Thursday, December 27, 2012

Historic House Holidays

We often travel in December, and it is a treat to see the house museums decked out in their holiday attire. Many are finding this a good way to increase visitor numbers and engage with the community. Some do this on their own, and others involve local garden clubs and other organizations.
Our 2012 trip really began with the houses in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. This was a "Villa District", where prominent citizens built summer homes away from the seasonal discomfort of the city. Some houses in the park are open to visitors, and some are preserved/maintained through use by local organizations. It can be a feat to find a time when a number of them are open, as their schedules vary, and at least some are closed for maintenance. We had a good run this holiday season, visiting Lemon Hill, Mount Pleasant, Woodford and Laurel Hill.
For more about these houses visit:
Mount Pleasant looks deceptively small in this photo. A property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it contains some wonderful Philadelphia furnishings.

The twin dependencies at Mount Pleasant express its symmetry, and make the house even more distinguished.



Lemon Hill is very visible from the Art Museum area; the bowed facade is due to oval shape drawing rooms.

Laurel Hill is much enlarged from its original form, and is often used for musical events.

Ormiston is used by a medical society, and is not open as a museum.
Rockland is used by a historical society, and was not open for tours.

Monday, December 10, 2012

From an Old Newspaper

We often find old newspapers used as backings for framed items. Usually interesting to read pieces of the past, and wonder how some of the stories of people back then turned out. Here is one I found in a piece I was restoring, from the San Francisco Examiner, 1909.