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Tour Kip’s Castle
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. invites the public to participate in a tour that highlights the history of the Tiffany stained glass windows at Essex County Kip’s Castle. In addition to the stained glass windows, visitors may have the opportunity to see distinguished rooms, six ornate fireplaces, and a spectacular view of New York City. The Tiffany Window Tours will be held as follows:
Dates: Saturday, September 6 and Saturday, October 4
Times: 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Place: Essex County Kip’s Castle Park, 22 Crestmont Road, Verona
“Essex County Kip’s Castle Park is a unique historical treasure that gives us a glimpse of our County’s unique past. We invite you to participate in the tour, learn about the history of the Tiffany Windows that are found throughout the Castle and enjoy the beauty of these one-of-a-kind windows,” DiVincenzo said.
There is a $5 admission for the tour. Advanced registration is required and space is limited. Participants should meet at the front door of the Castle building. Not all areas of the Castle are handicap accessible and some areas under renovation may be closed to the public. For registration and more information, call the Essex County Office of Cultural and Historic Affairs at 973-239-2465.
The castle was built by Frederic E. Kip, a wealthy textile manufacturer and investor, in 1902. The 9,000-square-foot mansion is a replica of a medieval Norman castle and is constructed of local trap rock trimmed with sandstone. Many of the rooms are uniquely designed with round or octagonal shapes and vaulted ceilings. There are six ornately designed fireplaces throughout the structure. There also is a 6,000-square-foot, two-story carriage house that was renovated in 1984 to accommodate offices. The property is located on 11 acres of property on the ridge of First Mountain, and provides spectacular views. About two acres is located in Montclair and about nine acres in Verona.
The castle was used as a private residence for many years after Kip sold the estate in 1926. In the 1980s, the castle was the United States headquarters of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Indian guru. He sold the property in 1984 to the law firm of Schwartz Tobia Stanziale, which used the buildings as their law offices. The law firm announced its intention to sell Kip’s Castle in August 2006. Essex County acquired the 11-acre Kip’s Castle property in 2007 with grant funding from the NJ Green Acres program and the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Board. The Castle is the headquarters for the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, and is available to community groups and the public for meetings and events.
The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 22 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.
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