It’s hard to believe it was almost a teardown. “Boscobel, an early architectural treasure in the Hudson River Valley, is ready for the scrap heap,” read a May 12, 1955, article in The New York Times. The Federal-era jewel had been languishing since 1923, when Westchester County bought the circa-1805 house and land, in the riverside hamlet of Montrose, with the intention of creating a park. But it remained vacant and began to slide into decay, and in 1941, the county’s parks department decided to raze it. A local citizens’ group formed Boscobel, Inc., in an attempt to save the structure, and in 1945 the Veterans Administration bought the dilapidated mansion and built a giant hospital complex around it. Less than a decade later, though, the V.A. deemed it surplus, and it was slated for demolition once again.