Connect the dots

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Native Summer: Boogie Down Bartow-Pell

Are we still in New York City?

Guests enter here

Usually, a trip off the City Island exit means red plastic, oval baskets lined with paper, filled with fried clams, calamari, and shrimp. But before you hit the seafood restaurants, make a pit stop at the well-preserved Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. 

Now Pelham Bay Park, this piece of land, along the Long Island Sound, was once the home of the Siwanoy natives. After signing a treaty, the land (50,000 acres) was acquired by the Pell family. The Greek-Revival mansion we see today was built between 1836 and 1842 by Robert Bartow. He was a man of all trades: book publisher, paper manufacturer, banker, and farmer. It didn't hurt that he had married into a wealthy tobacco family by making Maria Lorillard his wife. The rooms give a glimpse of how the rich of the 1840's lived. 

Be warned, there is no air-conditioning in this house. True to the period, we suffered in the  heat, visiting on one of the hottest, humid days in the summer. 

Elliptical staircase is also the environmentally-friendly central air

Upstairs sitting room

The reporter at work

Lannuier Chamber

The formal gardens which face the Long Island Sound