Yaddo castle was built in 1893 by New York City financier and philanthropist, Spencer Trask and his wife, Kate (Katrina) Trask. William Halsey Wood was the architect. The castle is an imposing building with many turrets and spires and a tower room.

In 1900, The Corporation of Yaddo was formed and endowed to administer a working community of artists in perpetuity, a plan to be put into effect following the Trasks' deaths. Spencer Trask died in 1909 and his wife in 1922 and at that time,a young woman named Elizabeth Ames became Executive Director. In 1926 she welcomed the first group of creative workers. Since then, Yaddo's mission to provide artists uninterrupted time to work, good working conditions, and a supportive community, has remained central to its operation. The Estate is usually closed to the public (excepting the Gardens) to insure privacy for the guest artists.

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Picture courtesy of Phil Bilzor.