Oakbourne Mansion

I was sifting through some old photos that I took and thought that I should put up a few of this interesting old mansion.  I previously posted the water tower photos but until now neglected the main house.  Here’s another great set of detail photos of the house.  There must be a small fortune’s worth of copper in the rear roof and chimney top.

Armour-Stiner Octagon House Photos


While dropping off an important set of Pottier & Stymus parlor furniture, I had the privilege of touring and photographing the Armour-Stiner Octagon House in Irvington, NY.  It was built in 1859-1860 by Paul J. Armour and the dome was later added by Joseph Stiner in 1872.  More history is available over at Wikipedia.
Joe Lombardi, the current owner, has spent the last three decades restoring the property inside and out.  He has endeavored to hide or avoid modern amenities by using period antiques such as antique phones, pull-chain toilets, copper sinks, period stove, and period faucets and plumbing fixtures. I wish I had a video of the flip-out antique sink in the upstairs bathroom.
The house is filled with antiques that would be the envy of any Victorian collector and it is obvious that Joe has a good eye and a love of Renaissance Revival.
Enjoy the photos of this special home.

Ephrata Cloister Part II


Here are the second batch of photos from my Ephrata Cloister visit. Hopefully, the creative license I took with the photo processing enhances the viewing and the spookiness, even though the Cloister gave me the opposite feeling.

Ephrata Cloister Visit

Cloister-Ephrata

The Saal, the Meetinghouse

After a recent trip to photograph 120,000 Snow Geese during a migration stop at Middle Creek in Pennsylvania, I took a quick tour of the historic religious community, the Ephrata Cloister.  Started in 1732 by German Settlers, it is one of the earliest religious communities in America.  The buildings have been beautifully restored and maintained and it is an enjoyable visit if you find yourself in the area.  The museum is also worth perusing as the textiles and artifacts are a joy to see.  I snapped a few photos to share here on OHT.

Memorial Hall – Centennial Art Gallery

As part of a 9 mile walk that my joints endured this past weekend I had a chance to appreciate the architecture of the “Please Touch Museum” in Philadelphia.  This structure has recently undergone an $81 million renovation and the results are stunning.

This building was part of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition and was originally known as the “Art Gallery” at the time.  More of the history from the Fairmount Park website:

Fairmount Park Chief Engineer Hermann Schwarzmann created this national significant Centennial Art Gallery as one of America’s first examples of Beaux-Arts architecture. Memorial Hall’s price tag was $1.5 million, quite a sum at that time. Consider though that Memorial Hall was built without wood and was fireproofed. The dedication of this fine building was made by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant at the Centennial. Memorial Hall served as the city’s art museum until the Philadelphia Museum of Art opened in 1928.

Ernest Hemingway House – Key West

Hemingway-House

A few years ago I spent Christmas in Key West (which I highly recommend by the way) and toured Ernest Hemingway’s house museum.  He moved there in 1931 and his wife collected the furnishings and chandeliers that are still present today.

You’ll see a few of the polydactyl cats (they have extra toes) in the photos from the many that reside there.  They are descendants of Hemingway own personal cats.

  • Hemingway's House Fountain
  • Hemingway's House Front
  • Hemingway's Chair
  • Hemingway's House Rococo sofa
  • Hemingway House cabinet
  • Hemingway House Murano Chandelier
  • Hemingway House fireplace
  • Hemingway House bench
  • Hemingway House Dining Set
  • Hemingway House Chair
  • Hemingway House sofa
  • Hemingway House Spanish bed
  • Hemingway house curio
  • Hemingway house china cabinet
  • Hemingway House Christmas Palm
  • Hemingway House Lighthouse view
  • Ernest Hemingway trunk
  • Hemingway House Front
  • Hemingway House corner
  • Hemingway house cat
  • Hemingway tile cabinet
  • Hemingway House Spanish Bed
  • Hemingway House China
  • Hemingway House Art Deco Tiles
  • Hemingway House cat prints
  • Hemingway House Iron detail
  • Hemingway house cat house
  • Hemingway House Six Toed cat
  • Hemingway House Chair
  • Hemingway House Fish tank
  • Hemingway House Bathroom pedestal
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Oxford, Maryland Walking Tour

Oxford-MD-Robert-Morris-Inn
Oxford, Maryland is a beautiful historic town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It is one of the oldest towns in America, marking it’s founding in 1683.  It is a quiet, water-lover’s paradise still populated with working watermen intermingled with Washington D.C. weekenders and retirees.  This photo collection is part of a larger one, taken for other purposes, so I extracted some of the “old house” scenery to share here.

Cape May Walking Tour

cape-may-house

Cape May is a beautiful place, especially for its old houses! There have been many renovations, to bring houses up to date with modern comfort and home security standards, and they are truly gorgeous places to stay. High ceilings and intricate detailing, not to mention the historic value, adds to their charm. Just looking at the house in the image above, you get an idea of how picturesque they are.

Staying in one of the Bed & Breakfasts is a real treat. Unlike in Europe, where many countries still have very old houses, it isn’t every where in the U.S that we can experienced staying in a house like this. It makes for a lovely weekend getaway or a little holiday with your family. Book in advance to make sure there are still rooms free– these houses sometimes only have four or five rooms on offer.

My wife and I spent last weekend in Cape May, NJ;  ground zero for Victorian historic homes.  We stayed at the Queen Victoria on Ocean St. and it was a very enjoyable stay.  The owners and staff are very cordial and work very hard to make sure you understand the basics of the Inn and are quickly able to get to the ralaxing part.

We spent a good bit of time just walking the streets to admire the homes.  The size and scale of these old buildings makes you realize why today so many of them get rented out or turned into Bed & Breakfasts – they’re huge and could house a family of 15 if you were so inclined.

The Cape May oceanfront homes are seeing a flurry of rebuilding and restoration as you will see some of that in some of the photos.  Click on the image above for a meager sampling of the hundreds of Victorians in Cape Mayor for the full-screen experience, see the slideshow, here.