Wednesday, June 6, 2012


 'Bellefontaine', the Giraud Foster estate designed by Carrere & Hastings c. 1897 in Lenox, Massachusetts.  Pictured is the estate in its current incarnation as a Canyon Ranch spa.  Click HERE for more on 'Bellefontaine'.  Photos courtesy of RSKL.


Old Grey Dog said...

How sad it makes me to see that Canyon Ranch had the replicas of 'Roman Torches' removed from the roof balustrades. When the buiding was transformed into the resort the torches were retained ~ and now they are gone ! Where ? How sad !

Kellsboro Jack said...

I have a booklet 'Bellefontaine: A Historical Narrative' (1989) that Carole Owens wrote with photos by the CR founders' daughter, Amy Zuckerman.

The 120-acre estate was acquired in 1987 for $5.2M which compared to prices of today in Lenox/ Stockbridge of original 'cottages' was a considerable premium**

The seller, a Bostonian, had been trying for 5-years prior to get the estate zoned to be a hotel. Per that booklet the 1949 fire and subsequent years afterwards left the interior with little to preserve save for the library and rotunda.

** Regarding pricing, by comparison, this to-be-restored original Berkshire cottage in Stockbridge (acquired in 2009 for $500k + assumption of a $750k mortgage in an auction) was listed for sale last month for a jaw dropping $8.995M

The Down East Dilettante said...

tying all the loose ends together---naturally Mrs. Foster and her sister Mrs. Gambrill could be found regularly visiting their brother Alexander Van Nest at his Bar Harbor cottage, far less lavish than his sister's houses. And to get the last six degrees of separation, let's not forget that Ledyard Blair's (Blairsden) daughter married Richard Gambrill's (Vernon Court) daughter Edith. Carrere and Hastings all around.

archibuff said...

The 1949 fire did plenty to mare that courtyard facade and destroy the interiors, but the place started with very good bones so it still remains quit a beautiful complex. But, regarding that yet to-be-restored original Berkshire cottage in Stockbridge available for only $8.995M.............while it is on 320 acres, it is a gutted empty shell with grounds enhanced by 1960's school buildings. Just makes me think once again that Blairsden, is indeed the bargain of the century so far.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Zack, I just wanted to tell you how much I love Beyond the Gilded Age blog!


P.S. Let's all pitch in our pennies and buy Blairsden. It has been for sale for a long time, and I am afraid some parvenu will snatch it if we don't buy it soon.