Visit: Lambert Castle {Paterson, New Jersey}

by Cate on July 24, 2018

A beautiful architectural structure tucked away in the hills of Paterson, let’s visit the Lambert Castle.

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I have a running list of “fun things to do” on my phone, so when we’re looking for something to do, we don’t have to search very long. As if! The Lambert Castle in Paterson has been on my list for awhile, and when Nick and his friend were making their Summer Bucket List a few weeks ago, they put it on.

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And now, we can finally cross it off!

We stopped in for a self-guided tour this past weekend, and it’s worth a visit. It’s in a quiet section of Paterson, and had I not known about it before, I doubt I would have discovered it on my own. It’s easy to find, has ample free parking, and beautiful views of New York City.

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It’s very inexpensive to tour (adults are $5 and kids are $3), and I love that it’s self-guided, so we could go at our own pace. They have a three-page scavenger hunt available for kids, and that kept them engaged and looking around longer than they would have without it.

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Lambert Castle was originally built in 1892, and was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places in June 1976. Catholina Lambert, a transplant from England, made his fortune in the silk industry and built the castle as his home, and originally named it Belle Vista. After the original castle structure was completed, Lambert added a 70-foot observation tower, a summer house, and an art gallery. He entertained often, including a visit from President McKinley, and enjoyed having a place to showcase his extensive art collection. Sadly, in the early 1900s, he fell on some misfortune and had to sell his art to repay his debts. He continued to live in the castle until his death in 1923. The castle was sold a few years later to the City of Paterson and was actually used as a tuberculosis hospital for many years. It later became the property of the Passaic County Park Commission, and the Historical Society was given permission to use the property as a museum.

The actual décor of the castle was interesting; many rooms were very dark and definitely decorated with the influence of the Victorian era, yet other sections, like the three level atrium, were bright and airy.

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We spent about an hour touring the castle, taking photos, and enjoying the view. If you’re looking for something fun and slightly educational to do with your kids, do visit the Lambert Castle. The Great Falls of Paterson are also nearby and now that the bridge has been reopened, it’s definitely worth checking out as well.

Lambert Castle
3 Valley Road
Paterson, NJ 07503-2932

The Museum’s Hours are Wed. – Sun. 1 – 4pm (Noon – 4 pm Memorial Day-Labor Day)

The Library is open Fri. 1 – 4 pm (Noon – 4 pm Memorial Day-Labor Day) and the 2nd and 4th Sat. of each month.

Hungry for more day-trip ideas in New Jersey?
I’ve got a whole Pinterest page just for that right here.

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