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Grey Towers National Historic Site



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Grey Towers Virtual Tour - Hall


The Pinchot family greeted arriving guests, entertained family and friends, and socialized in the Hall. The Hall looks much like it did in James and Mary Pinchot's time. The chests and cabinets situated around the perimeter of the room functioned as storage and are from the Italian Renaissance Revival Period. They are made of oak from around 1800 and were imported from England by James in about 1870.

When the Forest Service repaired the home in 1963, they replaced the decayed ceilings with new ones, containing the then "wonder" material...asbestos. It had to be removed in 1991 due to dangerous "flaking." The recent renovation restored the plaster ceiling.

Current photo of Grey Towers Hall



The Hall was dimly lit by lamps. Only a small alcove with a Colonial Revival style fireplace provided enough light for reading. The painting on wood above the fireplace in the alcove was the Pinchot's "welcome" sign and was done by John F. Weir in 1887. The painting features the Greek god and goddess of home and food warming their hands over a fire. It also reflects the heritage of the family with French fleur de lis scattered throughout the painting but also highlights the local area with the commonly grown Pennsylvania rhododendron.

The piano in back of the couch was used by the Pinchot family for sing-a-longs and impromptu dancing. Mary Pinchot not only played the piano but the violin and guitar as well. The Pinchot's guests also enjoyed chamber music in the hall. Several of Gifford's hunting trophies and the saddle on the arm of the couch are testaments to the Pinchot's love of the outdoors.


Photo of Grey Towers Hall alcove with fireplace, piano, 2 elk heads, an owl and Weir painting above the mantle



Portraits of James and Mary Pinchot hang on either side of the doorway to the Library. The portrait of James was painted by Ellen Emitt Rand in 1907, about 1 year before his death. In Victorian times, women artists were rare.

The 1861 portrait of Mary by George A. Baker was given as a gift to James in celebration of their engagement. Mary was 23 years old at the time. The portrait is on loan from the Pinchot family.


Now, on to the Library . . .


1907 portrait of James Pinchot1871 portrait of Mary Eno Pinchot

USDA Forest Service - Grey Towers National Historic Site
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:05 CST

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