Sunday, July 28, 2013

Two Great Country Estate ~ Lenox, MA.

Two great Berkshire estates: (Top) 'Bellefontaine', the long-time
estate of Giraud Foster, the last great Berkshire estate. (Bottom)
'Elm Court', the comfortable estate of Emily V. S. White. 
The Berkshires were long-since known for it's beautiful estates, though perhaps the most famous of these homes were the ones built by Giraud Foster and his bridge partner Emily Vanderbilt White. 


Giraud Foster ~ pictured beside of bust of his likeness,
Lenox, MA. 
'Bellefontaine' had been designed and built by architects Carrere and Hasting, in the style of Louis XV, for multi-millionaire Giraud Foster ~ known as "grand old man of Lenox". Originally built as his summer home, it later became his year-round residence. It was here that Giraud Foster became well-known, becoming one of the last of the wealthy resorters. It was often said that Mr. Foster's birthday celebrations were the most anticipated events of the Lenox season, with sometimes 100 guests filling the dining room at 'Bellefontaine'! 


Giraud Foster's 93rd birthday celebration at 'Bellefontaine'.
CIrca 1943. 

Giraud Foster designed the grounds of his estate with impeccable taste, a multitude of gardens and pools filled the grounds and fountains beamed across the lawns. With health always a priority, Giraud Foster walked from one to three miles a day on the grounds of his estate with the head superintendent, Edwin Jenkins, discussing current affairs and the development of the estate. 


The Palm Room wing, overlooking the East Parterre Gardens. Circa 1930's.
Photo: Taken by Robert Bruce. 
When Giraud Foster died at his estate ~ in his ninety-fifth year ~ it was truly the end of a very lavish era of entertaining and living. Never will it return, nor will it ever be repeated. 

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