|Bringing Back Holleywood||
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.
Debate continues about what to do with the front hall fresco. The plasterers repaired the wall where they had to, but left as much of it untouched as they could, without us having to worry about the wall falling down. Some of us want to keep it (I'm in that camp), some of us don't (Donald.) Restoring it would be quite an investment of both time and money. One option is simply to leave the wall as is. We decide to put off a decision until the floors are done. Procrastination is one of my favorite solutions to problems!
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.