Boldt Castle Improvement Projects Continue
The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, owners of historic Boldt Castle and the Boldt Yacht House continues with its progression of improvements at the Boldt Castle Facilities. Visitors continue to enjoy the restorations made to the properties and the structures over the years. Staff works continuously on both upkeep and restoration of these facilities.
Boldt Facilities Rehabilitation Projects:
With the opening of the first restored room in the Alster tower, visitors for the first time in 2018 saw the immense detail and finishing George Boldt incorporated into his beloved Alster tower. Visitors can now enjoy the restored channel side porch open off the Venetian room. With the completion of the main body of the room, craftsman restored and re-built the original “S” shaped door separating the Venetian Room from the Shell room. With its curved doors and windows all closing and interlocking together it is truly a unique set of doors.
Rehabilitation of the Alster Tower has moved to the original Café. All millwork, original tiles and its ice box were removed for restoration. The original floor and framing were replaced completely after years of rot and water damage. The new floor was reframed and masonry repairs were made to further reinforce and strengthen the structure. Seven new white oak windows were built and installed to replace the old ones. A new entrance door and frame has been built by the craftsman reusing all the original locking hardware and band iron.
Original Dutch themed scenes from the existing tile containing ships, windmills and Holland villages will be reproduced using five different scenes. These tiles will be used as part of the chair rail on the top of the wall tile.
Boldt Castle Craftsmen continue their work on the channel side fountain. Twelve concrete caps stones were poured and are being installed along with two column caps. The remaining caps stones and paver walks as well as landscaping will complete the project by summer of 2020. Craftsman meticulously hand cut every stone using the same methods that the men who originally built Boldt Castle used. The fountain is scheduled for completion in the 2020 season, but visitors can still view the progress on a daily basis during the operating season.
The Boldt Castle dining room received a piece from the original Boldt collection of dining room furniture. The buffet that matches the dining room table has been acquired and was restored to its original beauty. The engravings and details on the dining room table match that of the buffet.
Boldt Yacht House:
Located directly across the water from Boldt Castle on Wellesley Island is the magnificent Boldt Yacht House. First opened to the public in 1996 by the Authority, the Boldt Yacht House is the last and largest remaining Yacht House on the St. Lawrence River. The Boldt Yacht House contains many antique boats, some of which were originally owned by George C. Boldt. The year 2009 witnessed the arrival of the steam yacht Kestrel, built in 1892 and donated to the Boldt Yacht House by Mr. John Luhrs of Luhrs Marine. Kestrel is 63’ long with a 12 ½’ beam and typifies the steam yachts of George Boldt’s era.
The first floor living quarters of the Boldt Yacht House are also open for viewing providing visitors with an exceptional experience as they tour this very special river landmark. The Boldt Yacht House contains antique boats, many displays, signs and pictures of boating and yachting on the St. Lawrence River. The Boldt Facilities work closely with the Antique Boat Museum to exhibit a collection of antique boats representing a grand era of boating on the St. Lawrence River.
The Yacht House received a significant interior lighting upgrade to enhance the displays and match what would have been installed originally. Black hat lights have been installed with vintage Led bulbs to create the original warm glow of the 1900’s period lighting. Led flood lighting has been installed to illuminate the tall vaulted ceilings.
In addition, the Boldt Facilities is slated to receive a new wastewater treatment plant. This extensive development is projected to be completed in 2020.
During the Authority’s 42 years of ownership of the former Boldt properties on Heart Island and the Boldt Yacht House on Wellesley Island, millions of dollars have been invested in rehabilitation and improvement efforts. At the same time the Boldt Facilities have hosted over 1,100 weddings and have counted over 7 million visitors to these historic properties providing the 1000 Islands International Tourism Industry with a substantial asset and demonstrating the Authority’s long-term commitment to improve and preserve these landmark properties for present and future generations to enjoy.
Past Renovation Projects:
In the past years numerous improvements have been accomplished, including rehabilitation of the Power House, Dove Cote, Heart Island Gazebo, Alster Tower, the Boldt Castle Yacht House, the main castle, and the Heart Island Entry Arch which is adorned with three, seven-foot tall stags (or deer) which are symbolic of the Boldt family crest.
The most recent improvements and completions to the main castle include George and Louise Boldt’s and daughter Clover’s Bedroom Suites located on the second floor of Boldt Castle. Past interior projects that have been completed include the Dining Room, Ballroom, Library, Billiards Room, Reception Room, installation of the Boldt Castle Elevator, completed Grand Stair Case and the Stained Glass Dome in the upper ceiling.
Another feature to Heart Island is the completely restored overlook, consisting of an elaborate 170-foot granite retaining wall on the island’s terraced grounds. The retaining wall and overlook are reinforced poured concrete punctuated with turrets and faced with native granite stone.
The Boldt Castle Theatre is located on the second floor of the Castle. Guests are invited to watch a new short movie on the life and times of George C. Boldt, Boldt Castle and the 1000 Islands.