Lambert Castle is a wonderful place to visit when spending time in the New York City area. Found near the Big Apple in Paterson, the third-largest city in New Jersey, this beautiful estate-turned-museum was built by Catholina Lambert in 1892 and gives testament to how healthy the Paterson silk industry was at the time. Both sandstone and granite were used during the building process, and the design is classified as medieval revival. A beautiful structure it is, and the privileged hillside location only adds to the overall appeal. You can actually view the New York City skyline from the castle grounds!
Catholina Lambert hailed from England, and after making his fortune in the US, he decided to build a castle that was reminiscent of the English castles that he remembered as a boy. This was where Lambert Castle history began. It was in 1891 that Lambert started designing his stately residence on a Paterson hillside, and not long after it was completed in 1892, he added an observation tower on the cliffs above. Unfortunately, this tower has been closed to the public for some time due to disrepair, though plans are in the works to refurbish the structure. The views of NYC and the surrounding area are most spectacular from the tower's top.
Lambert Castle in Paterson became a possession of the city after its founder died in 1923. Not long thereafter, it was sold to Passaic County, and in 1936, one of the rooms became a historical museum. Over time, the museum grew in size, and today, it covers all four floors. The Passaic County Historical Society handles the operation and management of the complex, and among the things that you can expect to see on a visit include a vast array of historical artifacts. The old maps and photos are also of great interest, making this a great thing to do for history buffs.
When you're not enjoying a tour of the Lambert Castle interior, exploring its grounds can be a joy. These grounds, which are part of the Garret Mountain Reservation, are open from dawn to dusk, and they offer places to picnic and trails for walking and jogging. As for the museum itself, it is open between noon and 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. It should be noted that next to the Garret Mountain Reservation is a park that features an observatory and a small nature museum. It is called Rifle Camp Park, and it can also be a great place to picnic, walk, or take in spectacular views of the NYC skyline.
Lambert Castle does well to complement the other great attractions that can be found in the area, and it can certainly make for a good NYC day trip destination. While in the area, you might also make time for the nearby Paterson Falls. This waterfall on the Passaic River in Paterson has been a landmark for quite some time, and thanks to its attachment to early US industry, Congress decided to convert it to a National Historic Park in 2009.
Image: JamieSanford (flickr)