Tour the Homestead First Story

Architecture: Gothic Revival style (A. J. Downing & A. J. Davis promoters of The Gothic style.) 

The Homestead was completed in the spring of 1851. The first color of the Homestead was a taupe (tan) with maroon sash.  The four original out buildings were the Ice House, the Carriage Barn (now the restrooms), the Horse Barn (the reconstructed Education Building), and summer gazebo (now gone) were a reddish brown paint scheme.   The fence was a purplish color.  This color scheme meets Downing’s suggested colors and would have given the house its intended stone look.  When the library, front entry with dining room bay window and china closets, and the second floor over the woodshed were added in 1859 the house was painted the present shade of pink.  The interior wallpapers were removed around 1969 after the state took ownership and new plaster walls were installed because the old plaster had not been properly maintained.  Unfortunately no wall paper samples were kept.  The only original wall paper remaining is a small section that can be seen in the back upstairs hallway and behind the large cupboard in the servant’s sitting room.

The woven carpets are all original to the house and were apparently purchased from The Wanamaker Store in New York or Philadelphia. All primary rooms in the Homestead were originally carpeted with wall-to-wall carpets.  The carpets are probably of English origin.  The Parlor carpet is the earliest and dates from 1849-1850; it is a “Brussels” carpet, with a heavy pile and an open loop, and was installed when the house was constructed.  The other carpets are called “Wilton” carpets and date from the 1870s.  These do not have the high pile and are a closed loop.  Both style carpets were woven in narrow, long strips and sewn together to create wall-to-wall carpets.