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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
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.
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
Now, on to the Library . .