Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., announced that Essex County Kip’s Castle will be opened during the evenings this spring for guided tours. The public is invited to experience the breathtaking views, beautiful grounds and amazing architecture of the 11-acre estate.
The tours will be held as follows:
Dates: Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Time: 7 p.m.
“Kip’s Castle is a unique landmark that gives us a rare glimpse into Essex County’s past. It offers spectacular views of the County and of New York City,” DiVincenzo said. “We welcome everyone to visit the Castle, learn about its history and experience the grounds in a new way through these guided evening tours,” he added.
Light refreshments will be available. Admission is $8. Space is limited. For information, please call 973-433-7469. Registration is required.
Kip’s Castle is a magnificent 9,000 square foot mansion that replicates a medieval Norman castle. The estate spans 11 acres of land on the ridge of First Mountain, resting in both Montclair and Verona townships, and provides spectacular views of New York City. The exteriors of both the castle and the 6,000 square foot, two story carriage house are constructed of local trap rock trimmed with sandstone. The interior of the castle consists of thirty distinguished rooms of varying shapes which include vaulted ceilings and six ornate fireplaces.
The Castle was originally known as “Kypsburg.” It was constructed over a three-year period from 1902 through 1905 by Frederic Ellsworth Kip and his wife, Charlotte Bishop Williams Kip. Frederic was a wealthy textile inventor and industrialist who also published several books related to United States tariff laws. Charlotte is credited for the design of the “Kypsburg” building and grounds, cultivating a renowned octagonal rose garden in the southwest corner of the property. After Charlotte’s passing in 1926, the estate was sold and went through several owners. The building and grounds fell into state of dilapidation until the law firm of Schwarts, Tobia & Stanziale purchased the property in 1985. In the past two decades, a considerable amount of work was done to revitalize the Castle to its original grandeur.
The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 23 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.