Saturday, September 8, 2012

House Crashing: Boldt Castle (part two)

Welcome back! Normally I don't post on Saturdays, but I couldn't leave you guys hanging midway through our tour! Yesterday, we started our journey through the grandiose structure of Boldt Castle, located on Heart Island in the Thousand Islands area of New York. We gave you a grand tour of the grounds and downstairs, and today we're back with the other four stories. YES! This castle has five levels (six if you count the basement)!

Last time I left you with an image of the grand staircase leading up to the second floor. Get your virtual walking shoes on, because we're about to check out the rest of what Boldt Castle has to offer! Keep in mind, this post will also be photo intensive. :)

Here we are-- midway up the staircase-- looking up at the gorgeous stained-glass dome that covers the first two levels.

The first room that we entered was Mr. Boldts room. I guess back in those days, they still had separate beds. I adore the herringbone pattern in the hardwood floors.

Mrs. Boldt's room was located next to this one. Actually, all of the rooms were joined by a long inner corridor that spanned the front of the castle. If I remember correctly, Mrs. Boldt actually died before the Castle was completed, and did not ever live there. Mr. Boldt sent a telegram to the workers informing them of the passing of his wife, and did not return to the island ever again.

This blue room is "Mrs. Boldts room" that is adjacent to Mr. Boldts quarters. Her room features the same lovely herringbone pattern hardwood floors that run throughout the second floor. She also has a balcony that faces the front of the property, and the Arc De Triomphe.

As far as I know, none of this furniture is actually original to the castle, but they are donated pieces that are correct for the time period. Just look at that beautiful vanity. Love it. And the amazing closets. Each room featured two floor to ceiling closet spaces just like the one below.

Just off of this room was also a spacious bathroom. Check out that old fashioned toilet. I love the old claw foot tub, too. My parents have one of those at their house.

Next, we have another bedroom. The Boldts had two children; a boy and a girl. It is uncertain as to whether or not this was a child's room or which room was designated for who as none of the contents are original to the house. These rooms were actually in a poor state, and needed some serious restoration. The work you are seeing today is thanks to the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, who acquired possession of the property in 1977. Since then, millions of dollars have gone into the preservation and restoration of the castle, the adjoining structures of the property, and it's grounds.

Check out that old electric fan! I definitely need one of those in my life! The children also shared a balcony.

The last room on the end was transformed into a parlor during restoration. I love the raspberry wall color. So bright and cheerful.

The last room on this floor was the theatre. Unfortunately I was unable to take a picture of this room as they were having a presentation going on while we were passing by, and I forgot to go back to it at the end of the tour.

This hallway takes us back to the grand staircase, and leads us into the hidden staircase to the upper floors. I believe these floors were mainly servants quarters. They are all unfinished at this time, but give you a good reference as to how deteriorated the interior of the house was when restoration first began in 1977.

Here is the stairway leading to the third floor.

The layout of each room on the third floor is pretty similar to that of the second floor, so I didn't need to really get into detail with pictures. Here you can see where the plaster has either been removed or has fallen from the walls and ceiling.

You can see that there is no ornate fireplace mantle or decorative features to these rooms (aside from the crown molding). I am unsure if that is due to vandals removing pieces (it honestly does not look like anything has ever been there, though) or if these were guest rooms or maybe meant to be servants quarters. Remember, the castle was never actually finished, so perhaps these details were never added because of that.

Here we are looking down onto the grand staircase from the third floor. We are about to go up to the fourth floor, which is in about the same state of disrepair as the third.

Fourth Floor:

Here we are in the hallway of the fourth floor. In this picture, you can see the stained-glass ceiling dome that overlooks the first three floors. It was kind of shocking to see just how the dome was installed. I never imagined that it would not be immediately exposed to the outside, but then again at first I didn't realize the magnitude of this place.

Here you can see what the years and plenty of vandals coming through have done to leave their mark on the place. Frankly, I think it is sad that someone felt the need to vandalize the walls of the building. A lot of the inscriptions looked as though they came from visitors who toured the castle after it was opened to the public.

These rooms do have an amazing view, though. This is overlooking the docks from the fourth floor.

Here is another look at the stained-glass dome, and the room built around it.

The fourth floor also featured a small alcove with balcony that overlooks the Alexandria Bay harbor and community. This room was pretty barren aside from a fireplace in the corner, and a few wooden benches.

Finally, the fifth floor was closed off to the public, so there wasn't really anything to see there. Just more graffiti on the walls of the staircase that led up to the tower. I am unsure what this part of the castle was used for. I imagine it would make an amazing playroom, though. :)

After touring four full floors of castle, our legs were pretty tired of marching up and down the steps. Thankfully Mr. Boldt had the foresight to install an elevator, and we hopped a ride back down to the ground floor. I took this picture of the old electrical switch panel (the stairs to the right lead up to the tower on the fifth floor) which is right next to the elevator. Just look how far modern electricity has come.

Upon exiting the castle, we passed once more through the main hallway with the grand staircase, and I oogled over this beautiful fireplace at the bottom of the steps one last time.

This concludes our tour of the Boldt Castle, but the fun doesn't stop there. Across the river, Mr. Boldt had a grand boat house constructed, which has been restored and displays several antique boats that belonged to the family and the surrounding community.

Check back on Monday when I'll finish off our house castle crashing series on Boldt Castle with a tour of the boat house. Thanks for coming along with me on this virtual tour. If you missed yesterday's post about the castle grounds and the first floor of the castle, be sure to go back and check it out!

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