|Bringing Back Holleywood
Remember the original doors from 1853 found in the basement? We're now hanging them. Rob built a temporary breezeway out of plywood to protect them from elements until Jason the painter can get to them.
The original front doors to the house were found in the basement. Classicist architect Frank Garretson has designed drawings for returning them to their proper place in the house, consulting with old photos to make sure we will be restoring them just as they were.
The original front doors have been stored in the basement since the renovation of 1915, when the double doors were removed in favor of a more "modern" look. Here's how the double doors looked seven years prior, when Malcolm Day Rudd and his family posed for this picture. We mean to restore the doors to their original place of honor. More portraits of the family and the house in its glory can be found here, thanks to the generosity of Malcolm's grandson, Charles Keil.
We find the original front doors, grand and imposing, in the recesses of the basement, next to the gravestone. The wood panels and glass windows are caked with dirt and dust, but otherwise undamaged. Even the hardware is all there, down to the little porcelain fob that covers the keyhole. (See below.)
Restoring the original doors will require some surgery. We'll have to reconfigure the existing front door frame (see photo below) and recreate the shallow arch that crowns the doors in historic views of the house. (As in the drawing here.)
When were the fancy double doors replaced with a single, plain one? And why?
Whatever the answer, we are grateful that the magnificent originals weren't tossed. And that the basement stays dry, so as to preserve them.
who we are
We are a couple of Upper West Siders from NYC who never set out to buy an old mansion in Connecticut. But the moment we walked through its massive front door, we were smitten. The info on this site is earnestly cobbled from a variety of sources, including the web. Please let us know if we've gotten something wrong, or if there's a story about Holleywood you'd like to share.