|Bringing Back Holleywood||
Because our insurance company insisted on a gate, we looked around for some nice old ones. We called on Evan at Demolition Depot and he said he'd gotten some nice old wrought irons in--they had been formerly been attached to gateposts at the Charles S. Addams estate. Posts are granite, fifty inches in diameter with four-foot caps. It took two weeks to build them because one box of facing stones was short, so that Bill and his masonry team had to power wash and cut inside stones to match. Part of the artistry of Bill's work is that he made gateposts look as if they've been there since 1853.
How excited we were to discover, beneath layers of wallpaper and paint in the entry hall, a fresco believed to be original to the house in 1853. The fresco was not in great shape. Nor was it beautifully executed, like the artful job that Bill Sigsworth discovered hidden away in a closet. Still, it was a fresco from 1853! Should we restore it? Keep it as is? Paint over it? We kept going back and forth on these questions--everyone on the job had strong feelings one way or the other. When the floors were redone, beautiful parquetry appeared, but the double whammy of loud floors and loud wall seemed a bit much. We decided, with reluctance, to let the wall go, preserving a piece of it for posterity. We reasoned: the fresco had been painted over in 1860 by Governor Holley and his new wife Sarah Coit Day. If that decision was good enough for Governor Holley, who were we to disagree? We painted it over with the same green they used, remnants of which Lance was able to match.
Almost completely intact Wall Street Journal of September 20, 1957 was found in the chimney rampart in the attic. Most alarming article:
"A small atomic bomb was fired in a chamber 800 ft under a desert mesa in Nevada as scientists measured its violence to help unlock the earth's secrets. The shock was recorded about 1000 miles away; experts had hoped it would be felt around the world."
Mike Zordan and his brother are third-generation plasterers. If anybody can save this fresco-d wall, they can. Mike agrees to give it a try, to see if he can patch the big cracks but leave small fissures, for character. After they attend to a piece of the wall, we'll take a look and decide what to do.
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.