Highlights of Glenview
Glenview reflects the lifestyle of its former residents, the Trevor family, and features fine woodworking, furnishings, decorative objects, paintings, and sculptures.
Tour Glenview in 360°
The Hudson River Museum has partnered with Google Cultural Institute to photograph the interior of Glenview.
Glenview’s fashionable interiors expressed the decorating preferences and domestic lifestyle of the era. The first floor rooms retain magnificent architectural features that rank it as one of the most important early Gilded Age residences open to the public. The rooms were laid out in an asymmetrical arrangement popular during the 1870s, and thoughtfully decorated in what then constituted an avant-garde style favored by the English tastemaker Charles Locke Eastlake and other proponents of Aesthetic Movement design. Originating in England, this movement protested the “excesses” of earlier nineteenth-century design—the elaborately curved and carved furniture embellished with roses, grapes, and an abundance of white marble that we have come to think of as “Victorian.” Many Americans saw Eastlake-influenced furniture and decorative arts for the first time at the Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876, while Glenview was under construction.
The Aesthetic Movement favored straight-lined furniture and woodwork, often “medieval” in appearance and simply decorated with stylized floral or geometric designs that were either incised or inlaid with contrasting woods. The Eastlake/Aesthetic designers also used tiles for entrance hall floors, fireplaces, and the furniture itself. These decorative tiles were often reproductions of patterned tiles found in Gothic churches, or were painted or printed with medieval subjects.
The first floor contains six fully restored period rooms: the Great Hall, the Dining Room, the Library, the Parlor, the Sitting Room, and the Billiard Room, all of which are open to the public. The second floor housed the family’s bedchambers arranged around a balustraded open gallery overlooking the staircase. Servants and guests were accommodated on the third floor, while the mansard attic gave access to the observation tower, which commands magnificent views up and down the Hudson River. Today, the second and third floors are not accessible to the public; they are used as offices for HRM staff.
The Great Hall
Much of the woodwork in the Great Hall and Dining Room was carried out by Daniel Pabst of Philadelphia. Trevor maintained close ties to that city and probably visited the Centennial Exhibition as did Charles Clinton, Glenview’s architect. The fireplace hardware and heating register grills for the house were purchased at the fair. The Great Hall also boasts a beautiful English encaustic tile floor by Maw and Co. and Minton fairy tale tiles designed by J. Moyr Smith.
The Dining Room is companionate in style with the medieval elements of the Great Hall. The walnut wainscoting and faux-timbered ceiling contribute to a unified appearance between the two rooms, although the stencil designs, featuring birds in gilt squares, are unique.
This room houses Glenview’s most important piece of original furniture—the Daniel Pabst sideboard base, which once had matching upper shelves. Pabst based the carving on the central doors on a curtain design in Charles Eastlake’s Hints of Household Taste. The scenes illustrate Aesop’s fable of the fox and the crane, which is a commentary on being a good host.
Delicately incised birdseye maple cabinetry is a notable highlight of the Sitting Room. The pale wood and the stenciled frieze of intertwining chrysanthemums create a much more feminine appearance than in the Dining Room or the Ebony Library. The stencils also reflect the immediate and widespread influence that the Japanese exhibits at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia had on American decorative arts.
The Parlor was on the cutting edge of fashion, reflecting the British influence of not only Charles Eastlake but also designers William Morris and Bruce Talbert. In keeping with the tenets of the Aesthetic Movement, the room was designed as a whole ensemble. Wallpaper, ceiling stencils, textiles and furnishings created a rich layering of pattern, color, and texture. Highlights of this room include Meissen china figure groups and an Italian marble sculpture of Faust and Marguerite.
The Library is distinctive for its ebonized cabinetry, embellished with veneers cut to create an inlaid pattern. Japanese design and lacquer work inspired a fashion for polished black furniture, termed “ebonized” as it resembled the dark woods known as ebony. Master-cabinetmaker Daniel Pabst (American, born Germany, 1826–1910) was responsible for most of the woodwork in Glenview. Based in Philadelphia, Pabst was and is one of the most recognized Aesthetic Movement artisans.
Billiards was one of the most popular sports of the late nineteenth century. Public billiard parlors were traditionally rowdy domains of men. At the time Glenview was built, manufacturers of billiard tables promoted the game as a home activity for all ages. The Trevor family included a special room for billiards in the design of their house and owned a table made by Brunswick, which is still in business today. In the early twentieth century, Glenview’s Billiard Room sometimes doubled as the grandchildren’s dining room, with the table covered and used for serving breakfast.
Today, the Billiard Room houses the nineteenth-century styled dollhouse, Nyblewyck Hall. It is also a resource area with reproduction stereograph cards and a viewer, as well as touchable materials related to the decoration and home life of Glenview.