A plaque at the site reads:
Beltzhoover Teahouse on Halsey Pond. Largest remaining structure of “Rochroanne”, the 200 acre Belzhoover Estate built in 1905. Melchior Belzhoover was “President” of Irvington from 1904 to 1916. The Halsey family owned a portion of the property from 1927-1976. The pond area became Village land in 1980. From 1994 to 1997 many citizens volunteered their time, expertise, and craftsmanship to save the structure. Preservation of the Teahouse was financed equally by private donations and Village funds. Irvington Landmark Preservation, Inc. 1997.
The structure is right next to a pond and consists of a tower with a flat platform in front of it. You can go into the tower and walk across the platform. Underneath the platform is another room, which is barred and inaccessible.
Looking back towards the tower
View of the interior from the entrance
Pond, bridge and tree. I loved the reflection of the tree
Rob Yasinsac and Tom Rinaldi’s interesting site: “Hudson Valley Ruins” shows how the original mansion looked:
And provides additional information:
Tucked away in the back part of Irvington is the remains of a once-grand estate. The centerpiece was a stone castle-like mansion known as Rochroane. Designed by local resident A.J. Manning for village president Melchior Beltzhoover in 1905, the house has been called a “Rhine Castle,” as it was said to be a replica of a German Castle. (I’ve yet to see a photo of such to validate this, but just about any castle in the Hudson Valley is said to be a replica of some European edifice.) The estate was acquired by Benjamin Halsey in 1927, who renamed it Grey Towers. The pond now goes by the name Halsey Pond.
The property was donated by Mrs. Halsey to the local Roman Catholic Church in the mid 1970s. Promptly enough, the house burned due to fire of unknown origin. Rochroane/Grey Towers was demolished soon thereafter. The local Catholic Church has a record of losing old structures, as the Old Immaculate Conception Church itself suffered a similar fate. Anyhow, we have now lost both buildings – the church was demolished in 1996 after standing for many years in ruin. The church was probably just after the money, as the property was sold to a developer, who gave the pond to the village in exchange for being allowed to develop the rest of the estate. The same developer now wants to build on land surrounding the pond that did not get covered over the first time around.