Thursday Doors – October 24, 2019

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). 

Boldt Castle – Alexandria Bay, NY – Part 1

During this summer’s short visit to Kingston and the Thousands Islands region of the Saint Lawrence Seaway we took a river cruise through the Islands to visit one of the major tourist attractions on the American side, Boldt Castle.

Multi-millionaire New York City hotelier George Boldt (of the Waldorf-Astoria) began construction on this 6 story, 120 room castle on his private island on the Saint Lawrence River in 1900. It was meant to be not only a family summer retreat but a gift and sign of his love and devotion to his wife Louise.

Hey ladies, when was the last time YOUR sweetie built you a castle?

At the time Bodlt’s massive construction project employed close to 300 tradespeople including stonemasons, carpenters, landscapers, and artists. Upon completion it would have become one of the largest private home in the U.S.

Work continued on the castle for almost four year until it all came to an abrupt end in January of 1904. Louise had died suddenly and a broken-hearted Boldt couldn’t see the point of continuing building Louise’s dream home if she wasn’t there to enjoy it.

He telegraphed the crew on the island and instructed them to immediately “stop all construction.”

Still in the original shipping crate.

Boldt would never set foot on the island again and the site was left abandoned to the elements for 74 years until it was acquired in 1977 by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.

The Bridge Authority purchased it from the family for $1.00 with plans to repair and bring the castle back at least to the state it was in when work was halted in 1904.

Hopefully it would then be able to attract tourists to the area, and all revenues from tours of the site could be used to finance any upkeep and repairs.

As you can see the initiative seems to have been a resounding success.

To date over $15 million has been spent to bring the home back to its former glory and beyond.

The opulence that shines through in the woodwork, the light fixtures, the floors, the trim, the artwork, the furniture,  and every little detail on the first floor and parts of the second floor are just breathtaking to behold.

Dinner for 18 anyone?

Each summer tens of thousands of tourists visit the island from both the American and Canadian sides of the river to marvel at the tribute Boldt had intended to build out of love for his wife.

As the money keeps coming in the Bridge Authority is mulling over whether or not to go beyond the point of the initial construction and complete and decorate the upper floors according to the original plans.

Door to the walk-in refrigerator.

Even if they don’t finish it completely, Boldt Castle as it is now is quite a sight to behold.

If you are ever in the area of the Thousand Islands region of upstate New York or south-eastern Ontario, and you have a few hours to spare, a tour of Boldt Castle is well worth the visit.

Next week we’ll have a look around upstairs and take a look at the rest of the grounds. Until then, as always I thank you for your visit 🙂

Want to join in on the fun and share your own Thursday Doors post with other door lovers? Then simply add the link to your Thursday Doors post in the comments section below.

Don’t forget that if you share your blog posts on social media, use the #ThursdayDoors hashtag to help others find you, and please do take a few minutes to visit some of the Thursday Door posts shared by others.

About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Photo Challenges, Photography, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to Thursday Doors – October 24, 2019

  1. Librarylady says:

    What a lovely place. That sitting room with the tall windows and green palms is breathtaking. Fun post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joey says:

    What a spectacular place! Really well captured — that view from across the river is fantastic! I never knew it was there. To be honest, I didn’t know there was even there… Thanks for taking us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This excursion was certainly made for Norm’s Thursday Doors. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tara says:

    How many maids to clean a house that big, because I wouldn’t be doing it if my man built it for me! 🙂 That staircase, with the door near the walkway under it!!!!! Wow.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. amoralegria says:

    It sounds wonderful! A castle in the USA – imagine that!! I definitely would like to visit Boldt Castle some day!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. slfinnell says:

    Looks like a great destination! Love that woodwork too!
    My post :

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Amy says:

    I’ve read about this in a list of American “castles”. It looks likes quite a beautiful place. I’m glad that they were able to showcase its glory!! Thanks for sharing, Norm. Hopefully, one of these days I’ll make it far enough north to see it for myself. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’ve heard of this place but I had no idea you could actually go visit it. It’s magnificent. The backstory is such a shame though. Great photos, Norm. I really enjoyed this tour 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh, I adore castles. The story behind this one is very romantic and, also, tragic. I’m so glad it was restored though and hope they finish the upper floors. It is stunning and the shots you took are incredible, Norm!
    Here’s my contribution to Thursday Doors …

    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Junieper2 says:

    Awesome castle, beautiful artisanship here. Money buy much, but not the most important things Like life, health and happiness…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Fascinating story and views and doors, Norm, looking forward to the next posts!

