On the Road ~ Longwood

On the Road ~ Longwood, Natchez, MS.

One of the highlights of this road trip was my visit to Longwood, the remarkable eclectic octagonal house in Natchez, MS. Planter Haller Nutt had Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan enlarge his published design for an “Oriental Villa” (see below for the published illustration) to create the largest octagonal house in the U.S. Construction was halted at the start of the Civil War and the interior was never completed above the walk-out basement level. The house was partially built by enslaved craftsmen.

I visited with Carter Burns, director of the Historic Natchez Foundation, and was able to tour all levels of the house, where workmen’s tools and materials remain where they were left in 1861. The framing of the house inside the brick walls is fully exposed. It is a masterwork of 19th century building technology, particularly in the cupola and dome. The Pilgrimage Garden Club owns the house, and it is open to the public on the basement and first floor levels. It is well worth a visit!

Visiting historic house museums is a wonderful way to get inspiration for your home restoration projects.

Restoration methods and materials used by museums are included among the approaches presented in “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”

Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available directly from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.

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