Abercrombie & Fitch Cofounder’s Abandoned 1920s Elda Castle

An impressive stone castle that was built in the 1920s and remains empty and uninhabited on over 50 acres in Ossining, New York, has a history that dates back to the era. The property was sold twice in the past 20 years, the first time in 2001 for the price of $1.5 million, and the second time in 2011 for the price of $3.75 million, according to the property records.

Recently, it was listed for sale at a price of $3.2 million. Lucy Abbott Cate, David T. Abercrombie’s architect wife, was responsible for the design of the castle, which was constructed in the 1920s for David T. Abercrombie, who was a co-founder of Abercrombie & Fitch. According to Country Living, the couple decided to give their home the name Elda Castle, which is an abbreviation for the couple’s four children: Elizabeth, Lucy, David, and Abbott.

The New York History Blog disclosed the following information: “By the time Abercrombie and his wife broke ground on the project in 1925, Abercrombie had already sold his share in Abercrombie & Fitch to his partner, Ezra Fitch, and had began a career in the military.” The estate, which is situated on over 50 acres and is comprised of three independent tax lots, is ideally suited for use as a tranquil private estate, but it could also be developed if desired. Complete renovation work will be required for both the castle and the barn. The most recent asking price for Elda Castle, which was listed with Sotheby’s International Realty’s Christina DiMinno, was $3.2 million.

The publication Country Living reported that “the castle consists of two storeys of living space and was constructed with steel from Cate’s father’s iron business in Baltimore as well as granite and fieldstone that is believed to have been sourced from the area around the Hudson Valley.” There were a total of 25 rooms, including those for the servants, at one point in time. The open courtyard that was designed to look like a ruin and the spiral staircase leading up to the tower are also two prominent characteristics that are still there today. 1928 was the year that saw the completion of construction.

Lucy, the couple’s only child, was killed in a terrible accident at her father’s factory in Ossining just one year after her parents’ passing. David Sr. passed away in 1931 from rheumatic disease at the age of 64, and David Jr. was taken from this world in 1937 when he was taken by an accident. After the death of her husband, Cate moved in with their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, in New Jersey, where she remained until the time of her own passing in 1955. As a direct consequence of this, Elda was left abandoned for a number of years, during which time it sustained damage from vandals in the form of fires and paint that was poured on the marble flooring.

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