Saturday, February 5, 2011

Whitemarsh Hall: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, With Photos

"Whitemarsh Hall"
Gerry M. Serianni's Serianni & Spallone Genealogy

Not much text - but pretty good floor plans for the first and second floors of Whitemarsh Hall. That's American usage. The Lemming thinks it's 'ground and first floor' in the UK.

Just one thing: The Lemming doesn't know where Whitemarsh Hall is.

Wait a minute. There's a link marked "history."

That page starts with:

"A wonderland in which the meaning of the great house shares with the stone of which it was built the slow decay of ambiguity and the gray ruin of time. There semblance and reality once merged in the nobiliary games of old Philadelphia, and there splendor reigned – but not in quite the way it appeared to. At Whitemarsh Hall, the stately Palladian palace that Edward T. Stotesbury built in Chestnut Hill.

"Only paradox remains.

"This palace rises in stony silence above Whitemarsh Valley. Once it was common for two hundred, and sometimes as many as six hundred, guests to gather there for tea. Princes and statesmen visiting the United States as guests of the nation slept in its gilded suites...."

Okay: So Whitemarsh Hall is in, or near, Whitemarsh Valley. Apparently in the United States - quite possibly near the east coast.

Acres of text and several photos later - of folks associated with Whitemarsh Hall - the Lemming learns that Whitemarsh Hall was demolished in 1980.

Sad. It must have been a grand place it its day.

Aha! The second page of Whatemarsh Hall's history has this aerial photo:

(from Gerry M. Serianni's Serianni & Spallone Genealogy, used w/o permission)

You'll find more photos of the Whitemarsh Hall grounds on that page.

Also a discussion of the architectural style: Georgian, with three levels built underground to keep the proportions correct for that style.

Impressive. Very.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

How fortuitous that I encountered your page, and I am very pleased to provide you
with some information about "Whitemarsh Hall. " It was located in a small town called Wyndmoor, in Springfield Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. (The "Whitemarsh Valley" you spoke of, I am not familiar with.)

The Stotesbury Mansion (as we locals called it) was a wondrous place that I had the extraordinary good fortune of knowing from about 1955 through 1958 when I was a child. My father built a house on Delphine Road, which was directly adjacent to the Stotesbury estate. As soon as I could walk, I'd accompany my sisters as we would
run through the woods behind our house to exit on the other side into the Formal Gardens of Whitemarsh Hall. The place emanated a type of "magic" that was so palpable you could feel it; I used to pretend I lived there! With the advent of the Internet, I learned that it was demolished in 1980, and I was devastated.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the days I spent playing there, and the place haunts me still.

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