Among the many historic houses dotting New York’s Hudson Valley, Staatsburgh State Historic Site is a must-see. Otherwise known as the Mills Mansion, this Gilded Age beauty was the home of financier and philanthropist Ogden Mills and his wife Ruth Livingston Mills. Originally a Greek Revival house, it was expanded and enhanced in the Beaux-Arts style in the 1890s.
Ogden and Ruth married in 1882 and in 1890 Ruth inherited the 25-room Greek Revival style home of her youth, originally built in 1832 by her great-grandfather Morgan Lewis. Now, to you and I, I’m sure 25 rooms sounds like plenty of house, but in the Gilded Age America’s wealthiest wanted to show off their fortunes with elaborate estates and often owned multiple properties. The Mills happened to own five homes, residing in Staatsburgh primarily in the fall. Expanding the mansion not only reflected trends of the times, but also provided more space for entertaining. In1895 the Mills commissioned the famed New York firm McKim, Mead and White to transform the estate into a grand Beaux-Arts mansion comprising 65 rooms and 14 bathrooms. The new, stately mansion allowed the Mills to entertain as many as 80 families at a time!
I was lucky to visit the estate this past summer, but life (full time employment, social life, etc) got in the way of me posting it till now. (I swear I’m going to try and get better at this). Anyway, enjoy the photos!
You might think I took the above ceiling photo because of the painting, but I was actually more intrigued by the border of lightbulbs, which seem to be appreciated as light fixtures in and of themselves.
For more photos of this beautiful mansion check out this post on New York Social Diary – the lucky writer got to see absolutely everything – all 65 rooms!