Hyde Hall, built on the shores of Otsego Lake by George Clarke (1768-1835), was to be a showplace at the center of his agricultural empire that included vast tracts of land in New York State, England, and Jamaica. He commissioned Philip Hooker of Albany, whose credits included the original New York State Capitol, Albany City Hall, and the facade of Hamilton College's chapel, to draw up plans for his grand house.
Clarke created a country estate reminiscent of his childhood in England in the middle of New York State. Seasonal building campaigns took place until Clarke's death in 1835. Hyde Hall was possibly the largest domestic structure built in the United States between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Hyde Hall remained in the Clarke family until 1963, when the house and its acreage were acquired by New York State for the development of Glimmerglass State Park.
Visitors to Hyde Hall are welcome to explore its nearly 50 rooms, view ongoing restoration work, and picnic on the lawn and take in the unspoiled view of Otsego Lake.