Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Felt Mansion - The Inside Tour

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.


  1. After your photo-heart connection post, I was looking forward to seeing the inside photos. What a great mansion. Thanks!

  2. What a beautiful and interesting post about the Felt Mansion....Speaking tubes, temperature regulators in the bathroom and a ballroom on the third floor...Sounds this family had every luxury available at the time....

    Oh and I loved the ball gown with all that beadwork...it's just a shame she didn't get to enjoy her home longer.....

  3. I'm glad you finally were able to go inside and browse at your leisure! Love the details you captured of the mansion! They are so much more than the usual tourist photos! I really like the window in the butler's pantry with a glimpse of the railing and maybe a driveway! I miss our weekly walk group, too! I enjoyed how it kept me looking for new places to explore!

  4. What a fantastic tour! And I'm surprised they let you take photos inside. Most historical sites don't allow that. That speaking tube is so cool!


  5. Lovely, lovely photos! This so reminds me of the F. A. Seiberling mansion, Stan Hwyet, which was built and owned by the founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber. It's listed #12 of the largest homes in the United States. Can't take photos inside the manor...but the grounds/gardens are unbelievable. Might have to do this this summer! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. yes, weekly wanderings are a must. thanks for sharing this very interesting place...love how you captured this in little pieces.

  7. i just love touring old homes. this one is a beauty! love all those vintage details. i live in a 1920's era home myself - a colonial 'revival' style. :) also wanted to say thank you for the lovely comment you left for me at focusing on life. so loved having you be part of the conversation. :)

  8. Weekly wanderings has a great ring to it - and this one was fantastic! So many interesting and pretty things to see. I love that ball gown - which is kind of odd as I don't really consider myself much of a ball gown type. Your photos are awesome!

  9. Yes weekly wanderings love it.... what a fantastic and interesting house, thanks for the tour I love all your intimate closeups....

  10. Looking forward to the possible weekly wanderings writings! Thanks for sharing the inside of the mansion and the history. Beautiful photos - all the closeups, and that gown, so pretty! How sad that Agnes Felt died only 6 weeks after moving in.

  11. Weekly Wanderings sounds great! Thanks for the wonderful tour. You are always great with that.

  12. A beautiful place to visit. You were lucky to be able to take so many photos there. I love the one of the window in the butler's pantry. I've been meaning to start back on my weekly walks to but not got around to it yet - or more like, I've done the walks not got around to sorting the photos and before I know it the next week has arrived!

  13. wow what an amazing place, lovely series of photos

  14. You captured the up-close details beautifully...what I am drawn to in such a place. It's the Human Touch. My fave is the Battenburg lace curtain/window sill...no - maybe the elegant plumbing details.


  15. What a cool tour, Sarah!! Love the pic of Mallory at the speaking tube ... of course, I love the macros of the books and Comptometer ... fabulous job of capturing the fountain drops. Looks like you had a wonderful visit. You know how to capture the details, for sure. ;->


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)