Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The House on the Hill

On Saturday Steve and I went to explore an old abandoned mansion that a friend of mine, who is a superb scouter, had found in my area. I'm not disclosing the location because as of now there is no vandalism or graffiti, and we'd like it to stay that way, especially as we now know from our visit that the property will soon be up for sale. It was built in 1902 and has been placed on a Historic Endangered List, although unfortunately this doesn't protect it from further deterioration or being demolished.
 Despite its decay it still retains some splendor with its grand entrance flanked by Roman Doric columns and carved moldings.
 The old pool still held water with a poor turtle swimming around unable to climb out. We rescued him placing him under some cool grass, so his little legs could have a rest.
Entering the house through open doors we heard voices from upstairs and assumed we were joining fellow explorers. Setting up our tripods we started capturing the character of the grand rooms and staircase. It was wonderful to see the wood carvings around the fire places untouched. Some of the tiles had fallen down or had been removed but for the most part many of the original features remained.
A voice from above hailed us and I called a greeting in return then we carried on with our shooting. A few minutes later a head poked out over the stair railings and a gentleman asked if he could help us. We started chatting and discovered he was a realtor. He informed us the house would go on the market for about $1.1 million. He very kindly allowed us to continue photographing inside while he was assessing the property with his colleague.
We were so fortunate that he'd opened both doors which gave us a gorgeous view through the grand entrance to the countryside outside. Steve was learning about HDR and we bracketed our shots here, capturing our hosts as ghosts when the images were later merged together.
 None of the bathrooms had been smashed which is usually a given in abandonments and I liked this old wallpaper with its golden metallic sheen.
 The staircase is the show stealer in this building, and I couldn't stop photographing it. I can't bear the thought of this rotting over time. The house has been empty for over 10 years and been damaged by a tree falling on the roof allowing rain to seep in. The house will rapidly decline without attention soon.
 An old piano, Victorian style radiators, heavily tasseled curtains and light fixtures still adorn the empty rooms. Apparently the bones of the old house are still solid yet it would need around $2.2 million to restore this 18 room mansion to its former glory.
The realtor wanted to leave and so we were obliged to leave with him. We thanked him for his time but remained a little longer to continue photographing outside. I found an old photo on line of the house in its hey day and hope that someone out there will want to restore the house back to its former glory. It still has stacks of charm and character. After all, what's a couple of million these days?

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