Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thoroughly Modern Mansion

Bellamy Mansion (Wikipedia)
The Bellamy Mansion is one of the most beautiful of the many stunning historic houses in Downtown Wilmington NC.  Located on Market Street and built in the mid-19th century for a doctor and his family, it has 22 rooms (there were 10 children in the Bellamy family) and was built in a combination Greek Revival/Italianate style. But Dr. John Dillard Bellamy was also a man who thought about modern conveniences and comforts, so he directed that the hjouse be built with many of those in mind. It is these details that are especially fascinating to me.

For example, the windows all slide back in to the walls so that air can circulate and thoroughly cool the house down in the hot, humid summer - isn't that a wonderful idea? Even the bedrooms on the top, attic floor were vented fully and able to cool the rooms down. I wish we had windows like that! There were also amenities such as  running hot and cold water and  gas chandeliers, which were very up-to-date in the 1860s, when the house was built.

You might not be able to find a house quite as grand as the Bellamy Mansion, but there are plenty of lovely Victorian houses for sale in Wilmington right now. For example, on your right is a Queen Anne style house from the 1880s, absolutely beautiful inside (you can click on the link in the first paragraph and see this and many others, and lots of pictures of the rooms).It has a  library, nine fireplaces (I love fireplaces) - and just the right kind of front porch. This is one of my favorites; of course I can't go right now and buy one - I wish! - but if I could, this is the one I'd like. And I don't even mind how far the windows slide back in the summer.

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