CAHPT 20th Anniversary

It is our pleasure to announce that Classical has turned 20 this year! We cannot believe how far we’ve come since our founding in 1993, all thanks to your generous support and sustained interest in what we do. Because of friends and supporters like you, Classical American Homes has been able to continue our preservation mission. The story began…. Classical American Homes started as a non-profit foundation in December 1993 with the gift of Ayr Mount, built circa 1815, in Hillsborough, NC. Ayr Mount was our first historic house museum. (Photos on this page are from our 20th Anniversary Reception …more

Happy 20th Birthday PARTY to Us!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PARTY TO US! In honor of our 20th birthday, we hosted a reception at Ayr Mount in Hillsborough, NC, on October 23rd. Nearly 300 friends and supporters came to help us celebrate on this crisp, Fall evening. The house was open for guests to tour while food and drinks were served outside on the terrace. Vistas of undulating fields down to the Eno River created an idyllic setting for the occasion. The evening featured memorable remarks by the Mayor of Hillsborough, Tom Stevens, and Dick Jenrette (see below). Mayor Stevens presented Mr. Jenrette with a  locally-crafted key to the …more

Acquisitions

Exciting news: more Manning family heritage found its way back to Millford this summer! The spouse of a Manning descendant contacted us regarding several pieces of Manning family silver that were available for purchase, along with a mahogany chest that originally housed a full set of Manning Family silver flatware. The mahogany chest is now one of the newest pieces to our collection and boasts an oval silver nameplate with the inscription “J.L. Manning” for Governor John Laurence Manning. Select pieces of Manning silver were also acquired and include: a footed waste bowl by S. Kirk and Son of Baltimore, …more

Music at Millford

Music at Millford, held on Sunday, September 22, 2013, was a resounding (no pun intended) success this year. The response was tremendous (sold-out), the weather was sunny and clear, and the stellar performance by virtuoso violinist Chenyi Avsharian, Gold Medalist of the 2008 China International Violin Competition, and accomplished international pianist, Amy I-Lin Cheng, was extraordinary. The grand yet intimate setting of Millford’s elegant double parlors – paired with Chenyi’s unparalled performance – created an afternoon not to be forgotten. The diverse musical program selected was mesmerizing with works by composers Tchaikovsky, Vitali, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Waxman and de Sarasate, as …more

Let’s Play 20/20

Twenty Questions for Twenty Years! 1. What movie influenced Dick Jenrette’s love of classical architecture? 2. True or False. In 1854, Edgewater had a unique octagonal library added to it by A.J. Davis, which later became Gore Vidal’s study. 3. Ayr Mount is located along which important early trading route? a) Carolinian Silk Road b) Old Indian Trading Path c) Tar Heel Tunnel d) Trader Joe’s Produce Aisle 4. What was the first house Dick Jenrette purchased to begin his collection of houses? 5. The architect/builder of Millford Plantation, Nathaniel Potter, was related to which famous Potter who helped save …more

Dick Jenrette Receives the Inaugural Founders Award

Charleston Library Society Charleston, SC Continued…. from Spring/Summer 2014 Newsletter A view of the full house or full library! In her remarks to a packed house of about 180 guests, Anne Cleveland, Executive Director of the Charleston Library Society, noted the significant role Mr. Jenrette played in rebuilding the Mills House Hotel and reopening it in 1970.  She commented that the hotel’s reopening brought new waves of tourism to downtown Charleston and generated a new appreciation for preservation activities in the city.  She remarked how Mr. Jenrette’s activities have garnered national attention and high-profile exposure to Charleston’s preservation and arts …more

Tours – Spring/Summer 2014

Continued… from our Spring/Summer 2014 Newsletter A little farther south, Millford Plantation started the year off with a fantastic response to first-of-the-month open Saturday tours for individuals, which also occur all Saturdays during the month of April. Millford is the perfect place to spend a beautiful summer day enjoying a tour and perusing the gardens. Visit us on a Public Saturday to meander the grounds and enjoy this one-of-kind home. Upon the start of its spring tour season, Ayr Mount welcomed the Chapel Hill Newcomers Club, Back Creek Young at Heart Club and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke …more

News from Ayr Mount

In the first half of this year, Ayr Mount has had the pleasure of hosting 103 tours, with a total of 715 visitors thus far – an increase in tours from last year! In June, as part of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers National Conference (SAPFM), Ayr Mount hosted a special tour for 44 members. Twelve pieces of furniture from Ayr Mount’s collection were shown to the group, allowing for close examination of the construction of each piece. This visit was noted by its organizers as the highest attended regional offering outside of the regular SAPFM National Conference, and by all …more

Conservation of Capitals at Millford

Recent conservation work on the Corinthian capitals of Millford’s monumental colonnade has brought to light new discoveries and with it, new excitement.  Michael Phelps, an historic restoration specialist, began work on the capitals in early  2017 following his earlier fabrication of replacement shutters for Millford and sensitive stabilization and repair of the original water tower in 2016.  Upon surveying the capitals, Michael mused that it appeared that no serious repair or restoration work had been done on these since they were first installed between 1839-1841 — which is both the good news and not so good news! First, scaffolding was …more

Tradition of Music at Classical American Homes

Music has long played a role in the lives of the occupants of Edgewater, Ayr Mount and Millford. This September it will come alive once again in a series of classical concerts entitled, The Classical Ideal: Music & Architecture in Harmony. In the years when Robert and Susan Gaston Donaldson resided at Edgewater, their temple-like villa on the Hudson, it was filled with sounds of the most exquisite music, performed by Susan and their children. Susan Donaldson’s musical education began at an early age at the insistence of her father, Judge William Gaston, who believed that attaining skill in this …more