The historic Bartow-Pell Masion Museum is located in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. The estate was founded in 1654, and the Federal-style mansion and carriage house were built around 1840. The home and grounds present a fine example of mid-19th century elegant country living.
There are guided tours of all the areas that are open to the public [the attic and basement are not]. As you enter through the front door, you encounter a grand oval staircase. Mind blown!
The opulence continues with ornate woodwork, crown molding, medallions and chandeliers. This is the medallion and chandelier in one of the two adjacent formal parlors on the first floor:
Much of the decor is speculative, based on research but not original to this home in the mid-19th century. The master bedroom features colors popular at the time. This orange is not that different from Tangerine Tango, the 2012 Pantone Color of the Year:
My dream home definitely includes an Orangery:
In 1888, descendants of the Bartow family sold the estate to the City of New York for inclusion in the future Pelham Bay Park [at 3 times the size of Central Park, this is by far the largest park in NYC]. In 1914, The International Garden Club leased it for use as its clubhouse and commissioned the firm of Delano & Aldrich to design the formal gardens, including a pool with a fountain:
The nearby marshes were part of the original estate:
The carriage house was built around the same time as the current main house. On the right is a plot where schoolchildren grow the kinds of fruits and vegetables that were originally grown on the grounds. I wish that the whole area were operating as a self-sufficient country estate with farm plots and livestock:
Tools hanging inside the carriage house:
Fun fact: parking inside Pelham Bay Park costs $7, while parking at the Bartow-Pell Masion Museum is free and admission is $5 per person. That’s actually exactly how we ended up on a tour of this estate. It was a no-brainer, and a really cool, unexpected experience.