The Original Entrance

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The Original Entrance

Guest blogger: Betsy Hicks, Marketing & Communications Intern 2012-13

In a recent conversation about the historic house, Trish Oxford, social media manager at Reynolda, and I tried to guess which door was the original, formal front entrance to the bungalow.

Both new to Reynolda, our guess was the door that sits at the front of the house, just to the right of the front porch.

I thought this door was the original entrance. I was wrong!

As it turns out, though, we were both wrong! Upon doing a little reading, it turns out that what is now a beautiful front patio, garden, and fountain actually used to be the entrance to the House. The original Bungalow design had a large, circular driveway where there is now a garden. The front of the House actually had a large portico to shield guests from weather conditions.

Had I taken this same picture in 1917, I would have been standing on the driveway.

In her book, “Reynolda, 1906-1924,” Barbara Babcock Millhouse described the original driveway, saying “(it) looped around a grass island and under the porte-cochere, which sheltered the front entrance.” According to Millhouse, the driveway was also a favorite spot to take pictures before visitors departed (Millhouse 40-42).

 

With such a grand driveway, I can’t help but think of the Reynold’s family as the American version of the Crawley family, of Masterpiece Theater’s “Downton Abbey.”


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