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