Winter at Ayr Mount

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The changing of the calendar brings a change of focus, with efforts shifted away from sharing Ayr Mount’s architecture and decorative arts with guests, to preserving and maintaining the house and collection for future visitors. Winter is the ideal time for staff to complete necessary restoration projects. When the restoration is complete, the work should go undetected, allowing guests to experience the rooms free of distraction. [Continued from the Winter/Spring Newsletter…] This year, the focus was on repairing the ceilings in the second floor bedrooms. Working on a surface over twelve feet in the air adds a lot of logistics involved in …more

2016 in Review

Photo by John Teague (www.johnteaguephotography.com)

This past year has been a celebratory one! With Classical American Homes and our respective Co-Presidents being the recipients of awards in the field, new programs such as the Fakes, Forgeries & Reproductions workshop offered, the unveiling of a bridge at Ayr Mount, and the 175th Anniversary of Millford, and more! Read on. Wunsch Award – Peter Kenny and Morrison Heckscher Classical American Homes’ own Peter Kenny, Co-President, and Morrie Heckscher, Emeritus Chairman of the American Wing, were the honorees of the 2016 Wunsch Award. Christie’s hosted the fourth annual Eric M. Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts on January 20th, …more

Preservation in Progress

Anna Kenan and Mayor of Hillsborough Tom Stevens inaugurating the new Footbridge on July 22. Photo courtesy of Kim Elliott.

A History of the Ayr Mount Master Trail Plan, Hillsborough, NC By Bill Crowther, Site Supervisor “Preservation in Progress” is a phrase that seems to reflect the current challenges of preservation work: on one hand, it literally describes the ongoing effort of making history and conservation more relevant to the present-day, while at the same time, on the other hand, stating preservation work is often done in stages (or by degrees) and that the outcome of this work may be understated, but rest assured it is indeed happening! The often opposing two words are joined together to remind us how …more

New Bridge Unveiled

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New Footbridge in Hillsborough, NC – Connecting Riverwalk to Ayr Mount’s Master Trail Plan Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and The Richard Hampton Jenrette Foundation (CAHPT) is pleased to announce the official opening of a new pedestrian bridge spanning 95 feet over the Eno River. Access to the new Footbridge site is from Elizabeth Brady Road or South Cameron Street in Hillsborough, North Carolina. The new Footbridge, as a vital part of Ayr Mount’s Master Trail Plan, now connects Hillsborough’s Riverwalk to the west with CAHPT’s Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail to the east. After several years of planning and fundraising, …more

Fakes, Forgeries & Reproductions

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Saturday, July 23, 2016 Join us for this special day-long seminar presented by Charles F. Hummel, and sponsored by Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and Leland Little Auctions for the benefit of Ayr Mount. Charles F. Hummel is Curator Emeritus and Adjunct Professor, Winterthur Museum & Garden and Author of With Hammer in Hand: The Dominy Craftsmen of East Hampton, NY. This mini-course includes two illustrated lectures on the subject of fakes, forgeries, and reproductions of decorative arts made or used in America. The morning lecture provides and overview of the subject by examining examples of ceramics, ironware, pewter, prints, …more

An Anniversary to Remember

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Reflections on Ayr Mount’s Bicentennial “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes” was the theme for Ayr Mount’s bicentennial year – which in Scottish Gaelic is “CEUD MÌLE FÀILTE”. The house, built in 1815, by William Kirkland, merchant and family patriarch, was named after his birthplace of Ayr, Scotland. Throughout the year of 2015, we honored Kirkland’s roots as well the historic house and extensive grounds that make Ayr Mount a unique place to visit. The celebratory calendar was full of music, dancing, dining, learning, sharing, socializing, and just a whole lot of fun! The opening event for this banner year was the Earth Day …more

Footbridge at Ayr Mount

The Eno River at Ayr Mount, Hillsborough, NC.

For Immediate Release NEW PEDESTRIAN FOOTBRIDGE IN HILLSBOROUGH, NC: Connecting Riverwalk to Ayr Mount’s Master Trail Plan Classical American Homes Preservation Trust (CAHPT) and The Richard Hampton Jenrette Foundation is pleased to announce the construction of a new footbridge and a half mile section of the Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) located at the Oxbow in Hillsborough, NC. This pedestrian footbridge, spanning 95-feet over the Eno River, will connect downtown Hillsborough to the Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail (HOST) and the Johnston Nature Preserve, situated east of Riverwalk. Construction is scheduled to be completed by August 1, 2016. “This pedestrian footbridge is a unique intersection of heritage …more

Music at Ayr

Keiko Sekino at the pianoforte and Andrea Edith Moore performing at Ayr Mount.

When the Kirkland family resided at Ayr Mount in the mid 19th century, their 1797 Broadwood Grand pianoforte was at the center of family gatherings, filling the West Parlor with music that would float throughout the house. On September 19th, Keiko Sekino and Andrea Edith Moore, along with the original Kirkland pianoforte, once again brought music to Ayr Mount’s West Parlor, furnished with beautiful early 19th century classical furniture, sculpture and paintings. Additionally, the 1797 pianoforte, similar to the one used by Beethoven, was recently restored for this concert. Opening with Sonata in A minor, K. 310 (i. Allegro maestoso),Keiko Sekino …more

Christmas in the Ayr

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Enjoy this final bicentennial event of the year – Christmas in the Ayr in December! Our theme for the year is “Ceud Mìle Fàilte” which is Scots Gaelic for “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes”. December 2-13 Christmas in the Ayr See below for dates and times. Admission is $12 (same as regular tour). Ayr Mount will be decorated with natural materials in keeping with the period. Guided tours are: December 2 at 11:00 AM; December 3, 4, 5 at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM; December 6 at 2:00 PM; December 9 at 11:00 AM; December 10, 11, 12 at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM; and December …more