The 1927 photo of the Beacon riverfront shows the remaining Chrystie House complex on the edge of the excavated site. Denning's Point Brick Work would eventually demolish the guest house, servants' house, and farmhouse while the main house was rescued and relocated.
As one of the historic Hudson River Valley towns, Beacon today is home to the Dia Art Foundation's massive collection of Minimalist art and a newfound haven for artists and independent professionals from New York City some 60 miles away. This former industrial town had suffered an economic downturn for three decades.
riverfront part of Beacon historically housed Fishkill Landing, a village known for its garden estates with great river views. It had strong ties to early American history and was one of the birthplaces of American landscape architecture. In around 1841, two founders of American Landscape Architecture, Andrew Jackson Downing, a Newburgh native, and Henry Winthrop Sargent, a Bostonian, had envisioned to create another Lake Como, the best-landscaped area in the world in their minds, in today's Cold Spring, New Windsor, Beacon, and New Burgh. The famous 19th-century garden estates, Wodenethe was established under their vision. In Wodenethe, Downing and Sargent nurtured Calvert Vaux, who later developed the Greensward Plan for Central Park in N.Y.C.
After Civil War, the scorched earth capitalist Homer Ramsdell used the train business to grab the lands on the riverfront; after his plan to create a transportation hub in Beacon and Newburgh failed, he turned the whole Beacon riverfront into a gigantic brickyard. The Denning's Point Brick Work ran from 1881 to 1939; the massive excavation destroyed many historic estates and the characters of the Fishkill Landing. Chrystie House was rescued in 1927 by relocating into Wodenethe. In 1913, the Fishkill Landing was annexed by the industrial village of Matteawan and became part of Beacon. The industrialized city had long struggled to find the proper position between embracing or abandoning its early history. The anti-intellectual politics had destroyed many more historical places. William Few, the Founding Father who had owned Chrystie House and 99 acres, has never been recognized as a resident by the city. Georgians rescued Few's damaged remains in the neglected Reformed Churchyard and relocated them to Augusta in 1973. The only place with the markers to commemorate Willian Few in Beacon, the Reformed Church, a significant site on the National Historic Registry, closed its door in 2020 for service while losing its wholesome picturesque views by being boxed in by newly built apartments. Different plans have been discussed to commercialize the old church by 2022; its future is uncertain.
In 2007, the fate for the dilapidated Chrystie House site was even more in the hands of the people who went into Beacon’s real estate market for different reasons.