Sonnenberg Mansion

John Schneider

Albany, United States

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File# 0151
Nikon D80, Nikkor AF-S DX ED 18-200mm VR lens at f8.0, 1/250sec, ISO 200, 24mm, 09.04.2013.

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historical Park, Canandaigua, NY, USA.
Sonnenberg (German for “Sunny Hill”) was the summer home of Frederick Ferris and Mary Clark Thompson. The couple met in Albany while Mary’s father, Myron Holley Clark, was serving as governor of New York State between 1855 and 1857. Frederick and Mary were married in 1857. The Thompsons maintained their primary residence in New York City, where Frederick was a founder and lifelong director of the First National City Bank of the City of New York. The bank he helped establish is now Citibank. When the Thompsons purchased Sonnenberg in 1863, it included a brick farmhouse and twenty acres. As business prospered, Frederick and Mary purchased additional property and replaced the farmhouse with a forty room, Queen Anne style mansion (buily 1885 – 1887). 2012 marked the 125th anniversary of the completion of this 31,000 square foot mansion’s construction.
Frederick and Mary had no children, so when Mary passed away in 1923, she left the estate to her nephew, Emory Clark. In 1931, Emory sold Sonnenberg to the U.S. Government and the new Canandaigua VA Hospital was established. The hospital was built on adjacent farmland and the mansion was converted to nurses’ and doctors housing, in 1973, the nonprofit organization “Sonnenberg Gardens” obtained title to fifty-two acres of the original estate and opened Sonnenberg’s gates to the puplic.
Thirty-two years later, in 2005, the historic Thompson estate became the fifth state historic park in New York State. A partnership has been established between Sonnenberg Gardens (the non-profit organization) and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to keep this public garden blooming and open to the public.
Source: Sonnenberg, A Self-Guided Tour of the Landscape

*Featured: “Architectural Photography Group” – October 8, 2015
*Featured: “Preserving History Group” – December 9, 2016

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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