Tarrytown House Estate Blog
Celebrating the Nation’s First Conference Center
In 1964, Tarrytown House Estate became the nation’s first conference center. Described in a New York Times article that year as a “campus for hire,” the Estate has played host to thousands of businesses, organizations and educational institutions over the past 50 years and has paved the way for the growth of the conference center industry.
The property was acquired in 1964 by Robert Schwartz, a visionary and journalist who had served at one time as New York bureau chief for Time Magazine. Schwartz realized that corporate America needed a new type of lodging facility designed exclusively for business meetings and with that, he set about the task of creating the nation’s first executive conference center. Schwartz’ passed away in 2013 but his mantra from 1964 remains as relevant today as it was 50 years ago, “We wish all who come here to leave with a better and fuller sense of themselves and of their organization.”
In 2006, the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) issued an official proclamation certifying Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center as the Nation’s First Conference Center. IACC has recognized the critical role the property has had in the creation of the Conference Center concept which now represents over 350 IACC properties worldwide.
While the property has existed as a conference center for the past 50 years, the Estate dates back as early as 1840. Years later, in 1921, Mary Duke Biddle of the Duke Tobacco family purchased the large granite mansion which is known today as the Biddle Mansion. After her death in 1960, Biddle’s children sold it to the African nation of Mali, which used it for a short time as a diplomatic retreat before Schwartz acquired it one year later.
In sharing the conference center’s 50th anniversary with guests, the Estate is offering the following special promotions through the end of the year: 50th Anniversary CMP Dinner Menu, the Remembering 1964 Package, the 1964 Package, and cellar 49 Cocktails that nod to its anniversary. Visit our Hudson Valley hotel website regularly throughout the year as we celebrate our 50th anniversary.