The years following the Civil War until the late 1920’s, referred to as “The Gilded Age”, were defined in part by the American Industrial Revolution and a time of unprecedented commercial growth. It was a unique time; the new wealthy citizens had a purpose and a vision. The young inventors and entrepreneurs sought to understand their good fortune by thinking of themselves in the context of being heirs to a great Western Tradition. They traveled extensively throughout Europe collecting art and absorbing the history of western culture. Their intention was to further bring the heritage of Western societies – from the Greeks and Romans to the European Renaissance – to even more glory in the present age in America.
These captains of industry and commerce believed their duty was to develop something better and different, a reflection of American technology and ingenuity. The homes built during this time give evidence to this end with their grandeur and artistic vision. Many estates built between 1890 and 1925 boasted the owner’s stature in Gilded Age Society. The mansions’ architecture were largely done in the Beaux-Arts tradition, and were furnished with antiques imported from France, Spain and Italy according to each owner’s personal style.
SHHC offers family programs, musical events and special educational lectures. Future topics will include architecture, historic homes and gardens, and the business interests of the local industrialists. Please contact us with any additional relevant areas of interest.