A Very, Very, Very Fine House

Very Very Very Fine House
Updating the Rosen House and the Music Room
Excerpts from the Fall 2018 Members’ Newsletter by Jennifer Pace, Director of Individual Gifts

The Rosen House is the crown jewel of Caramoor’s 90-acre campus. Rich in historical significance — including extensive collections of Asian and Renaissance art, as well as complete rooms from the 17th–19th century, and thousands of rare decorative art objects — the House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With an impressive 25,000 square feet and more than 50 rooms, the stately Rosen House welcomes close to 15,000 visitors annually, a portion of which are the more than 6,000 area school-children who participate in arts-in-education programs.

Maintaining the Rosens’ legacy, and the home they built for music, is central to upholding our organizational mission.

Beginning in 2015, with the organization’s 75th anniversary on the horizon in 2020, Caramoor’s Board of Trustees and Senior Staff embarked on creating a plan to ensure the sustainability of this great estate for the future. As the cornerstone of the campus, the Rosen House has been and continues to be a focus of some much needed restoration. “Ensuring the roof was fixed first, and subsequent exterior stucco repair completed, was essential for us to move indoors so that we could concentrate on damage that had occurred throughout the house due to leaks,” explained Caramoor’s CEO, Jeff Haydon. “This winter we can begin to work on some really exciting projects in the Rosen House Music Room and Formal Dining Room that will have a positive impact on our visitors’ experiences at Caramoor.”

https://www.facebook.com/Caramoor/videos/267715633901447/The Music Room after most of the items had been removed.
The Rosen House will be closed for the winter until the early spring of 2019 for repairs. Following the last scheduled Holiday Tea in December, a fine art moving company removed all of the items from the Music Room and Formal Dining Room for storage off-site and throughout the Rosen House. Work has now begun in these rooms repairing and restoring both ceilings.

During a walk-through of the Music Room before it was emptied, the Director of the Rosen House, Merceds Santos-Miller, pointed up, “The water stains on the stucco surrounding this incredible 16th-century hand carved walnut ceiling are going to be fixed and patched and then the whole room is getting a facial to remove 80 years of wear.” This includes cleaning the walls and repairing the 16th-century window valances. To the left of the stage, the Caldwell Gates which lead into the Lacquer Room will also be restored. “They are not supposed to be black, they are actually tarnished,” explained Santos-Miller. Another improvement will be to augment the lighting from the chandeliers that hang above the audience to better illuminate the artwork throughout the space.

Left: Taking down the 16th-century window valances. Top Right: Valance detail. Bottom Right: The Caldwell Gates.

Perhaps most exciting — to those of us who enjoy creature comforts — is that both the Music Room and Formal Dining Room will be outfitted with air conditioning; in the Music Room the stage will have its own air conditioning zone, which we expect will make our artists’ experience even more pleasant. A component of the overall plan is to use the House year-round. The new cooling system will make it possible for additional programming and facility rental usage.

“All of this incredible work on the House has been made possible by some very generous donors to Inspire: A Campaign for Caramoor’s Future,” noted Nina Curley, Vice President and Chief Development Officer, “it is so gratifying to see individuals step up in the spirit of bolstering the Rosens’ legacy for our music community and for future generations.”

Within just a couple of days in December, our Music Room transformed from being a space for a Holiday Tea Musicale, two New York Polyphony concerts, and two family-friendly Santa concerts. Once the weekend finished up, we had a hard-working crew take out all of the items of the Music Room, including all of the artwork and curtains, so that the room and the pieces could start their refurbishment. Here’s just a taste of what goes on at Caramoor once we move indoors in the Fall and Spring!

We’ll be sharing images as this project progresses on our Instagram and Facebook, so be sure to follow along!




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    • Emily Buffum  / 

      Hi John,

      We’ll be announcing our Jazz Festival artists on February 4th along with our full Summer Season. Tickets will go on sale to Caramoor Members on February 11 and will open for public sale on February 19! Stay tuned and we hope we’ll see you here this summer!