Great Western Staircase,Capitol, Albany, USA


Western Stair Case, Capitol, Albany, N.Y.
c.1910
Publishers: Bryant Union Co., (1904-1912)

The Capitol Building is impressive, covering three acres and reminiscent architecturally of a French chateau, with Romanesque and French Renaissance influences. The exterior was also likely influenced by the Hôtel de Ville, the city hall of Paris. On the interior, there is also something of the Paris Opera Garnier, which broke ground in 1861 just a few years before the State Capitol. The State Capitol took 32 years to build, all by hand from 1867 to 1899, cost $25 million, and encompassed the efforts of five architects.
. . .
The experience of walking up the Great Western Staircase is more akin to living in an M.C. Escher work of art. Two sets of stairs lead up to a first landing which sits below a vaulted ceiling. The stairs here split into two more staircases going up, leading to another landing, which splits again. In this way, the grand reveal — the skylight and top loggia — is concealed for maximum effect. The skylight is a system of multiple parts, including a large laylight that diffuses the direct light forty feet above the fourth floor. The 3,000 square foot skylight, which sits on both sides of the gabled roof, is made up of 200 glass panes. What is viewable on the inside from the Great Western Staircase is the laylight. The side corridors next to the Great Western Staircase also contain laylights. Electric sconces designed by Louis J. Hinton, a master stone carver, light up the area. An architectural critic (as reported by the Capital Commission) said “the effect of the lighting of the Western Staircase is perfection.”
Untapped New York

The Great Western Staircase is one of the highlights of the New York State Capitol Building in Albany. Also known as the “Million Dollar Staircase”, it took fourteen years to complete at a cost of almost 1.5 million dollars. In 1894, The New York Times called the staircase “the greatest architectural work on this continent.” While that may be a bit of an overstatement, the staircase really is amazing. . . . The staircase is enormous: 119 feet in height and containing 444 steps. The predominant materials are Corsehill freestone, medina sandstone, limestone, and granite. It is illuminated throughout by light fixtures designed by Louis Hinton, and an enormous skylight on the top floor bathes the uppermost levels in natural light.
History View


Western Stair Case, Capitol, Albany, N.Y.
c.1910
Publisher: A. C. Bosselman & Co

Ru aux Cailles, Troyes, France


TROYES (Aube)
Vue prise sur le Traversin du Pont des Cailles
Curieuse perspective de lavoirs et autres édicules d’aussi grande nécessité que les maisons riveraines tiennent suspendus sur un lit d’ean saumâtre
Vue
c.1910
Publisher: Ch. Granddidier, Troyes

View down canal running behind houses, with laundries and similar structures hanging over the water. The “Rû aux Cailles” ran behind houses along Rue Célestin Philbois and under a bridge (Pont des Cailles) on Rue St Jacques, from which this photo was taken. It is now filled in.

Google Street View (approximate location).

Maison de la Reine Bérengère, Le Mans, France


LE MANS. — Maison de la Reine Bérengère, – Cour
House of Queen Bérengère, courtyard
Note on back dated July 1914 or 1919

Google Street View.

Wikipedia (French).

Berengaria of Navarre was queen of England as the wife of Richard I of England. She was the eldest daughter of Sancho VI of Navarre and Sancha of Castile. As is the case with many of the medieval English queens, relatively little is known of her life. Traditionally known as “the only English queen never to set foot in the country”, she may in fact have visited England after her husband’s death, but did not do so before, nor did she see much of Richard during her marriage, which was childless. She did (unusually for the wife of a crusader) accompany him on the start of the Third Crusade, but mostly lived in his French possessions, where she gave generously to the church, despite difficulties in collecting the pension she was due from Richard’s brother and successor John after she became a widow.
Wikipedia (English)

Bérengère (ca. 1165-1230) was Queen of the English as the wife of King Richard I of England. Musée de la reine Bérengère is a museum of Le Mans history located in three half-timbered merchant’s houses, ca. 1230. The museum is located on the old High Street that served to connect all the medieval city, both canonical and aristocratic houses. It is in the area known as la cité Plantagenêt. After being seized by William I of England, Le Mans fell into the hands of the Plantagenets in the mid-12th century. The houses were restored by Adolphe Singher (1836-1910) and acquired by the city in 1924.
CurateND

Château de Malmaison, Paris


On back:
La Château de Malmaison
Façade est
[East facade]

Street View (exterior).

