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Upcoming Events

2017 Tour Season will begin on May 14, 2017 - CLICK HERE for details on Dates and Hours
Fri 27

Hyde & Shriek! 2017 Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 27 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Sat 28

Hyde & Shriek! 2017 Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 28 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Sun 29

Hyde & Shriek! 2017 Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 29 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Hyde Hall Raises over $202,000 for Major Restorations!

Hyde Hall, the National Historic Landmark and State Historic Site located in Glimmerglass State Park, is pleased to announce that 59 benefactors contributed $202, 095 to the 2017 Hyde Hall Challenge Grant Campaign that was launched on June 8th. This challenge grant, made possible through a matching gift initiative from the Tiannaderrah Foundation and the Gipson Family of Unadilla, New York, will fund the complete restoration of Hyde Hall’s most important rooms.

Hyde Hall Dining Room © Hyde Hall

The 2017 Challenge Grant Campaign ended September 5th. As Dr. Jonathan Maney, Hyde Hall’s executive director, explains, “We exceeded our $100,000 fundraising goal, and with the generous match provided by the Gipson Family of Unadilla, we have a great success to show for our very special, bicentennial year.” Maney says the Gipsons’ gift is “transformational,” and with it he and the Hyde Hall Board of Trustees will move steadily toward completing major restoration goals that include the Kitchens as well as the Dining Room and Drawing Room window treatments.

About the drapery, Maney says, “Once completed, these restorations will establish Hyde Hall as a leader in the reconstruction and reproduction of a ‘lost art’—the sumptuous and beautiful textiles that established the highest standards of taste for worldly and wealthy Americans in the first half of the 19th century.”  He goes on to say that while illustrations of window treatments can be seen in period paintings and drawings, “Hyde Hall now will be among the first to accurately reproduce continuous drapery—a spectacular style of period window treatment—based  on sound scholarship, strong surviving evidence, and meticulous craftsmanship.”

Maney hopes the drapery project will promote a new understanding and appreciation for one of the highest forms of decorative arts to be found in early American homes. Funds will also be used to completely restore the Hyde Hall Kitchens to their 1835 appearance. Maney anticipates the possibility of holding period cooking classes there and hosting special tours that will explore early 19th century cuisine and foodways. “With this grant, Hyde Hall makes a major step forward toward achieving its goals and fulfilling its potential as one of America’s most distinctive and interesting historical sites.”

Hyde Hall remains open for tours every day of the week through October 31st. Tours begin at 10am and then on the hour until 4pm, when the final tour departs. Please visit www.hydehall.org for more information about tours and special events such as the evening Hyde & Shriek candlelight tours that are available Friday and Saturday nights every weekend in October.

A Makeover for the Dining Room

Fans of reality TV shows might recognize Hyde Hall as being a huge “Before & Afer” makeover project. Soon Hyde Hall will be the scene of yet another episode: the transformation of the Dining Room walls.

We have asked Lori Wilson, internationally known paint expert, artist, teacher, and master painter, to restore the Dining Room walls to their 1830s appearance.

Long associated with Golden Artist Colors of New Berlin, New York, Lori brings many years of experience to Hyde Hall. Her goal will be to reproduce in the Dining Room the same marbleized treatment that has survived in the Drawing Room and Entrance Hall. In the 1880s, the Dining Room walls were painted a once-fashionable Victorian red, but with restorations now focused on recreating the earliest appearance of the Great House, these three major rooms will soon present  the unified ensemble that George Clarke created in 1833.

While painting a room might seem simple, the Dining Room project has posed interesting challenges. The first task was to test the Dining Room wall surface to determine what course to follow in the restoration of the original color. Lori discovered that the red pigment is very difficult to remove, and in the areas she tested, the pigment was deeply absorbed into the plaster walls—all the way down to the second or brown coat layer. Based on this discovery, she believes the red pigment will not bleed through the new thin skin of limewash that she would like to spread over the surface of the Dining Room walls. Not having to remove all of the red paint (a time-consuming and difficult process) is a major advantage. It is interesting to note that the limewash she plans to use will contain mica and black pigmentation similar to the original surface.

To avoid the possibility of bleed-through or delamination, Lori recommends that we test select areas in the Dining Room with different surface treatments over the fall, winter, and spring seasons. The goal is to choose a durable new finish treatment that will adhere to the present surface. This means we must delay the Dining Room carpet installation until May or early June of 2017. It is a small price to pay for better results.

We are grateful for the care and thoroughness of Lori Wilson’s analysis. We hope you will visit us next May during tours to see her at work recreating the marbleized surfaces that make Hyde Hall a model of 1830s elegance and sophistication.

From the Fall 2016 Hyde Hall Newsletter

Partners in Preservation

PPPHyde Hall participated in the second annual history fair organized by the Otsego County Historical Association on Saturday, April 23 at the Springfield Community Center. Twenty-two Historical societies set up their booths. It was an opportunity to show the progress in the restoration of the Hyde Hall Historic Mansion and to discuss the new carpet in the Drawing Room. Designed by David Hunt of the Vermont Custom Rug Company and manufactured by the Langhorne Carpet Company of Penndel, PA, this carpet will recreate the kind of floor covering once found in many of the mansion’s principal rooms, including the Front Hall and the Dining Room. In the early 19th-century, Brussels carpets, which have a looped pile construction, were typically installed in the homes of America’s most wealthy citizens, including presidents and major landowners.

 

Drwawing-room-X

The Oldest Covered Bridge in New York State

In the early days of roadways, bridges were typically constructed out of wood, which was plentiful, inexpensive and a fitting structural material.  Exposed wooden bridges would deteriorate quickly (10-15 years) from exposure to the elements, so to enable a more durable and long-lasting structure, bridges were built with a cover, in most cases including both a roof and sides.  Most covered bridges have been replaced to accommodate today’s vehicles and modern traffic.  There are only about 1600 original covered bridges remaining in the world today, and one of them was built as part of the Hyde Hall estate – officially the oldest covered bridge in NY.

covered bridge1

Hyde Hall’s covered bridge, built by George Clarke in 1823, is the oldest covered bridge in New York State. It is 53 feet long and one lane wide and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1998. It can be seen on the grounds of Glimmerglass State Park, which borders Hyde Hall and was once part of the great Clarke estate. It crosses Shadow Brook and is for pedestrians only. The bridge form is known as a Burr Arch.

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In addition to protection from the elements, for pedestrians, drivers and the structure itself, it is thought that covered bridges helped keep animals calmer when crossing rivers and streams, which helped to reduce damage to the structure as well.

For more information about covered bridges and where to find them, visit the following websites:

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