November 21, 2007

Tivoli House Painting is Complete

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!


  1. It is really wonderful - thanks for the tour.

  2. Wow! I absolutely Love old buildings, it looks Gorgeous! Especially the smell of brick. I know this sounds strange. Thank you for sharing, would love to see more photos!


  3. Very nice. It's wonderful to see old buildings like this being put to good use today.

  4. Looks great!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. The building that's used for the school is handsome. Oddly, the main house is not particularly handsome. It has odd proportions.

    But I love the floor to ceiling windows. One of the things I like best about our 1880s house is the huge windows on the first floor. And all of our windows are original and they rattle like crazy on windy nights.

  6. What a neat place to go to work each morning. This is an office I could love!


  7. Congratulations ~ a job well done! The building is perfect in its simplicity.

  8. Wonderful photos! Just one note: Baltimore's beloved benefactor, Enoch Pratt, was not a Quaker, though this is a common misconception. He was a member of the Unitarian church, First Independent Church of Baltimore for 65 years. This church is still on the corner of Charles and Franklin downtown as it was in Pratt's day, and is still a Unitarian church, nearing its 200th anniversary. The church is just a few blocks from his in-town residence at Monument and Park, now the home of the Maryland Historical Society.

    Thanks so much for this post!

  9. ^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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