Great Country Houses of the Hudson River Valley

The ICAA is pleased to partner with Classical Excursions to present an exclusive tour of “Great Country Houses of the Hudson River Valley” that will cover three centuries of some of the region’s finest architecture. Both sides of the river have a rich legacy of styles. Given the valley’s proximity to New York City, it had been the recipient of wealth spent on the construction of great architecture.

From early modest Dutch dwellings, elegant Georgian, Federal and Greek Revival houses of the Colonial and New Republic periods, to Romantic Gothic Revival and Italianate houses of the Downing and Davis eras, Beaux Arts estates owned by those who retained the likes of McKim, Mead and White and finally to some of the best new classical architecture in America – they are all to be seen on our tour with experts, specialists and homeowners leading the way.

Highlights of this exclusive program include a tour of a stunning Federal-style home in Columbia County with Academy Award- winning director James Ivory, a visit to the Beaux Arts Vanderbilt Mansion designed by McKim, Mead and White, and a tour of the grandiose Moorish villa Olana overlooking the river and the Catskill mountains.

This tour is arranged by Classical Excursions. Please note that a registration form and deposit must be submitted to Classical Excursions and a confirmation of receipt must be received from Classical Excursions in order to be considered registered for this program. Payment of the $500 donation to the ICAA prior to registration does not guarantee placement on the trip. To inquire about registration for this program, please contact Lani Summerville at [email protected] or 413-446-8728 or Tom Hayes [email protected] or 413-243-4155.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this travel program. All travel program participants have the opportunity to receive a complimentary Individual level membership for one year to the ICAA.

Staats Hall

Tour participants will visit Staats Hall, the elegant Greek Revival country house owned by internationally renowned photographer Pieter Estersohn, which features elegant neoclassical furnishings, 19th-century fixtures, and Doric architectural details.


Tour participants will visit Edgewater, a stunning home formerly owned by the late Richard H. Jenrette, with beautiful views of the river from the Roman Doric tow story portico and classical temple-style guest house.


Tour participants will visit Hillstead a home in the Federal style, constructed in red brick, and featuring a Greek Revival cornice. Current owners Bruce Shostak and Craig Fitt collaborated with restoration consultant and Merchant Ivory films art director Jeremiah Rusconi to incorporate early 19th century furniture and decorative arts in the restoration of the home.

Federal-style home in Columbia County

Tour participants will be welcomed by James Ivory to his Federaly-style home in Columbia County. The Academy Award-winning film directory will take participants on a tour how his home which was featured as the setting to the ICAA's documentary Design in Mind: On Location with James Ivory which was recently shown on PBS.

Clove Brook Farm

Tour participants will visit Clove Brook Farm, the beautifully renovated farmhouse and gardens of ceramicist and designer Christopher Spitzmiller. This renovated home is a mix of old and new, featuring the wallpaper and designs of Spitzmiller's mentor Albert Hadley.

Vanderbilt Mansion

Tour participants will visit the Vanderbilt Mansion, an imposing 50-room Beaux Arts country palace owned by Frederick William and Louise Vanderbilt and designed by McKim, Mead and White with Corinthian columns and porticos on all four sides.


Tour participants will visit Staatsburgh, designed by Stanford White for Ogden Mills. The mansion, which resembles the White House, envelopes an earlier Greek Revival home. Edith Wharton used the home as inspiration for the Bellomont country house in The House of Mirth.

Forth House

Tour participants will visit Forth House, the beautiful high-style Greek Revival home of architect James Joseph and Scott Frankel. The structure and architectural details of this home are essentially unchanged from its construction in the 1830s, and the major rooms extend across the back of the house and triple-hung windows open onto the back veranda that overlooks restored matured gardens.


Tour participants will visit Olana, once owned by artist Frederic Edwin Church, a key figure of the Hudson River School of painters. This grandiose Moorish villa sits on a hill overlooking the river and Catskill Mountains and has been described as the little "center of the world."

Plumb Bronson House

Tour participants will visit the Plumb Bronson House, a recently designated national landmark. This Federal style home features decorative Italianate brackets and a veranda, and is considered on of the earliest examples of the "Hudson River Bracketed" style.

What’s included

This tour includes a three-night stay at the Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Rhinebeck.

Vanderbilt Mansion (Wikimedia Commons)

Olana (Wikimedia Commons)

Staatsburgh (Wikimedia)

Double Occupancy
September 10 - 13, 2020
Single Occupancy
September 10 - 13, 2020


How do I register for an ICAA travel program?

If you would like to register, you may contact the travel operator organizing the program. Please note that a $500 donation per person to the ICAA is required in order to participate in each travel program.

What does the required $500 donation fund?

Your $500 donation helps to further the ICAA’s goal of advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts by supporting its varied educational programs, including continuing education courses, college workshops, the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture, New Heights, and many more.

Am I required to pay a $500 donation for each travel program I register for?

Yes, a donation of $500 to the ICAA is required for each travel program you register for. The donation is required for each person attending a tour.

How do I make my $500 donation to the ICAA?

You can make your $500 donation to the ICAA online, or you can download, complete, and mail this form to the ICAA. You can alternatively fax a copy to 212-730-9649. You may also call 212-730-9646 x109 or email [email protected] to make a donation. Donations must be made separately from the registration fee.

Do I have to be a member of the ICAA to participate in an ICAA travel program?

No, membership is not required to attend an ICAA travel program. However, complimentary Individual membership to the ICAA is included with your $500 required donation.

I don’t see the full itinerary for the tour I am interested in. When will it be released?

For full itinerary and more information, contact [email protected], 860-926-4895. Due to the exclusive nature of our tours, some private locations or visits may be omitted from the ICAA's website.

What kinds of trips does the ICAA offer?

Over the past several years, the ICAA has travelled to destinations including Paris; Andalusia; Atlanta; Barbados; South Africa; Chicago; the Netherlands and Belgium; Scotland; the French Riviera; Morocco; the Italian Lake Region; Charlottesville; Naples; and New Delhi, among many other locations. The ICAA is always looking to diversify its travel offerings. If you have a suggestion or location you would like to see added, please email [email protected]