The Amsterdam Castle

amsterdam castle exterior

A real castle? Close enough.

By Akum Norder

As my four-year-old ascended the grand staircase at our bed and breakfast, I caught her singing to herself. It was a wistful little tune about how this place is so much better than our house, and her voice soared up high for the end: "I wish I could stay here for ... evvv ... er."

I didn't take offense. How could I blame her? We'd all just called a castle our home for the night.

Let's be clear: The Amsterdam Castle bed and breakfast is technically not a castle. It was built in the 1890s as the headquarters for Amsterdam's New York National Guard company. But your kids won't care about such details. Does it have a tower? Yes. Tall, narrow windows? Yes. A scale and grandeur that most private homes could never approach? Yes. And yes, there's a throne. That the throne sits in the middle of the indoor basketball court just makes the place even more awesome.

The Castle has that combination of quirks and elegance that makes a great B&B. And as a family getaway, it's in a class all its own.

Here's a quick photo tour.

The Castle and its entrance

The arched entryway is complete with a gate and a suit of armor. The flower garlands? Call it history mixed with a healthy dose of whimsy. "Phemister" is the last name of the family that now calls this place home.

Amsterdam Castle Knight.jpg

Gymnasium

The cavernous gym, in the former drill shed, is big enough to hold a full basketball court and more. A lot more. Balcony seating overlooks the main floor. At one time, this was home court for the world-champion Hurricanes, a roller polo team.

Amsterdam Castle Basketball Court 2.jpg

Dining room

The dining room, which the Phemisters call the "Kennedy Room" - he visited on a campaign stop in 1960. An echo of the building's past, "NG 46 NY" is spelled out in stickwork above doorways.

Billiard room

Lessons in the billiard room. Original National Guard lockers line the back wall, some with equipment charts still pasted inside.

Animals

The place is filled with antiques, but in a manner that feels quirky rather than stuffy. To wit: the taxidermy collection.

Our room

In the guest suites, curved walls and curious nooks reflected the armory's exterior shape. Lengthy negotiations were required to establish who got to sleep in the trundle bed. Mom and Dad got the adjoining room all to themselves.

The balcony

In the morning, our eight-year-old spent some time on the balcony with her binoculars, feeling very mature to be allowed out there alone. And before we headed back to our boring, ordinary home, there was just enough time to shoot a few more hoops.

You can read more about Akum's trip to Amsterdam Castle at the Times Union.

Find It

Amsterdam Castle
49 Florida Avenue
Amsterdam , NY 12010

(518) 843-5201 ‎

Comments

This place was up for sale 2 years ago when I was looking for a house. I believe it was only 4 million dollars but I felt it would be too much work to maintain. I settled for a Cape Cod in Scotia instead. haha. Glad to see that it is being put to good use :-)

I remember rolling skating in the gym when I was a kid. This is a true treasure. I just wish they advertised it more and really drew people to the area. Remarkable shape it's in.

Wow! What a great place. It must have made it even more fun to have so much of it to yourself....makes pretending that you really live there even easier. Now on my list of things to do.

I attended a wedding here like 6 or 8 years ago. The decor was pretty cool -- retro -- but the basketball court is totally random... I like the idea of turning it into a bed and breakfast. I hope they are able to keep it going.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past summer week on AOA: + We went architecture gawking in Albany's warehouse district, a neighborhood with a... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

AOA's starting the weekend a little early. Happy Friday. A weekend, even in the rain, is still a weekend. Keep your umbrella handy and your... (more)

Cooking with Fire author at HLM

Author/historian/wood-fired foods expert Paula Marcoux will be at Healthy Living Market August 6 for a talk and demo. Marcoux's book, Cooking With Fire: From Roasting... (more)

Stephen at (his new) home

Stephen Colbert is taking over for David Letterman on The Late Show next year -- and New York State is helping along the transition with... (more)

Planning a Capital Region wedding: recap!

Over the last few months Lauren has been sharing her wedding planning process here at AOA. Well, guess what: She now's married and back from... (more)

Recent Comments

... It's heartening to see that the neighborhood is seeing early stages of revival - I think a lot of cities are starting to realize the potential and charm of historic warehouse and factory buildings. I'm sort of conflicted because although I want to see them all saved, I like the sort of gritty time-worn quality of peeling paint, dirty brick, and faded signage...

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 2 comments, most recently from CAOD

Planning a Capital Region wedding: recap!

...has 6 comments, most recently from Nicole

Stephen at (his new) home

...has 1 comment, most recently from Joe

Cherry Plain State Park

...has 9 comments, most recently from ethan

Info sessions on new CDTA smart cards and mobile payments

...has 3 comments, most recently from Lu