Archive for the ‘19th Century’ Category

Frederick W. Vanderbilt Mansion

January 4, 2010

Damn girl, this house is fine.



January 4, 2010

Locust Grove

January 4, 2010


January 4, 2010


December 8, 2009
Lyndhurst in December.  If you squint you can just make out the tiny French hunchback they keep locked in the tower for “atmosphere”.
Why’d you wake me from my nap?

Lyndhurst is a total gem:  a Gothic Revival castle about 30 miles north of New York City, with full year round tours, beautiful grounds and entirely original furnishings and few modernizations since 1911.  Plus, in December all the rooms are decorated in fairy tale themes so if you love historic mansions and dropping acid, this is your Nirvana.


Lower East Side Tenement Museum

December 7, 2009
A recent photo of my apartment.

Why would I want to take a tour of where poor people lived?
I know this is a website about mansions, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include some other historical sites.  The Tenement Museum An entire brownstone on the Lower East Side that’s been gussied up to look like a tenement from the early 20th century.  It’s one block away from Congee Village (dumplings!) and a couple doors down from where Gus’ Pickles used to sell their amazing half dills out of barrels.



December 5, 2009

The 40-room Rockefeller mansion before the murders …

What the heck’s a Kykuit?
Kykuit (rhymes with “die-cut”)  is a 40-room estate built by one of America’s most storied family dynasties,  the Rockefellers.  I went in the early summer and for $18,  my luffer and I (hi Chris!) took a 2 hour tour of the main house, the formal gardens and the garage.  The tour guide was a tetchy old queen straight out of central casting:  Tommy Bahama button down, linen slacks and a James Lipton goatee.  His first “moment” involved hissing at someone in our group who was taking pictures, “what don’t you understand about ‘no photographs’?!”  Meee-ow.


Historic Old Richmond Town

December 4, 2009
The 314-year-old centerpiece to Historic Richmond Town’s collection of 28 fully and partially restored buildings.

What is Historic Old Richmond Town and do I actually have to call it that?
A museum town, with 28 restored buildings from the late 17th to the early 19th centuries.  There’s a tinsmith, a schoolhouse, a tavern, general store, blacksmith and school, plus a whole lot of private homes.  Some of the buildings were a little down in the mouth — a Colonial Williamsburg gone to seed — but I think it’s pretty cool.  And did I mention it’s smack dab in the middle of Staten Island?!