Set like a jewel on an island in the Hudson River once called Pollepel (now called Bannerman Island) Bannerman Castle was built by Francis (Frank) Bannerman (1851-1918), a successful Brooklyn-based munitions dealer. Bannerman purchased the island in 1900 and began building his castle in 1901, envisioning it as both a summer residence for himself and his family and a secure home for his massive collection of ammunition and equipment dating from the Civil War. Construction of the castle ceased in 1918 following Bannerman’s death, and in 1920 much of the complex was destroyed when 200 shells and powder exploded. By 1950 the castle and island were vacant. In 1968 New York State purchased the island and its deteriorating structures and in 1982 Bannerman Castle was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009 almost 40 percent of the remaining structure collapsed. Efforts are under way to shore up this fragile piece of history and the site is entirely off-limits except by tour.
Read more about the history of Bannerman Castle here: http://www.bannermancastle.org/island-history.html