The estate manager did a walk-about with the job foreman this morning and finalized everything on the punch list. Since it's semi-sunny day today, and pretty quiet at the office, I thought I would wander around and take some photos of the finished project. I must say that for a 150+ year old house that was used as an orphanage for many years before we built cottages, it is in remarkable shape.
A few weeks ago, when the painters were working on the upper floors of the house, I talked them into letting me go up on their lift, and was able to get some photos. Unfortunately, it was at high noon, so the sun blew out the sky, but you can get a good idea of the main section of the house. The two windows on the second floor left side are mine, and you can see that one's cracked open to let fresh air in.
On the west side, in the original parlour and master bed- and sitting-rooms, there are lots of floor to ceiling windows with graceful arched tops. They are now shaded by some pines. In the 1850's, these windows would let the summer breezes into the house. We replaced all of the plexiglass windows with new quarter-inch glass panes to help the house become more air-tight. Apparently, the glass used to rattle in the frames during windy winter days. Brrrr...
There's a small wing on the east side of the house, which was probably the original kitchen, and maybe the quarters for a high-ranking house staff. It and the building we use as our school, appeal to me more than the Italianate main house. The picture above is the kitchen wing and the one below is the school. We used a similar shot, taken in the summer, for a PR postcard we just sent.
We've been trying to figure out what the school was originally used for, and have discounted slave quarters for several reasons, not the least of which was the Enoch Pratt, who owned the house was a Quaker and very anti-slavery. He and some friends sat out the Civil War here at Tivoli, which was self-sufficient with its own farm and springs.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!