Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bellingrath Home and Gardens- part Two

In the last posting I mentioned of a series of waterfalls flowing down to the Fowl River.  Before moving on with scenes of the house on the outside, I want  to show one of those beautiful fountains.  With cascading mums framing it, it is just too gorgeous to omit!
There was no way for me to get an over-all view of the Bellingrath home as it is completely surrounded by trees.  I can only offer here small glimpses of sections of the 15-room home. The best one showing the brick two-story building is a view looking up at the north terrace.  This side of the house, which features a series of terraces, offers scenes of the river.
The house was built in 1935 as a permanent residence.  It was constructed using bricks dating from 1835 and ironwork from the 1870s.  They were salvaged from historic structures being demolished in Mobile.  Pictured below is the entrance to the home.  It exudes all the warmth of an old English manor.
A courtyard was built off to the left side of the entrance, it was designed to be in the Italianate villa style- a style which was not carried out in the design of the rest of the house.  Also, in the picture below, notice the wrought- iron framing the entrance, as well as the balconies which have cascading mums.
Bessie Bellingrath died in 1943, and her husband in 1955.  By 1957 the house was opened for tours per their request.  All of her collections of period furniture, porcelain, and crystal  remain in the house.  There are Royal Dalton figurines as well as Meissen china.  The interior of the house is as wonderful to see as well as the gardens!   After the house tour we still had more to see of the grounds.  We visited a small chapel which was designed for services for the Bellingraths and their guests.  There is also a rockery with winding stairs, waterfalls and pools, as well as a Japanese/ Chinese garden.  We walked around Mirror Lake which was once a runoff pond for a 19th century sawmill.  Mrs. Bellingrath loved swans, so three large metal swans can be seen floating on the lake.  There is no way I can completely cover everything at Bellingrath Gradens,  I only hope what I have written here will also convince you to put this on your bucket list,  if you have not as yet visited this home in Mobile.

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