Friday, May 20, 2011

Whitehall Mansion Part 2

This is Part 2 of our visit to what is now the Flagler Museum.  Henry Flagler was responsible for most of the development on the east coast of Florida, including the overseas railroad to Key West.  That cost him 7 years and $50,000,000 of his own money. 
But don't worry - he still had $100,000,000 (yes, that's million) to leave Mary Lily when he died at the mansion in 1913.
Whitehall is designed around a central courtyard which helps keep the house cool in the Florida climate.  The Flaglers occasionally used this space for dinner parties.
Above the fireplace in the Library is a portrait of Henry Flagler.  The Library was decorated in the Italian Renaissance style. 
 Flagler also used the room as a reception area for guests and business associates.
The cast plaster and fabric ceiling was made to look like wood beams and leather inserts.
Following dinner, gentlemen retired to the Billiard Room for conversation.  I'm sorry I didn't get a clearer picture.  Perhaps my hand was shaking with excitement over seeing such a house!
Even the South Hall is advanced for the period with it's indirect electric lighting used to light the coffered barrel ceiling.
And, of course, no home would be complete without a Music Room.
The Music Room also served as an art gallery.
Like all the chandeliers and sconces, original to Whitehall, the Music Room chandeliers incorporate Baccarat crystals.
Music was a popular form of entertainment during the Gilded Age.  In this room, Mary Lily also hosted ladies events and programs of lectures and musicales.
A resident organist was hired to play the 1,249-pipe organ.
We finish up our tour of the ground floor of Whitehall with the Grand Ballroom.  In 1903 a lavish party was given in honor of George Washington's birthday.  It was called the Bal Poudre.  The Florida Times-Union called it "the most brilliant social function in fair Florida's history" while the New York Herald described the event as "one of the most sumptuous social affairs ever attempted south of Washington."  Oh, to have been a guest that that party!!

That completes the tour of Whitehall's ground floor.  Whew!  On Monday, I'll move on to the second floor which contains the private living space for the Flaglers, their guest, and domestic staff.  I told you it was a big house!


 

7 comments:

  1. Ok...are you remembering all this or do you have the little book? Still the most ornate gorgeous place I ever have been in!!

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  2. This is a gorgeous mansion!

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  3. This is a most amazing mansion. I've enjoyed both parts of your tour.

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  4. Thanks Candy! This is awesome...

    Sure would love to hear that pipe organ. I wonder if it's still playable, at all.

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  5. I thought Biltmore was grand, and it is, but this place is amazing! I would love to go through it sometime in the furture.

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  6. Hi Candy! Oh, what a marvelous tour! Now I've got to go back and take the first one. Thanks so much for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  7. This is a really terrific tour! Thanks for sharing!

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