Despite the fact that Irving never married or created his own family there, Sunnyside was a hot spot from the beginning. Not only did he share his residence with extended family, but he entertained artists and politicians there, as well. It also played a big part in the Romantic Movement and Hudson River school of writers, artists, architects and more as they forge[d] a national identity through art and letters and buildings, conjoined to the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains landscape.
However, it isn't likely that anyone loved the home as much as Irving himself, who once called it a little paradise. Not only the home itself was charmed by his artistic touches, though. The grounds also reflect the author's romantic vision of nature with its garden paths, vistas, waterways made to appear natural, and an exotic wisteria vine that -- still growing today -- envelopes the house.
Sunnyside remained in the Irving family until 1945, when it was sold to John D. Rockefeller, and was opened to the public two years later. Today, the home is owned by the Historic Hudson Valley, and its current appearance is much the way it was when Irving lived and wrote in it.