Friday, August 16, 2019

MOUNT AIRY: Circa 1758

The John Tayloe Emery family at Mount Airy

I discovered this amazing family house, called Mount Airy , in Virginia- near Warsaw- it was the first Neo Palladian Villa to be built in the pre Civil War colonies- sitting on 1,600 acres- and amazingly still owned by the 10th generation of Tayloe descendants!

Dining Room, Mount Airy
 This view above, shows one of the Tayloe ancestors in the portrait above mantel-

Orangery ruins, Mount Airy

This Orangery- "in ruins", is what inspired me the most from looking at various images of Mount Airy- the romantic nature of an old orangery cannot be overstated.  I recall reading how (decorator) Billy Baldwin was entranced by one of these at Wye House- an old plantation owned by relatives of Pauline Potter - later the Baroness de Rothschild-.

Mount Airy facade (flanking wings not shown)

Tayloe Emery, who now lives in Mount Airy with his young family, has an interesting background working with non profits to direct celebrities towards helping impoverished Africans- an interesting note since these old farms were sustained by slaves prior to the War Between The States-. Similar to owners of Stately Homes in Britain and Europe, the family resides here while also making the house and grounds available for tours, events, and weddings- portending a most promising future for this important piece of our nations history.  DF

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