Abandoned for Over 70 Years, Historic Boldt Castle Has Been Restored. Photos Inside!

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Overview of Boldt Castle

  • Location: Situated in the Thousand Islands region of New York, USA.
  • Setting: Heart Island in the Saint Lawrence River.
  • Availability: Open to visitors during summer months, from mid-May to mid-October.
  • Historical Significance: Originally a private residence built by American millionaire George Boldt.
  • Current Management: Maintained by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority as a tourist attraction.
  • Visual Documentation: Images available on Boldt Castle’s Facebook, Instagram, official website, and Wikipedia.

Historical Background

Origins and Construction

  • Initiator: George C. Boldt, owner of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
  • Purpose: Constructed as a grand gesture of love for his wife, Louise.
  • Construction Period: Started in 1900; involved 300 workers including stonemasons and carpenters.
  • Features: A six-story castle with 120 rooms, featuring tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge, and an alster tower (children’s playhouse).

Tragedy and Abandonment

  • Catastrophic Event: Construction halted in 1904 after the sudden death of Louise Boldt.
  • Aftermath: George Boldt never returned, leaving the castle as a monument to his love.
  • Duration of Abandonment: The castle stood neglected for 73 years, facing natural and human threats.

Restoration and Preservation

  • Acquisition: Purchased in 1977 by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.
  • Restoration Investments: Millions of dollars have been invested since 1977 to rehabilitate and preserve the castle.
  • Access: Accessible via ferry, private boat, or tour boat from multiple locations including New York and Ontario.
  • Admission: A fee is charged, and free docking is available for boaters. U.S. Customs services are provided on-site for Canadian visitors.

Today’s View of the Castle

Interior Restoration

  • First and Second Floors: Mostly furnished with modern décor.
  • Basement: Unfinished but includes a pool, bowling lanes, and a pathway to the powerhouse.
  • Upper Floors: Unfurnished, with exhibits showcasing regional history and artifacts from the Boldts’ era.

Additional Features

  • Monumental Architecture: A fully restored triumphal arch planned by George Boldt is located at the island’s edge.
  • Adaptability: The bridge connecting two parts of the island is designed to be raised or lowered if necessary.

Conclusion

Boldt Castle stands today not only as a monument to a tragic love story but also as a restored historic site that attracts numerous visitors each year. Its transformation from an abandoned castle to a preserved heritage site underscores the efforts to maintain cultural landmarks for future generations.

Before to/following the Great Hall

Grand Staircase

Gazebo

Upstairs Bedroom

Stained Glass Dome

Alster Tower

Power House

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