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Yaddo one step closer to landmark status

Gillibrand pushes efforts to obtain designation for mansion and grounds

Yaddo and its gardens were left to Saratoga Springs by Spencer Trask and his wife, Katrina, in 1900.

Yaddo and its gardens were left to Saratoga Springs by Spencer Trask and his wife, Katrina, in 1900. Photo by Marci Revette.

— Yaddo and its accompanying gardens have a long history in Saratoga Springs. The house and gardens were originally owned by financier Spencer Trask and his wife Katrina, who was a poet.

In 1900, it was left to the city by the Trasks because they had no immediate heirs following the deaths of their four children. The Trasks specified it was to be founded as an artists’ community. The first artists came into residence in 1926 and since then more than 6,000 artists have visited the secluded grounds for uninterrupted work.

Collectively, artists who have worked at Yaddo have won 66 Pulitzer Prizes, 27 MacArthur Fellowships, 61 National Book Awards, 40 National Book Critics Circle Awards, 108 Rome Prizes, 52 Whiting Writers’ Awards, a Nobel Prize (Saul Bellow, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976) and countless other honors.

Although the house is closed to the public, the extensive rose and rock gardens are open to the public seven days a week from 8 a.m. to dusk.

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