|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 are grateful to Malcolm Rudd's grandson Charles Malcolm Keil and his wife Angelici Vellou Keil for excavating albums of old photos that show the house in its original glory. And to Alexander Holley Rudd's granddaughter, Louise "Weezie" Hannegan, who joined them to regale us with tales of former residents and an era long gone.
My parents and sister visit from out of town today and discover something we've never noticed in the cupola: on the ceiling, in a flourish of old-fashioned penmanship is the signature of Malcolm Day Rudd, grandson of Governor Holley, dated September 1, 1901.
The presence of former owners is evidenced not only in writing on walls, but in initials scratched into a pane of parlor window facing the lake. "C.E.R" was the seller's grandfather, Charles Edward Rudd. But who was "M. D? R.?" Katherine Chilcoat (Town Historian) guesses they're the initials of his first cousin, Malcolm Day Rudd. Glass-etching was a popular hijinks in "96" (meaning 1896) and they were teenage boys 15 years old, and 19, respectively.
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.