    Here is a story on a much smaller scale. In fact it’s just about a corner in Piran. But there’s colour.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. JT Twissel says:

    My sweetie would probably expect me to clean the damn place! Love all the millwork.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I love how much I learn form #ThursdayDoor, thank you Norm! Really interesting. This is mine for today:

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Deborah. I thought so too. It reminded me quite a bit of Hearst Castle out your way, though more for the opulence than for the architecture.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is opulent and Hearst Castle has plenty of that! I’ve been there a few times. Have you? Which was your favorite tour? Mine are the interiors and the exterior around the house not the zoo and outer lands though they are interesting, but didn’t peak my interest like the other tours did.
        Did you see the Zebras? I only saw them once out of 4 tours! Still the were neat to see.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Norm 2.0 says:

          We were there in 2010. I don’t remember which tour we did but we saw mostly the interior and exterior of the main house, including that gorgeous indoor swimming pool. I remember our guide pointing to the area where the animals were kept but we did not see any of them. I’d love to go back and see more of the place.

          Liked by 2 people

  14. Happy to see it is in restoration, castles in the US are not common, beautiful photos

    Liked by 2 people

  15. msgt3227 says:

    Hi Norm! Gorgeous house/castle, and wonderful to see the commitment to preservation and restoration! I love the fabulous wooden door with the pyramid peak under the staircase!
    My doors this week are here…

    Liked by 2 people

  16. lolaWi says:

    fascinating story of a beautiful castle. here is my entry for this week:

    Liked by 2 people

  17. carol1945 says:

    A fascinating story, really takes the “doors” theme to new heights!!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Sheree says:

    Great doors and fabulous renovation story!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I visited Boldt Castle as a teenager, with my family. 40+ years ago!!!! Lovely to see how much work has been done on it since then! Thanks Norm…Deb

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Deb. They had a number of then vs now comparison shots on display throughout the building, that went back to when the first opened it up to visitors. They’ve done A LOT of work since then.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Jackie says:

    Driven by so many times and have yet to go there, crazy!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Fascinating story and a very sympathetic restoration – not to mention very well photographed. More from Chabanais (or should that be ‘Shabbynais?) here:

    Liked by 2 people

  22. marianallen says:

    Oh, that’s GORGEOUS!! As you say, it’s the beauty of the details that make it. I’m looking at that lay-by on the staircase landing, and the way the woodwork curves beneath the rise instead of being angular. All the angles were used up by that pokey-headed door to the hallway. I could spend all day in the vestibule! My doors are in rather a beautiful space, too:

    Liked by 2 people

  23. What an amazing story of devotion and heartbreak. At least hundreds of people received employment while it was being built and later on while it was being saved. It’s a beautiful castle in a lovely setting.
    Here’s my post for this week, thanks Norm.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Dan Antion says:

    Wow. I had no idea this place was there. What a sad story, but at least it has a good ending (although it doesn’t seem to be ending yet). The interior is beautiful. It’s amazing that the woodwork wasn’t ruined over time. Changes in temperature and humidity could have done a lot of damage. It would be amazing to know what all they had to do.

    I have a simple post today, just one door. –

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Colline says:

    What a beautiful place. It is a pity that she did not live to enjoy it.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. You’ve peeked my interest. I want to go for a visit!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Hello and welcome to #ThursdayDoors 🙂
      I went over and commented on your post but WordPress always sends my first comment on someone’s blog into spam. You may need to go into the comments section of your WP admin dashboard, fish me out of the spam folder and flag me as “not spam”.
      Thanks for commenting and for joining in this week!


  27. TCast says:

    Amazing story and great doors, Norm. I will try to look for photos for this week.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Very interesting story, and lovely interiors to go with it.

    My door for the week comes from the African grasslands

    Liked by 3 people

  29. scooj says:

    Wow, That is absolutely fascinating. I am particularly interested because my home is from the exact same period, having been completed in 1903. Sadly only our plaster work comes close to the extraordinary decor of Boldt Castle, and our doors look rather ordinary by comparision. Great post.

    Some Westminster doors on Natural Adventures this week:

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Tragic story, Norm. But the exquisite quality of the wooden doors is impressive. Sad she didn’t live to see and appreciate them.

    Liked by 3 people

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