Two weeks ago, Mallory and I visited the Felt Mansion, a historically restored mansion. I had been there this Spring for a Walk and Click Photo Walk exploring the outside of the mansion. I have never been inside, so I was delighted when Mal surprised me with a trip to the Felt Estate and an opportunity to take a tour of the inside.
The tours are self-guided which was fine with me because then we could go at our own pace, and I could take as many photos as I wanted to. Mallory was the Tour Brochure reader, a role that she has played ever since she has been able to read. Many hikes of numbered interest points have been in her past and hopefully many more in her future.
Architecture: The Felt Mansion is an example of Georgian Revival architecture. Be definition a "revival" is always eclectic because it is a current interpretation of a previous era. In this case, a 1920s house built in a 1700-1800s motif. When facing the front of the mansion, you will notice the symmetry typical of Georgian design. The center Palladian window (above the pillars), and the window placement (fenestration) of all the other windows provides the balance prevalent in this style. Dorr Felt loved order - so it was a natural fit for his philosophy.
Speaking Tubes: The speaking tubes were created so that the maids could speak with one another when on separate floors.
Butler's Pantry: At one time the butler's pantry had a first model of a dishwasher. Unfortunately, it broke as many as it cleaned, and the family referred to it as the "dishmasher".
Bathrooms: The bathrooms in the house are very colorful. The tile shows the influence of the art deco style popular in the 1920s.
The shower stall in the pink bathroom has its original temperature regulator and multiple shower jets.
Ballroom: The ballroom is located on the third floor and is only accessible from the "maid's end" of the second floor. This is because the ballroom itself was an afterthought. Initially slated as storage space, the entire third floor ballroom plan was an amendment to the original blueprints.
The Sunroom: Mr. Felt built the sunroom, complete with quartz glass that would intensify the sun's rays, in the hopes that it would improve Mrs. Felt's health. Unfortunately, it didn't and Mrs. Felt died in her bedroom in August 1928 - six weeks after the home was completed.
Agnes Felt's Ballgown
Library: Every Georgian home had a paneled room, usually the library. Many of the books in the library are original to the mansion. The set of dictionaries, for example, were purchased by someone at the family auction in 1949. She recently donated the set back to the mansion.
The Comptometer: Dorr Felt invented the Comptometer and it made him a millionaire. It was the first adding machine that could do all four math functions. The Comptometer became an indispensable tool in offices everywhere for over 50 years. In fact, most large cities had Comptometer schools where people (primarily women) could learn the use them quickly and accurately. Soon, women and Comptometers were replacing male accountants in the office because the women could keep the books faster using a Comptometer than the men could with pencil and paper.
The Water Garden: In 2006, the 75-foot diameter round water garden was renovated. Originally it was part of Dorr Felt's vast irrigation system. Many brides and grooms now get married in the center or the water garden.
This photo of the water garden is from this Spring when it was still empty and the fountain was not out yet. I was so pleased to see the fountain and it filled with water on this trip.
Taking these photos and putting this post together has made me realize how much I miss doing a weekly photo walk like I use to do with Lissa's Walk and Click Wednesdays. It made me go out and explore new places and go some places that I always wanted to go but just didn't. I think might have to add a weekly wandering back into my life and this blog. Hmmm...Weekly Wanderings...that has a nice ring to it.