Thursday, May 31, 2012

Open House

The month of May heralds spring and all things new. It also heralds the beginning of sticky beak time for those who love getting behind the closed doors of the 1% in this world! Between now and the end of July, houses and gardens from Manhattan to Maryland, will throw open their doors and gates to the 99% - for a fee. But don't be deterred by this. Now is the time to peek inside some magnificent architectural gems and wander through some dreamy gardens, in search of inspiration for your own little patch. And take heart in the fact that most of the fees charged for these tours are going to some worthy charity. Here are a few of the places I would love to visit.

Petra Island
Any one can visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water in Pennsylvania, but what about a residential home he designed on Petra Island? Originally designed in 1950 for the previous owners of the island, this house wasn't built until 2005, when it took 4 years to construct. The current owner, a rabid Wright fan, secured permission  from the Wright institute for the house to be built and it now stands exactly where it was originally intended. It even comes with a helipad!

Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Who doesn't want to get inside all those glorious brownstones near me? Home to SJP of Sex and the City fame, amongst other celebs, this tour includes 7 houses including Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney's former studio.  

Who isn't a fan of designer Bunny Williams? She has written so many books and appears to have so many homes! But her passion is her Greek revival home in Connecticut, which she generously opens to the public once a year. It is surrounded by acres of wonderfully landscaped gardens. If you fall in love with it, you can buy her book. 

New Jersey
It would appear the much maligned New Jersey has more to offer us than just that terrible show the Jersey Shore. For the first time, the historic Glynallan Castle will be open to the public this month. It is modelled after the English castle Compton Wynnyates, apparently a favorite of the British royal family, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

images: dans papers, flickr, nymag, flickr, mine, rural intelligence, trade secretsct, amazon, skylands, filming locations

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