Barrett House

Barrett House (New Ipswich) - 評論

Barrett House
古蹟 • 景點和地標


1 則評論

佛蒙特布拉特爾伯勒201 則投稿
Having recently re-read Henry James’ novel The Europeans, and then having seen the Merchant-Ivory 1979 film of it, it seemed required of me that I visit the Barrett House, since many of the memorable scenes from that movie were filmed here. What a treat it is!

The house was built in 1800, and lived in by several generations of the original owners, who received it as a wedding gift from the groom’s father. Interestingly the bride’s father offered to furnish it, but only if the house itself was worthy of the beauty and quality of the furnishings. The two proud fathers were lavish, and left us a beautiful home to enjoy.

As with many historic homes, the curators have chosen to not freeze the décor in any one time period, but rather to allow the style of the different periods in which the family enjoyed the home to grace individual rooms. Thus we see history unfold in room decoration, all housed in a splendid Federal style three story home (compete with ballroom!). The architecture in itself is very fine, and the furniture, original paintings and other objects are well preserved and shown well. One original feature that struck me as odd was the building of the carriage barn and horse stalls sharing a wall with the original kitchen and dining room. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the horses housed quite so close to the family in a historic house, making this quite unique.

Daniel, our docent for the tour, was cheerful and charming, very well informed about the complex family history, the history of New Ipswich, and the family’s impact on the town’s development through their business ventures. His tour brought the home to life, and was a great pleasure.

Note that this is not an opulent home. Yes, it is an excellent example of Federal style, with large rooms and appropriate furnishings. Yet it somehow lacks a certain pizzazz that we sometimes expect in a “great house”. It is solid and lovely, but not sparkling and shining. It is a wealthy business owner’s house, not that of the later Robber Barons.

While well done and well cared for there were a few off bits: the windows needed a good cleaning, and window sills and other architectural flat surfaces could have used a good dusting. The home is open only two Saturdays a month, and only June through mid-October, so perhaps financial factors are impacting some of the upkeep. Nevertheless -- do go! It will be a very enjoyable and informative time!
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