While many of the fountains and classical sculptures are from the original period of construction, former New York Governor (and, later, US Vice President) Nelson Rockefeller changed some of the garden terraces and incorporated a number of monumental sculptures into the surrounding landscape.
For those who appreciate formal garden design, Kykuit offers many examples of the use of axes and focal points, mass, scale and proportion, perspective, controlled views, symmetrical balance, etc. [To see examples, scroll through the three photos at top. Click on the arrows at the right base of the first and second photos to go back and forth among them]
For gardeners, Kykuit is a good reality check on how much garden (or how little) we should aspire to, if we want to manage it ourselves.
Shortly after we returned home, our wall of rhododendrons came into bloom and I was thrilled to see that, though not so numerous as those at Kykuit, ours looked splendid. If riches are counted in rhodies, we're doing just fine.
If you go:
Tickets for Kykuit tours can be purchased through Historic Hudson Valley , which also manages ticket sales for nearby historic Philipsburg Manor and its vegetable and medicinal gardens, and Washington Irving's home and Romantic-style landscape, Sunnyside . Tours at both Philipsburg and Sunnyside are conducted by costumed guides.