Tuesday, April 7, 2009

historic house tour: wye house

This past saturday I joined the Center for Palladian Studies in America for a tour of houses in Annapolis and the Eastern Shore. We focused on the architecture and gardens of four houses (more on all of these later this week), but for me, the highlight was a visit to Wye House in Talbot County. The house is privately owned, but the family has been very generous about allowing scholars and archaeologists to study the property. Amazingly, it has been in the same family for 11 generations, and is probably the most complete example of a southern plantation. The land was settled in the 1650s, but the magnificent seven-part Palladian-style house (pictured below) dates from 1781/1784. Even more extraordinary is the orangery (above), which was constructed c. 1750 (the wings were added in the 1790s). It is the only surviving orangery dating from this period in the United States, and to this day is used to grow citrus. For more images of the house and outbuildings, see here.

4 comments:

carol said...

Beautiful! Thanks for posting this incredible home!

ArchitectDesign said...

I'm still sick at myself for missing it! I shouldn't have procrastinated and sent in my form earlier! Do you have more photos of the estate?

Gretchen said...

I had the pleasure of visiting when at MESDA and absolutely fell in love with the house, the orangery, the grounds, the stories. They have a fantastic house bell system too. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures.

Janet said...

Mom ~ thanks!

Stefan ~ I am sad you missed it too because you would really have liked it. Next time! But, there are additional photos on my flickr (with more to come). Because it is a private home, there are no images of the interior.

G ~ I really had no words when we drove in. The original duct system in the orangery is pretty amazing too. And the graveyard.