New Carpets a Featured Highlight of May 7 Event

completed carpet
Hyde Hall Drawing Room with New Carpet


Main Staircase with New Carpet

One of the highlights of our program this weekend are our mansion tours that will feature some of our newly installed Brussels carpet, consistent with the colors and designs that were popular in the 1830’s.  The image above shows the new carpet in the drawing room which incorporates some of the room design elements in the pattern.  Over the past two years, new ingrain carpeting has been installed in other areas of Hyde Hall including the Family Dining Room, the Main Staircase, and the Tiger Maple Staircase.


Visitors to our  Celebrate Mom! Garden Party  this weekend (Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 1pm to 5pm) will have the opportunity to view and learn all about the new carpets that are currently installed and our plans for continuing the project in additional rooms. Guided tours will leave the East Portico every half hour throughout the event until 4pm.

This free event is open to the public and includes our tours, displayed artifacts and collection items, maypole dancing, tea and treats in the dining room, live music with Eight is Enough, dramatic readings, book signings and more!


Eight is Enough - a 10-person a cappella group who will perform madrigals, old English and other folk songs, sacred music and more!
Eight is Enough – a 10-person a cappella group who will perform madrigals, old English and other folk songs, sacred music and more!

Click the play button below to listen to Alta Trinita Beata, performed by Eight is Enough for a sample of what you will hear at the event!

Press Release – Brussels Carpet Installation

Contact: Jonathan Maney, Director, Hyde Hall, (607) 547-5098 Ext. 3

Springfield, New York—Once one of New York State’s most fashionable mansions, Hyde Hall is regaining its high-style elegance. Through a generous grant from the Gipson family of Unadilla, a luxurious wall-to-wall wool figured Brussels carpet is now being installed 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.

Based on extensive research, the Hyde Hall Brussels carpet will be consistent with the colors and designs popular in the 1830s while incorporating motifs from the Drawing Room frieze and ceiling plasterwork.  The result will be a custom carpet that coordinates with the rest of the enormous room. “In furnishing his home, George Clarke, the builder of Hyde Hall, wanted to create large and impressive reception rooms in which to entertain his guests,” says Jonathan Maney, Hyde Hall’s Executive Director. “When they were complete, Clarke filled them with polished mahogany furniture, oversize gilt mirrors, innovative lighting such as the vapor light chandeliers, and sumptuous curtains supported by gilt valances. By the time of his daughter’s wedding in 1834, these rooms were majestic.”

Looking ahead Maney says that the Brussels carpet planned for the Dining Room will be an exact reproduction based on the surviving pieces.  The Main Hall carpet will be determined by the Drawing Room and Dining Room carpets: its design will serve as a bridge between the two while not matching either. “This gives us much more to offer our visitors.”

In the past two years Hyde Hall has also been enriched by gifts of ingrain carpeting installed in the Family Dining Room, the Main Staircase, and the Tiger Maple Staircase. “Now we can show how colorful and comfortable a place like this was,” Maney says. “With wall-to-wall carpets, central heat in the Great House section, and the first water closet west of the Hudson River, Hyde Hall was an oasis of comfort and luxury—one of the finest private homes in America.”

Hyde Hall (, a National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site, was built between 1817 and 1834 as the centerpiece of a 120,000-acre estate inherited by George Clarke, a British-born landowner. It was inhabited by direct descendants of the Clarke until the 1940s. It is open for guided tours from May through October, and visitors of all ages will enjoy its beautiful grounds overlooking Otsego Lake and touring its rich collection of furniture, paintings, and decorative arts. It is located on the grounds of beautiful Glimmerglass State Park in Springfield, New York, eight miles north of Cooperstown.

Update on our New Carpet

The new Hyde Hall Brussels carpet is nearing the end of production and we are looking forward to installation sometime around the beginning of October!

Here are some of the production images from the Vermont Custom Rug Company – we can’t wait to see it all come together and look forward to the transformation of the Drawing Room and the restoration of its elegance!

Click on any of the images below to view in carousel.

Authentic Reproduction Carpet for Hyde Hall’s Main Staircase

Rabbit Goody of Thistle Hill Weavers based her recreation of the Hyde Hall Main Staircase carpet on a surviving fragment of a documented damask Venetian carpet from the 1830s.  Although this type of carpet was very fashionable during the first half of the 19th century, very few examples survive.  Using a fragment of a damask Venetian border from her private collection, Rabbit was able to determine thread count, scale, and weave structure when designing the Hyde Hall stair carpet.

The strong colors shown in the photos are typical of American and British carpets in the 1830s.

In the Clarke Family Papers are numerous bills and receipts that show us how many yards of carpet were ordered for the Main Staircase (84 yards).  From that figure we determined that the halls closest to the staircase were also carpeted and we ordered enough new carpet from Thistle Hill Weavers to cover these areas.  We will be able to cover the stair treads all the way up to the Billiards Room on the 3rd floor and the halls contiguous to the staircase.  We will not use a binding on our stair carpet as George Clarke did not order enough of it to use on his carpet—nor was it standard practice during this period.

The Clarke Family Papers provided invaluable research information for this wonderful project.  We have the original bills for the “flat” style polished brass stair rods that have survived in our collections.  We will use these stair rods to help secure the reproduction damask Venetian carpet once it is installed this spring.  The bills show how wide the carpet was (27”) and also the space between the mounts.  All this matches perfectly the width between the screw holes in the mahogany treads and risers of the Main Stairs where the carpet rods were once attached.

To ensure authenticity, we have reproduced as closely as possible the style, colors, fabric, and design of damask Venetian stair carpeting available to George Clarke, the builder of Hyde Hall.

Preparing for the New Main Stairs Carpet

Before the new damask Venetian carpet is put down this spring on the Main Staircase at Hyde Hall, the treads, risers, and banisters must be cleaned.

Using a solvent designed to dissolve nearly two centuries of crusty wax and dirt, Hyde Hall Caretaker and Site Interpreter, Timothy Walker began work on the Main Staircase.  His goal was to reveal the grain of the beautiful mahogany while preserving as much of the original finish as possible.  After the initial cleaning, Tim will go over the surface of the wood with tung oil and then polish it with a hard conservator’s wax.

Tim is proud of his work.  As with all the restorations at Hyde Hall, the beauty of the house and its many details are being revealed for everyone to admire and enjoy.  The addition of the colorful damask Venetian carpet on the Main Staircase will bring us closer to the way Hyde Hall looked in its 1835 heyday, when it was one of the most grand private homes in America.  While elegant, Hyde Hall is also distinguished by the early high-technology innovations that remain evident in its central heating systems, plumbing, lighting, and cast iron construction details.

More to come soon on these fascinating features!


– Jonathan Maney,  Executive Director

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