19th Anniversary

19th Anniversary 102 www.afamag.com |  www.incollect.com walls, but trees, lawns, and fields were the demarcations. In keeping with this open concept, members of the Cheney family chose to build their residences around a large, sloping park-like area referred to as the Great Lawn, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Thirteen Cheney homes originally encircled this space, which the family opened to the town’s residents for recreation. Prominent architects H. H. Richardson, Stanford White, and Charles Adams Platt designed or redesigned most of the Cheneys’ Victorian- and Edwardian-era mansions. In time, Cheney Brothers fell victim to the Great Depression, tariffs, and the introduction of synthetic fabrics. Despite a burst of productivity during WWII and a refocus on alternatives to silk, large-scale textile production moved south and overseas for cheaper labor. Unable to compete, the company was sold in 1955. 2 The sixteen surviving mill buildings, worker houses, churches, schools, meeting halls, and Cheney mansions were united as the Cheney Brothers National Historic Landmark District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The mansions sit on seventy acres east of the mill complex in the 175-acre District. The surviving mansions are no longer owned by members of the Cheney family and a number of the residences had For the entrance hall, Paula chose a color scheme consistent with the 1920s renovation, though lightened for modern sensibilities. Original features include the iron banisters and central light fixture. The form of the carved European center table is echoed by the marble urn pedestals. The original 1920s Zuber & Cie wallpaper, Paysage Italien (Italian countryside), survived until the fire. Only a small portion could be saved, conserved, and reinstalled. Fortunately, Zuber & Cie retained the original 1912 woodblocks, which were used to reproduce the wallpaper in a grisaille palette for the hallway. The paper was installed so it could be removed if needed. fallen into disrepair because of their expensive upkeep. 3 The Great Lawn had a lso been threatened with de ve lopment . Ent e r Ant hony Viscogliosi. Viscogliosi, a collector and venture capitalist in the global healthcare industry, established his offices in Manchester in 2002. After looking at dozens of potential homes, the Philip Cheney Mansion caught his attention. At an expansive 20,000-square-feet, the brick Jacobean-style home built for Knight Dexter (“KD”) Cheney (1837–1907) is the largest of the Cheney residences. The mansion was remodeled by Charles Platt (1861– 1933) in 1920, altering KD’s original 1878 clapboard house designed by Stanford White (1853–1906) to such an extent that the only original feature was the grand salon. Platt, whose mother was a Cheney, designed or remodeled four other Cheney mansions in addition to a number of other residential commissions (including a Manhattan townhouse for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt) and nine museums throughout the country, including the Smithsonian’s