Edgewater, located on the Hudson River in Barrytown, NY, was built in 1825, presumably by John R. Livingston, of the wealthy Hudson River Valley Livingstons, for his daughter, Margaret. In 1852, Robert and Susan Donaldson of North Carolina later purchased the estate. Patrons of architecture and art, the Donaldsons added a library by Alexander Jackson Davis and filled the home with fine American furnishings, family portraiture, and objets d’art. Edgewater was empty when it was purchased by Richard Jenrette from Gore Vidal in 1969. Edgewater remains Mr. Jenrette’s private residence, and his desire to restore the estate and eventually turn …more
This newsletter’s Profile will focus on Mr. John W. Smith, better known as Jack, who oversees all of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust’s properties as Director of Operations, and also sits on CAHPT’s Board of Directors. Jack has been with CAHPT since its inception in 1993, also having worked the previous 18 years for Richard Jenrette as a property manager. Jack has been directly involved in the restoration of all CAHPT and Richard Jenrette’s portfolio of properties for nearly 40 years. While working as a contractor in upstate New York, Jack was first introduced to Mr. Jenrette in the fall …more
CAHPT is honored to be a 2014 co-recipient of the Eric M. Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts from the Wunsch Americana Foundation. We are proud to be acknowledged alongside Linda and George Kaufman, major art collectors of Americana. This honor recognizes dedication and contributions in preserving American Decorative Arts and was hosted by Christie’s, New York City on January 22nd. Please click here for the press release.
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
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
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
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