Hudson River Mansion Shelters Less-Privileged Astors and Livingstons

Ever felt like you own too much house to maintain? The motley blue-blood residents of Rokeby House in Barrytown, N.Y., feel your pain. Rokeby is an 195-year-old, 43-room stucco house on 420 magnificent acres in the Hudson Valley where the famous New York Astors once promenaded. Now it is crumbling, dusty, and decrepit, and is overseen by Richard Aldrich, 69, the eldest of the 10th generation Livingston descendants. Other areas of the home are inhabited by various, artistically inclined family members, as well as friends and other relations. Meanwhile, many of the rooms remain unused and are filled with more than 100 years of collectibles, including a plaque in the front hall dedicated to 19th century architect Stanford White, who added rooms to the house.