clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Design Doyenne Edith Wharton's Home Now Safe for Posterity

Author Edith Wharton knew houses. In 1897, still a Manhattanite, she co-wrote The Decoration of Houses, a noted design guide that sits near the roots of the design industry's "family tree." In 1901, she began to put her design principles into practice with the Mount, a tremendous house in New England's Berkshires. The construction process was fraught, as Michelle Dean explains in The Guardian, with architect fights and other frustrations…and the house hasn't exactly had an easy life since then.

In 2008, with the Mount $8.5 million in debt, the house's owners defaulted on loan payments, leaving the property at risk of foreclosure. The bank threatened to shut the house down if funds did not materialize. Some short-term fundraising kept the property from closing—and, as The Guardian now reports, the Mount has finally paid off its debt thanks to a "very targeted cast" of donors. The Mount still doesn't have an endowment, which would be a stronger guarantee of a secure future for the property, but by Edith Wharton standards, this seems like a happy ending.

· The Fight To Save Edith Wharton's Beloved Home From Itself [The Guardian]
· Edith Wharton coverage [Curbed]