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Washington Irving -- man of letters, diplomat, architectural historian, gentleman farmer, and first true international celebrity -- designed an eclectic cottage in the country in 1835. Before he wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and introduced the world to the Headless Horseman and Rip Van Winkle, Irving lived in England and was minister to Spain, where he rediscovered the Alhambra palace and reawakened its mystical architecture and aura with his Tales of the Alhambra. Sunnyside, with its mélange of historic and architectural styles, including a Dutch stepped-gable roofline, a Spanish tower, and master bedroom modeled after a Paris apartment, was Irving's personal romantic retreat. Today the pastoral villa, swathed in vines and wisteria and nestled into the grounds along the Hudson, remains as he left it, with his books and writing papers in the study. The train rumbles by the riverfront property, as it did toward the end of Irving's life (he died here in 1859). During the holidays, Sunnyside is festooned with Victorian Christmas decorations, and there are singalongs and storytelling. The 45-minute tours are led by guides in 19th-century costume.