Monday, February 25, 2008

Thinking about old house tours

This is a photo of the Park-McCullough House, in Bennington VT, where I volunteer as a docent. I took the photo from their website. I'm currently designing a walking tour of the grounds, for people who just drop in - when it's done, it will be available on the website.

Just this weekend, I took a tour with my family of Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. We had a great time, especially since I discovered that the molding in the oldest section of the house (1805) is almost an exact match to the molding in my own (1815) farmhouse, in Vermont. (Now I have to go back to my library, and figure out what designer they were both pulling from. I think it's either Swan or Batty Langly.) The tour was also fun because the two young guides took us on an extended tour after everyone else moved on, and we got to see and talk about all the fun details of the house. There are doors between the old and newer sections which do not line up, and a hobbit door in the basement, leading to a tunnel under the house. But the slave quarters, which are undergoing renovation, were the most interesting of all, because all the layers of brick, plaster and framing are visible.

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