Virtual Tour

The Château de Malmaison is a French château situated near the left bank of the Seine, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of the centre of Paris, in the municipality of Rueil-Malmaison. Formerly the residence of Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, along with the Tuileries it was the headquarters of the French government from 1800 to 1802, and Napoleon’s last residence in France at the end of the Hundred Days in 1815.
Wikipedia.

The château de Malmaison, purchased by Josephine in 1799 was, together with the Tuileries, the French government’s headquarters from 1800 to 1802. When Napoleon moved to Saint-Cloud, Josephine stayed in Malmaison and commissioned a wide range of improvements to the house. She settled in permanently after her divorce in 1809 and died there on May 29, 1814.
Napolean.org


MALMAISON (S.-et-O.) — La Chambre de Premier Consul aux Tuileries
Chamber of the First Consul in the Tulleries

1910s
Published: A. Papeghin, Paris-Tours (1900-1931)

The linear and graceful style that characterises the interior decor of the Château de Malmaison is directly influenced by 18th century art but also features the innovative and visionary mark of the two architects Percier and Fontaine. Their style, created from a combination of Antiquity and Renaissance which they both immersed themselves in on their trip to Rome, is reflected in this old residence which became the archetype of consular style. There are no shortage of archaeological and historical references: Doric pilasters and stucco columns in the vestibule, decorative motifs inspired by Roman and Pompeian paintings on the library ceiling and in the dining room, and military trophies for bravery painted on the doors of the council chamber. While the mahogany arcs and columns in the library echo the Palladian-style motifs, the painted ceiling alludes to the literary authors whose works Bonaparte appreciated, and the council chamber with its fabric walls supported by fasces and pikes brings to mind the army tents used to decorate parks in Europe.
Musee national des chateaux de Malmaison & Bois-Preau


MALMAISON. — La Chambre de Josephine. – C.M.
The Bedroom of Josephine

c.1910
Publisher: C. Malcuit

The most significant transformation was that of Joséphine’s bedchamber, which was given the shape of an almost circular tent thanks to a red sheet enhanced with golden embroidery that was hung on the walls. The ceiling was covered in a painting by Blondel representing Juno on his chariot, and the walls were decorated with numerous mirrors as well as eight flower paintings by Redouté.
Musee national des chateaux de Malmaison & Bois-Preau

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Kitchen, Grande Chartreuse Monastery, France


Intérieur du Convent de la Grande-Chartreuse. – La Cuisine (état actuel)
c.1920

Google Maps.

Musee de Grande Chartreuse (other rooms)

Grande Chartreuse is the head monastery of the Carthusian religious order. It is located in the Chartreuse Mountains, north of the city of Grenoble, in the commune of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse (Isère), France. Originally, the château belonged to the See of Grenoble. In 1084, Saint Hugh gave it to hermit Saint Bruno and his followers who founded the Carthusian Order. The recipe of the alcoholic beverage Chartreuse is said to have been given to the monks of Grande Chartreuse in 1605[1] by the French Marshal François Annibal d’Estrées. For over a century, the monks worked on perfecting the 130-ingredient recipe. In 1764, the monks expanded their distillery for the first time to meet the demand of their popular Elixir Végétal de la Grande Chartreuse. The distillery has then been moved several times in more remote areas because it represents a major explosion hazard for the surrounding habitations.

