Irving had spent most of his life moving from place to place. He complained that he was eager for a home he could call his own — so eager, in fact, he noted he was "willing to pay a little unreasonably for it." Sunnsyside cost him $1,800. He described it as a "beautiful spot, capable of being made a little paradise." He soon set to work expanding the home; it was in a state of renovation for the next 20 years. With costs piling up, he accepted a job as Minister to Spain in 1842, leaving Sunnyside behind. "The only drawback upon all this is the hard trial of tearing myself away from dear little Sunnyside," he wrote.
Cedarcroft," his mansion near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (at right, seen from the side; today it is privately owned).
Taylor served as both architect and construction supervisor for Cedarcroft. He noted in his journal how he celebrated the beginning stages of his home.
To-day we placed the great corner-stone of the tower, with all due ceremony. Under it is a box of zinc, containing a copy of 'Views Afoot;' an original poem by me, to be read five hundred years hence by somebody who never heard of me; some coins; a poem by [Richard Henry Stoddard] in his own MS.; and various small things.
*The image of Cedarcroft is one I took personally after an arduous hunt on a cold November day in 2008. I was without a camera for my April 2009 trip to Sunnyside; the image above