Saturday, December 4, 2010

Entrance Hall

This photo, taken from the book Thomas Jefferson, Architect, shows the Entrance Hall of my "inspiration house."  I am using it as a guide for the hall of my own Merriman Park.  (I hope the people that really live in this house don't read this and think I'm stalking them or something).Oh, well!  Anyway, I'm not planning on re-creating the room exactly as shown--but I do love the proportions of the space and the beautiful details of the mill work and moldings.

This room is a bit controversial  in historic preservation circles because when the house was "rediscovered" in the 1930's --all falling down and in near ruin--  the home underwent a restoration.  It was at this time that the  Palladian screen was added to the room based on marks left on the floor where columns may (or may not) have been originally placed.  I guess they also beefed up the crown moldings at that time.  Other changes were made to the home as well:  two matching out-buildings, or dependencies, were built flanking the main house and connected by underground passageways.  (Jefferson utilized this feature in many of his buildings).  So there has been a lot of cat-fighting and wringing of hands as to how "pure" the house stands today as a work of Thomas Jefferson. 

Personally, I think the changes are not only in the spirit of Jefferson, but they make the home more livable.  The building is not very large to begin with and the dependencies provide a garage and guest house.  And this home, after all, is not a museum --people are living in it. Bathrooms and kitchens are rather nice to have on hand when you don't have slaves to empty your chamberpot!


Iris March said...[Reply]

I love this picture and how you are using it as a guide.

But I missed something: which TJ house is this?

I keep reading and re-reading your blog and I keep finding interesting things I missed!

John said...[Reply]

This is the entrance hall to Edgemont, which inspired Merriman Park (see first few posts). Thank you for reading, Iris --I surely do appreciate the compliments!

Iris March said...[Reply]

Edgemont, of course! Beautiful house! If you haven’t seen the entrance hall from the other direction, I found a photo in “Virginia Plantation Homes” by David King Gleason. I put it in my Webshots album at The album is “Other Images”. Book was too large for my scanner so I took a picture – not too bad.

John said...[Reply]

Iris, I've never seen that shot before! Thank you!

Fi.P said...[Reply]


I have just been looking at some of your old posts. As I am a newcomer to your blog I had not seen this photo.

You have done amazingly well in using the fundamental design with out making a replica. I think you should repost this photo when you post your final image of the entrance. Well done, it really is a credit to you.

Another thing that brings me to your blog for the second time today.
I had a little LOL to myself this morning. I was cleaning the Bathrooms (not the LOL part ) and decided to clean out the bucket I use to store the cleaning products in, and what do you think I found............? A toothpaste cap like yours, I immediately thought of you. Clearly they do still have these in Australia, just not the brand I buy. And what do you think I did.......? I washed it off and put it in my miniatures draw....... ; )


John said...[Reply]

Fi, THAT is hysterical! I'm finding it harder to toss stuff out without reassessing whether it could be made into something for the house. Great...I'm going to end up on "Hoarders."