Lyndhurst in Wintertime: A Snowy Wonderland Outside/Deep Cleaning and Restoration Inside
By Linda Viertel—
While many rivertown residents are enjoying the breath-taking Lyndhurst grounds during these snow-filled weeks transforming the landscape into a winter wonderland, staff and preservationists are working at deep cleaning the mansion’s interior. “As part of this process the wonderful bones of the mansion are revealed,” states a press release. Parquet floors are cleaned and waxed, new donations are accepted and catalogued. Meanwhile, curating a 10,000- piece collection, many originally owned by the Gould family, takes a great deal of time, money and effort. In addition, winter is the time to search for and acquire objects, filling in gaps throughout the museum’s collection. A valuable solid rosewood 1850’s sofa was recently discovered moldering in a hidden attic corner, but is now being given new life with extensive cleaning, conservation and reupholstering.
Lyndhurst’s 1882 parlor, also being cleaned and restored, will be on view this summer housing multiple newly restored archival pieces. The carriage house, with its gift house located in the former tack room, is getting a full cleaning and restoration as well, including gift shop reorganization. So, during these quiet and rather isolating times curators at Lyndhurst are accessing and cataloging everything from a scale model of Jay Gould’s yacht, formerly at the Montauk Boat Club, to Anna Gould’s flapper dress, purchased in the 1920’s, so heavily encrusted with “rhinestones that it needed to be sent to a costume conservator to be stabilized for exhibition and storage.”
Look for newly catalogued wicker furniture formerly in the Gould’s dollhouse and pool house coming back on display, an elaborate gilt easel designed by Herter Brothers, exquisite mirrors and so much more. With so many new objects d’art, interior design artifacts, and restored new spaces to see at Lyndhurst- this summer will definitely be a time to visit or revisit our local National Trust for Historic Preservation site.