If, to borrow a phrase, the accomplished is a adopted country, this moment—when absolute journeys are curtailed—is a acceptable break to time-travel to celebrated houses. The U.S. has a calendar activity far above accustomed names like the Biltmore Estate, Hearst Castle and Winterthur. Abounding are calmly explored online, acquiescent alluring micro-histories and peeks at assorted artful taste.
Located on the banks of the Patuxent River in Hollywood, Md., Sotterley epitomizes an 18th-century tobacco plantation. Its board acreage house, which grew from two apartment congenital about 1703 by a alien alleged James Bowles, boasts mid-18th-century woodwork, decidedly in the cartoon allowance and on the staircase, that the Maryland Celebrated Trust deems “among the finest pre-Revolutionary woodwork in the southern colonies.” In abrupt contrast, there’s additionally a one-room bondservant cabin. Sotterley’s history is categorical in a video on its website, revealing, amid added things, that an owner’s son fought for the Confederacy at the Battle of Petersburg adjoin an able bondservant who abutting the Union Army, and that Herbert Satterlee and his wife, J.P. Morgan’s babe Louisa, purchased Sotterley in 1910. The grounds, with their colonial awakening gardens, arise on YouTube, including this contempo attending blue-blooded “Sotterley Acreage | Maryland”; the abode autogenous is apparent in black-and-white photographs at the Library of Congress that are attainable online.
Just afore the Civil War, a accomplished Italian Villa-style home, now alleged Victoria Mansion, was ascent in Portland, Maine, for Ruggles Sylvester Morse, a auberge magnate. Its boxlike exterior, completed in 1860, looks stodgy, but the interior! Unveiled in an anterior video on the mansion’s website, it’s a cake of hand-painted trompe l’oeil walls and ceilings; astronomic mirrors; a admirable staircase; gaslights; and abundantly carved, inlaid furniture. It is the alone actual autogenous created by Gustave Herter, who co-founded the acclaimed Herter Brothers architecture firm, which counted the Vanderbilts and Theodore Roosevelt’s White Abode as clients. Herter’s accomplishment can be apparent in two abbreviate videos on the mansion’s YouTube channel.
The assignment of addition acclaimed designer—architect Henry Hobson Richardson—is on actualization at Glessner Abode in Chicago. Completed in 1887, this Romanesque home has a fortress-like appearance, with alveolate advanced windows and a asperous granite-block façade. It’s not as abundant as best Gilded Age mansions (John Glessner was alone a accomplice in a acreage accessories firm), as you’ll see in an anterior video on the home’s YouTube approach and the basic bout on its website. Still, it has alluring features, like the wood-paneled capital hall, bay-windowed dining allowance and beamed-ceiling library, additional English and American arts-and-crafts objects. Glessner Abode afresh started two YouTube series—on its secrets (such as a hidden passage) and on its sounds (like the servants’ alarm system).
On the shores of Lake Superior, in Duluth, Minn., Glensheen, a Jacobean Awakening abode with 39 rooms, provides a window on North Country wealth. Completed in 1908 for an iron-ore administrator alleged Chester Congdon, the autogenous is an all-embracing mélange, with lots of carved wood, including cypress and mahogany, brickwork, and a adorable breakfast room, fabricated of handmade tiles and decrepit bottle windows. A six-minute video on YouTube by Activity to the Max TV provides a acceptable overview, and a one-hour Duluth accessible television special, additionally on YouTube, address abysmal into Glensheen’s history, architecture and life.
South of San Francisco, in Woodside, Calif., sits Filoli, a alluring 56-room Georgian Awakening country acreage with 16 acreage of academic area that was congenital in 1915-17 from the gold blitz and gas affluence of William Bowers Bourn II. Filoli’s YouTube approach presents a 21-minute video account its history and design, including its hand-painted amphitheater bank panels, aeon ablaze fixtures, awe-inspiring fabrics and an adorned marble mantelpiece. There’s a access on “the drunks dinner,” a academic activity adulatory the end of Prohibition—also abundant in a 50-minute video on Filoli’s YouTube channel, one of several continued histories there. YouTube has abounding videos of the gardens, yet few of the abode interior. You may not charge abundant more, as TV’s long-running “Dynasty” alternation from the 1980s was filmed there, and the Library of Congress has black-and-white photos online.
A year afore the banal bazaar comatose in 1929, Chicago baron Richard T. Crane Jr. erected his spectacular, 59-room Stuart-style “summer getaway” mansion, Castle Hill, on 2,100 acreage in Ipswich, Mass. Its best beauteous affection is a half-mile-long “Grand Allée” grass capital that rolls from the balustrade bottomward to the sea, acutely arresting in a WGBH YouTube video. For the inside, Crane raided an English country home and an 18th-century London townhouse, aircraft paneled rooms, busy moldings, parquet floors, and a library with accessory carvings by the 18th-century sculptor Grinling Gibbons beyond the Atlantic. You can see them, and more, in photographs appear in 2018 by Architectural Digest and on a Big Old Houses blog column accounting in 2014 by the architectural historian John Foreman. If you don’t apperception kitsch—an amateur as the butler convoying you around—go to Pixiecropolis on YouTube for a half-hour visit.
Virtual visits are never as acceptable as the absolute thing, of course, but they may attract you to add added celebrated homes to your biking agenda. Many, including all those mentioned actuality
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