Welcome to Staatsburgh State Historic Site's blog! Learn more about the Gilded Age home of Ruth and Ogden Mills!

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Lowdown on Boxing Day

Since I was a young child I have always received a calendar for Christmas.  As soon as I opened it I would write in all the birthdays of my friends and family and examine all of the fulls moons, American holidays, Canadian holidays, Australian holidays.  I knew the meaning behind most holidays on the calendar because they were the traditional holidays commonly celebrated here in the US.  One holiday, however, always stuck out to me: Boxing Day.  Every year I would notice that Boxing Day came the day after Christmas and every year I thought to myself, "What is Boxing Day and who actually celebrates it?"  With holiday celebrations still in full swing on December 26th, I wondered what kind of holiday would dare to occur so close to Christmas, the behemoth of all holidays.  After watching the Downton Abbey Christmas special a few seasons ago that showcased a traditional fox hunt on Boxing Day, I thought I would do some research to uncover the mystery behind this lesser known holiday.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Portico Project, Part I - History

Now that 2014 is nearing the end, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on one of the great changes at Staatsburgh this year.  Our east portico was completely restored and the beautiful white facade gleams as you approach the mansion.  The planning stages were in motion many years earlier, and work on the portico began in September 2012 with $4.2 million in funds that Govenor Cuomo allotted as part of NY Works projects.  The funds also helped restore the mansion's roof and the estate wall; both of which were completed in 2013.

Staatsburgh's Restored Portico, Summer 2014

This post is the first in a series about Staatsburgh's portico, which was designed by Stanford White and provides an awe-inspiring first impression to all who approach the house.  Since the portico is such a keystone of Staatsburgh, these posts will provide the architectural and historical context to better understand the significance of the project.  This series will explore the history and importance of the portico to the house and some of the work done on the recent restoration.