MUSIC ABOVE THE HUDSON RIVER

MUSIC ABOVE THE HUDSON RIVER

Cadet Chapel

Cadet Chapel

Not far from the Verazzano Bridge, I went to a school in the Fort Hamilton area in Brooklyn, New York, a school of the same name, ‘Fort Hamilton’, overlooking the Hudson River. Looking back, I didn’t appreciate the privilege to be at such a beautiful location everyday.

Part of the score

Part of the score

This past Sunday, I visited another school, fifty miles from New York City, West Point,  also a beautiful location, in the mountains that overlook the Hudson River. I think the whole world descended upon the Cadet Chapel at the US Military Academy to hear Handel’s Messiah. Cars were parked end to end, far as we could see. There was not one small space left. Tom dropped me off, thank goodness, and finally found parking, but he had to walk miles uphill in the pounding wind. westpoint red 1200px

All the red seats in this picture were overflowing with guests (we saved one for Tom) to hear the Cathedral Choir with other choirs, and the West Point Academy singers, perform.

Gail, Joanne, Tom, Paul, Stephen

Gail, Joanne, Tom, Paul, Stephen

The sounds of the music filled the spaces of the cathedral as it wound in and around the massive, majestic neogothic architecture. Our daughter-in-law, Joanne (in the white blouse) participated in the Cathedral Choir. She invited lucky us.

West Point, from Phillipstown. engraving by W. J. Bennett showing the original buildings of the United States Military Academy

West Point, from Phillipstown. engraving by W. J. Bennett showing the original buildings of the United States Military Academy

The United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, The Academy or simply, The Point, is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in West Point, New York. The entire central campus is a national landmark and home to scores of historic sites, buildings, and monuments. The majority of the campus’s neogothic buildings are constructed from gray and black granite. The campus is a popular tourist destination complete with a large visitor center and the oldest museum in the United States Army.

The Continental Army first occupied West Point, New York, on 27 January 1778. It became the oldest continuously-operating Army post in the United States. If you love American history, here’s a boat load full.

Where’s your favorite place to hear Handel’s Messiah?

 

McMANSIONS

McMANSIONS

The Red Baron's legacy remains at Richthofen Castle

When American businesses finally began to eclipse the success of their European counterparts, the robber barons took to real estate to show off their massive wealth, building meticulously detailed mansions as a testament to their fortunes.

Baron Walter Von Richthofen, uncle of the famed flying ace “The Red Baron,” built this Denver mansion in 1887, in homage to his ancestral home, on 335 acres. Today, the acreage has been cut down to just one gated acre, but the architectural majesty of the mansion remains. Measuring almost 15,000 square feet, the Castle (McMansion) has 35 rooms, including “drawing room, library, music alcove, servants quarters, butlers pantry, billiards room, Red Baron bar, eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms.” Listed as a National Landmark, the castle is on the market for $3.75 million.

Fairholme in Newport, RI

Perhaps no one American town benefited more from the architectural arms race of the Gilded Age than Newport, where the like of the Astors and Vanderbilts constructed lavish Summer home in the European style. This one, known as Fairholme, was built in 1875 to designs by Frank Furness and featured a ballroom by Horace Trumbauer. Fairholme was among the first of Newport’s great waterfront mansions. Later owned by the Drexel family, Count Alphonso Villa, and railroad baron Robert Young, it has been visited over the years by luminaries like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and John F. Kennedy. The 20,000 square foot main house presides over 4.3 acres of waterfront lawn, with an enormous walled swimming pool, pool house and carriage house.

This is from an article by Rob Bear, Curbed, in Yahoo Real Estate, May1, 2012. There are more to be continued. But all of them cannot hold a candle (pardon the cliche) to our own Connecticut McMansion, Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, CT. You will have to come back next week to read the rest of the story.

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