The château went through many severe casualties, reconstructions and renovations. The building standing today (2020) was erected in 1688. In 1789, following the French Revolution, the monks were expelled from the monastery, and waited until 1838 to be reauthorized on the premises. Following the establishment of the Association Law of 1901 and its interpretation that effectively banned religious associations en masse, many notable religious institutions across France, including Grand Chartreuse, were closed by the French government.
Wikipedia.

Cheverny Castle, Loir-et-Cher, France


5 — CHEVERNY (L.-et-C.) — Le Château — Le Grand Salon
The Castle — The Great Saloon

1910s
Published: A. Papeghin, Paris-Tours (1900-1931)

Street View (exterior)

Chateau de Chervny (Official website)

Wikipedia.


13 — CHEVERNY (L.-et-C.) — Le Château –La Salle des Gardes
The Castle — Guard’s Room

1910s
Published: A. Papeghin, Paris-Tours (1900-1931)


11 — CHEVERNY (L.-et-C.) — Le Château — La Salle à manger
The Castle — Dining Room

1910s
Published: A. Papeghin, Paris-Tours (1900-1931)


CHATEAU DE CHEVERNY. — L’Escalier.
The Staircase
c.1910
Publisher: Neurdein et Cie

Mount Vernon, USA


Geo. Washington’s House at Mount Vernon.
c.1910
Publisher: Arthur Capper, Topeka

Google Maps (location).

Virtual Tour

Mount Vernon is an American landmark and former plantation of George Washington, the first President of the United States, and his wife, Martha. The estate is on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia. It is located south of Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Virginia and is across the river from Prince George’s County, Maryland. The Washington family acquired land in the area in 1674. Around 1734, the family embarked on an expansion of its estate that continued under George Washington, who began leasing the estate in 1754 before becoming its sole owner in 1761. The mansion was built of wood in a loose Palladian style; the original house was built by George Washington’s father Augustine, around 1734. George Washington expanded the house twice, once in the late 1750s and again in the 1770s. It remained Washington’s home for the rest of his life. Following his death in 1799, under the ownership of several successive generations of the family, the estate progressively declined as revenues were insufficient to maintain it adequately. In 1858, the house’s historical importance was recognized and it was saved from ruin by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association; this philanthropic organization acquired it together with part of the Washington property estate.
Wikipedia.


Main Hall, Mt Vernon Mansion, VA.
On back:
MAIN HALL, MOUNT VERNON MANSION, VA.
This is the central hall of Washington Mansion at Mt. Vernon. It is a beautiful example of the architecture of Colonial days.

Publisher: B.S. Reynolds, Washington, D.C. 1902-1948

The central passage is the entryway into the Washingtons’ home, the place where visitors who came by carriage through the west front drive were greeted. Entertaining also occurred in the central passage, particularly during hot Virginia summers when the family gathered here to enjoy breezes from the open doorways.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Today meticulously restored to its appearance in 1799, the mansion preserves the legacy of this great American. Three rooms are on either side of the wide central hall on the first floor. The front parlor, music room, and the grand two-story large dining room are located north of the center hall. A small dining room, a first floor bedchamber, and Washington’s private study are on the south side of the house. The second floor contains six bedrooms, including the master bedroom, with its narrow staircase leading directly to Washington’s study below. The third floor has more bedchambers, including the small garret chamber to which Martha Washington retreated after her husband’s death.
National Parks Service


West Parlor, Mount Vernon, VA.
On back:
WEST PARLOR, MT. VERNON, VA.
In the West Parlor much of the furnishing was here in Washington’s day. The rug here was made by order of Louis XVi for Washington. It is of a dark green ground; in the center is the America eagle surrounded with stars.

1920s
Publisher: B.S. Reynolds, Washington, D.C. 1902-1948

Before the New Room was completed, Washington considered the front parlor to be “the best place in my House.” This elegant room was a public space where visitors enjoyed the Washington family’s company. Tea and coffee were customarily served here during the winter and on rainy days, and the household gathered here in the evenings to read, discuss the latest political news, and play games.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon

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Palace of Fontainebleau, France


Palais de FONTAINEBLEAU – Cour des Adieux.

