Archive for 'State'

James Madison’s Montpelier (1812)


Back in 2007 I visited Montpelier, the plantation estate of James Madison located near Orange, Virginia. It was an interesting time to visit, because the house was still undergoing restoration and so we went on a “hard hat tour.” It would be interesting to revisit now that the restorations have been completed. The oldest part of the house was built around 1764 by the president’s father, James Madison, Sr. James Madison built an addition to the house in 1797 as a residence for himself and his wife Dolley. In 1812 he unified the interior of the house and added two wings on either side. The house was enlarged and much altered in the twentieth century by William duPont and then by his daughter, Marion duPont. Now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the house has been restored to its 1812 appearance. › Continue reading…

Boalsburg Tavern (1819)

Boalsburg Tavern

Back in 2009, when I visited the Boal Mansion and Columbus Chapel in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, we drove by an old Georgian-style stone building called Duffy’s Boalsburg Tavern. Looking it up now, I discover it was built in 1819 and was first owned by Col. James Johnson. It operated continuously until the building was damaged by fire in 1934. Within three years, it was restored and reopened. Harry Duffy purchased it 1946. He named it Duffy’s Tavern and ran it until his death in 1961. It is part of the Boalsburg Historic District and is included in the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Houses on Union Street, Hudson NY

After visiting Olana and Cedar Grove, I took some pictures in the city of Hudson, NY. Warren Street in Hudson is famous for its Victorian architecture, but Union Street (which is parallel to Warren to the south) has many nineteenth-century houses. The house in the picture above is the c. 1850 Terry-Gillette Mansion at 601 Union Street, designed by Richard Upjohn. Below are some more of the interesting houses with approximate dates of construction. › Continue reading…

Cedar Grove (1815)

After visiting Olana, it was a quick trip across the Hudson River to Cedar Grove, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, in Catskill, New York. Built in 1815 by the Thomson family, the house was later the home of painter Thomas Cole, who married a niece of the owner, a local merchant named John A. Thomson, in 1836. Cole is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School of landscape painting. Frederic Edwin Church, who would later build Olana, was a student of Cole at Cedar Grove. The Greene County Historical Society purchased the property in 1998 and it has been open as a house museum since 2001. › Continue reading…

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Olana (1872)

Last Friday, I visited Olana for the first time. The orientalizing “Persian”-style home of Hudson River School landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church, Olana is located on a hill (surrounded by an extensive property) in Hudson, New York. Church, aided by architect Calvert Vaux, constructed Olana between 1870 and 1872. He added a studio wing to the house over the period 1888–1891. The house has been a New York State Historic Site since 1966. › Continue reading…

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New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden

A few years ago I visited the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, which is part of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden on New York City’s Staten Island. It is a fairly recent New York attraction, having opened in 1999. It was constructed by Chinese artists and artisans from Suzhou, which is renowned for its classical Chinese Gardens. Pictured above is the Tea House of Hearing Pines. See below for more pictures. › Continue reading…


Three Historic Houses in Brooklyn

In addition to he Wyckoff House, I also saw three other early historic houses in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The Lefferts House (above) was closed, so I didn’t go inside. The house was built in 1783 and was the former home of Continental Army Lieutenant Pieter Lefferts. In 1918, it was moved six blocks to Prospect Park, where it is now a children’s museum. › Continue reading…

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