Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the publication of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, special tours will be given on the first Sunday of each month from June through October at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Learn why Staatsburgh has long been identified with Bellomont, the country estate featured in the novel. See the rooms as Edith Wharton may have envisioned them. Follow Lily Bart as she begins her journey from the opulent mansions of the wealthy to the dingy boardinghouses of the poor.

In the 1890s Mr. & Mrs. Mills commissioned the prestigious New York City architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White to remodel and enlarge their home. Work began in 1895 and when completed in 1896, the house had been transformed from a 25-room Greek Revival style home into a Beaux-Arts mansion of 65 rooms and 14 bathrooms. Although the interior was lavishly decorated, mostly in the styles of 17th and 18th-century France, many architectural features of the earlier Livingston home such as the all the trims, moldings and many of the fireplaces had been preserved. This melding of grandeur and heritage is characteristic of the American Renaissance period.

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