Google Street View.

Official Website
Media Center for Art History (panorama views of rooms)
17th century plan

Used by the kings of France from the 12th century, the hunting lodge of Fontainebleau, standing in the heart of the vast forest of the Ile-de-France in the Seine-et-Marne region, was transformed, enlarged and embellished in the 16th century by King François I, who wanted to make it a “new Rome”. Surrounded by an immense park, the palace, to which notable Italian artists contributed, combines Renaissance and French artistic traditions. The need to expand and decorate this immense palace created the conditions for the survival of a true artistic centre.

The construction of the palace began in 1528. The modifications undertaken later by François I’s successors and carried out on different scales until the 19th century have left their imprint on the physionomy of the present complex, which today comprises five courtyards placed in an irregular manner and surrounded by an ensemble of buildings and gardens.
UNESCO World Heritage listing


FONTAINEBLEAU — Le Palais. Perspective du Chateau et de l’Etang
1920s
Published Levy & Neurdein Reunis

Google Street View.


FONTAINEBLEAU. — Bateau de Prince Imperial. — LL
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

As the only child of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie, Napoleon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph, the Imperial Prince, was particularly spoilt. The Emperor, who wanted to teach him the basics of navigation, ordered a frigate for him. Built by the Brest Arsenal’s workshops, it was given to the young prince in 1863, for his seventh birthday.
Chateau de Fontainebleua

A year earlier in 1863 Napoleon III almost certainly commissioned the small frigate that was given to his son, Napoleon Eugene Louis Giuseppe Bonaparte, the Imperial Prince (1856-1879.) Built at the arsenal at Brest, the boat was a present to the boy for his seventh birthday. 3.90 M long, with a beam of 1.10 M and 6 M high, the boat was a miniature reproduction of a XIX century ship. Its two bridges had 100 toy cannon along its sides, a helms wheel, an anchor, a bowsprit that was almost two metres long and complex rigging. The boat could be rowed by two or three people seated on benches below. Napoleon II and the Capatin Duperré used the boat to give the Imperial Prince his first lessons on navigation. Up to 1870 the fleet was just for the pleasure of the Royal Court. After the Prussians invaded, the fleet was transported to Saint-Cloud where it was unfortunately completely destroyed. The only boats left at Fontainebleau were Eugenia’s gondola and the Prince’s frigate. The gondola was sold in 1907 and the frigate was abandoned on the Pond for years until it was brought into the castle for restoration in 1926 under the direction of the architect Jean-Paul Alaux.
Save the Imperial Prince’s frigate! (pdf)

PALAIS DE FONTAINEBLEAU
Pavillon Louis XV – Entrée du Musée Chinois et l’Étang aux Carpes
Louis XV Pavilion – Entrance to the Chinese Museum and the carps pond.
Published by Musées Nationaux

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Brühl’s Terrace, Dresden, Germany


Treppe zur Brühl schen Terrasse
Steps to Bruhl’s Terrace.
1900s (the building on the right is Brühl Palace, demolished 1900.)

Google Street View

After the Saxon defeat at the Battle of Leipzig and the occupation by Russian troops, military governor Prince Nikolai Grigorjevich Repnin-Wolkonski ordered the opening [of the terrace] to the public in 1814. He charged the architect Gottlob Friedrich Thormeyer with the building of a flight of stairs at the western end to reach the terrace from Castle Square and Augustus Bridge. The Brühl Palace was demolished in the course of the building of the Saxon Ständehaus in 1900.

The ensemble was totally destroyed in February 1945 when the city centre was heavily hit by the Allied Bombing of Dresden during the end phase of World War II. Today, it has been rebuilt; the precise amount restored is difficult to say as a percentage, but in general one can say the emsemble looks very much the same today as it did in the past.
WIkipedia

German Wikipedia on Bruhl Palace, with inside pictures.