Jeff Lincoln Unlocks the Secrets of a Hidden American Manor House


Tinspectre­ss of the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, Helen Dorey, took one look at a 340acre estate in western New York overlookin­g Otsego Lake, and said it was “possibly the most Soanian house in America.”

Built between 1817 and 1834 by architect Philip Hooker in a style that embraces early Greek Revival and Federal traditions, the residence is a “foremost example of romantic classicism in this country,” says its executive director and CEO, Jonathan Maney. “The Doric columns on the great house were among the first uses of the Greek order in New York and are more slender than any known Greek prototype. In this respect, Hyde Hall is unique.”

What’s also remarkable is how unaltered the house and its furnishing­s are, says Maney, who has overseen several restoratio­ns of the property. With the largest collection of furniture by famed Albany cabinetmak­er John Meads and the only functionin­g vapor-light chandelier­s in their original settings, “It’s like a time capsule of life in the 1830s.”


 ??  ?? Hyde Hall offers tours daily through October 31.
Hyde Hall offers tours daily through October 31.

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