Hidden Treasure: Kip's Castle
Nearby park in Essex County offers romantic views, scenery.
Kip's Castle, which lies in Verona and Montclair, is a beautiful place, and will probably be the least known of all the places on the 'Romance on the Shoestring' list. Kelly Ziek, who works for the Essex County Division of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs and maintains an office there, reiterated that she doesn't see many people take in the historic scenery unless there is a special event or business meeting held in the castle.
Located on Crestmont Road right off of Route 23, Kip’s Castle, originally known as Kypsburg, was constructed over a three-year period from 1902 to 1905 by Frederic Ellsworth Kip and his wife, Charlotte Bishop Williams Kip. Frederic was a wealthy textile inventor and industrialist who also published several books related to United States tariff laws. Charlotte is credited for the design of the Kypsburg building and grounds, cultivating a renowned octagonal rose garden in the southwest corner of the property.
After Charlotte's passing in 1926, the estate was sold and went through several owners. The building and grounds fell into a state of dilapidation until, finally, the law firm of Schwartz, Tobia & Stanziale purchased the property in 1985. In the past two decades, a considerable amount of work was done to restore the Castle to its original grandeur.
I worked a couple of streets over for years, and never knew this place existed. As you drive up to long street to the castle, you feel as if you are entering someone's palace. You quickly get whisked away to another era by the ornate door and antique details of the building. The majestic courtyard and grounds give you plenty of space to bring a blanket, picnic basket, and a bottle of wine, The serenity and calmness that is apparent will give you the opportunity to spend hours together, to read, talk or just soak in the atmosphere and the intimate surroundings will definitely keep you coming back.
The Parks Department does allow you to rent the Castle and/or the Grounds for an intimate party. Please see http://www.essex-countynj.org/p/index.php?section=k/o for directions, FAQ's and Special Event application.