At last I am able to combine my fondness for True Blood with my truest passion, 19th century architecture.
The Beloved and I were spending our usual Sunday evening mesmerized by our only real vice, True Blood. In between shots of porn worthy bodies, there is a plot. This plot contains a King. A Vampire King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington, played foppishly by Denis O’Hare. This Undead Monarch is of course very rich, and has (of course )a very handsome, younger ( for a Vampire) boyfriend. the two share an amazing home ( of course),” beautifully”/pretentiously appointed by the above mentioned “younger” boyfriend.
Generally we are allowed only interior shots, they are undead after all, not many opportunities for day shooting.
So far, I have seen two glimpses of the King’s Mansion, generally involving very hot naked werewolves. I recognized the house immediately, it was Longwood!, ( I know, unfortunate name) but better known as Nutt’s Folly.
known as Nutt’s Folly
designed by Samuel Sloan,1859
As you can see by the date the world was about to end. The Civil War ( April 1861-last shot, June 1865) was looming upon society, extravagant wonders like Longwood were doomed.
Samual Sloan (1815-1884), Philadelphia based, designed Longwood in 1859 for Haller Nutt, a cotton planter of apparent wealth and prestige.
In the land of impressive plantations, Longwood must have stopped traffic. Longwood is the largest octagonal house in the U.S.. It’s finial alone is 24 feet. It Moorish architecture a strange and lovely marvel.
Sloan wrote of his creation “Fancy dictated that the dome should be bulbiform-a remembrancer of Eastern magnificence which few will judge misplaced as it looms up against the mellowed azure of a Southern sky’.
I love the word bulbiform, not used often enough.
Unfortunately it wasn’t going to be a happy story. The terrible war broke, the Northern workmen fled, leaving much of the house unfinished. Poor Mr. Nutt died of pneumonia in ’64. The happiness anticipated destroyed by a bloody war.
The unfinished house became known as Nutt’s Folly.
Note the missing finial.
One of the minor casualties of the war was the furniture Sloan intended for Longwood. Rail shipments of course ceased between the North and the South, the furniture, illustrated in Sloan’s “Homestead Architecture”,ended up at a Yankee estate in Pennsylvania.
My buddy , the talented designer Patrick Ediger, was interested in the floor plan.
Next, you will find the layout of the principal floor.
As I mentioned the spire alone is 24 feet tall , replaced by a fiberglass replica , the original resides in the marvelously dusty attic of Longwood.
Longwood-Nutt’s Folly has had a long and challenging history, but aside from the indignities of being the star of a television show, it has gained the respect it deserves. It is now on the Historic Register, safe from developers, vulgarians, and Civil War.
140 Lower Woodville Road
In case you are interested I have come across more images from “Sloan’s Homestead Architecture containing forty designs for villas, cottages, and farmhouses, with essays on style, construction, landscape, gardening, furniture, etc.etc.” 355pgs.
Published by J.B.Lippincott, Philadelphia ,PA, 1861
You have to love the verbosity, in our world of text-brevity, I find the long winded titles touching.
Love the palm trees.