for the tours through the State website and the boats only hold 44 people so be sure to book in advance of when you want to go.

I had lucked out in that three people did not show up for the 2:00pm tour and I was able to pay cash for the trip.

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For the views alone it is well worth the trip.

 

History of Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island:

Bannerman Castle was built from 1901-1918 by Frank Bannerman IV as a warehouse to store his collection of antique military equipment from the Spanish American and Civil Wars. Bannerman was the father of the Army Navy Store. His  world famous catalogue of military equipment became the “go to” source for collectors.

The island housed seven structures that formed the Scottish baronial castle, including workers apartments, a summer residence and beautiful trails and gardens.

A great fire in 1969 destroyed the interiors and left the shells you see today. Bannerman island opened for tours in 2004.

 

History of Francis Bannerman VI:

Francis Bannerman VI was born on March 24th, 1851 in Northern Ireland and emigrated to the United States in 1854. The family moved to Brooklyn, NY and began a military surplus business by the Brooklyn Navy Yard purchasing army surplus after the Civil War. The family continued to grow the business by buying weapons directly from the Spanish Government before it evacuated Cuba and then purchased 90% of the munitions auctioned off by the Federal Government that had been capture by American forces at the close of the Spanish-American War.

The family bought the island in 1900 to store the surplus items to their growing business. The warehouse in New York was too small and too dangerous to keep in the City anymore and they could keep their inventory isolated on the island.

The castle was visible from the water and had a giant advertisement sign right on the arsenal “Bannerman’s Island Arsenal” created into the wall of the building. With the change in federal and state laws on selling military weapons and the sinking of the ferryboat that served the island by 1950, the island was abandoned. The island and its buildings were bought by New York State in 1967 and is now run by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

(This information is a combination from Wiki and the island pamphlet)

 

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center/Vassar College          124 Raymond Avenue                                             Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center/Vassar College 124 Raymond Avenue Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center/Vassar College

124 Raymond Avenue

Poughkeepsie, NY  12604

(845) 437-5632

fllac.vassar.edu

https://fllac.vassar.edu/

blogs.vassar.edu/fllaceducation

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-5:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48443-d2419076-Reviews-Frances_Lehman_Loeb_Art_Center_at_Vassar_College-Poughkeepsie_New_York.html?m=19905

Visiting The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is a wonderful afternoon out. Its best to park in the North Campus parking lot. You can walk the campus on a nice day down to the museum and enjoy the campus architecture. The campus is straight out of an Ivy League handbook. The museum is located by the front gate of the campus, and you can tour the whole museum in about two hours comfortably.

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The entrance to the Frances Loeb Art Museum at 124 Raymond Avenue

Take time to walk the Art Garden next to it and they have a really nice little downtown off North Campus to wonder around the restaurants and shops. See my review of Pizzeria Bacio Ristorante at 7 Collegeview Avenue near North Campus. The food is excellent!

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center opened in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The founding members of the college’s Board of Trustees understand art to be an integral part of the academic experience. Vassar therefor became the first college or university in the United States to include an art museum as part of its original plan. Since its inception, the museum has remained a significant part of the Vassar experience.

Frances Loeb Art Museum

The entrance to the museum at night

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is a cultural destination both for the Vassar College community and for visitors from the region and around the world who are attracted by the breadth and quality of the art on view. It is unique to the region in its combination of stellar temporary exhibitions and an ongoing installation of the permanent collection that features art through the ages, from ancient Egypt to the present.

Frances Loeb Art Museum III

Ancient Art gallery

The collection began with an initial gift from Matthew Vassar of 3,800 works of art, including an important group of Hudson River School paintings and British watercolors. Today, the Art Center’s collection has grown to over 18,000 works of art that span antiquity to the present. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints and a wide range of works by major European and American twentieth-century painters, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Joan Miro, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol.

The Andy Warhol exhibition was being shown on my first trip to the museum

https://www.vassar.edu/theloeb/publications/people-are-beautiful-prints-photographs-and-films-andy-warhol

I went to the museum recently before the closing of the “Beyond the Threshold: Tibetan Contemporary Art” and “Mastery and Merit: Art from the Jack Shear Collection” and got to view the galleries before they closed for the evening. Admittingly I am no expert of Buddhist art, but the Jack Shear collection gave you a perspective on the religion.  The art portrayed Buddha in many forms as Divine.

Frances Loeb Art Museum Tibetan art

Buddha the Divine from the Jack Shear Collection

https://www.vassar.edu/theloeb/exhibitions

The contemporary works were very interesting as it delved into what modern Tibetans all over the world see in the form of current happenings, playing off other famous works of art (such as the modern version of the Mona Lisa) and a contemporary take on the Buddha. 

The modern take on Buddha from a contemporary perspective

https://www.vassar.edu/theloeb/exhibitions/beyond-threshold-tibetan-contemporary-art

The Art Center is housed in a building designed by Cesar Pelli and completed in 1993. The Hildegarde Krause Baker, class of 1911, Sculpture Garden includes works by Frank Stella, Gaston Lachaise and Anthony Caro, among others.

There are tours for School Groups, Adult Groups, Individuals and Self-Guided for individuals. Please call the museum for more information on this. They also offer a Late-Night Program, where the museum stays open on Thursdays from 5:00pm-9:00pm. There are creative happens every week.

You can also join as a member and there are opportunities to volunteer at the museum.  To learn more about both of these, please call (845) 437-5237.

Frances Loeb Art Museum II

The modern gallery

Disclaimer: This information about the museum came from the museum pamphlets. Please call the above numbers for more information or email them. It is a great afternoon out to just tour the museum and then walk around the campus on a nice day. Don’t miss the Andy Warhol exhibition before it closes.