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 (hydehall.org), 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.