Longwood’s exterior features unique features such as Italianate terrace columns (double and triple columns), cornices with hanging brackets, cupolas with multiple arched windows, and Moorish balconies. Onion-shaped domes, slender spires, etc. Library of Congress. (Public domain)
Before the American Civil War (1861-1865), most homes were built in Georgian, neoclassical or Greek-style architectural styles. However, Longwood, a mansion in Natchez, Mississippi, is in a league of its own. Although Longwood also exhibits some popular contemporary architectural styles, its interior and exterior design elements are clearly distinctive.
Tucked among oak groves covered with Spanish moss, Longwood is noteworthy for being the largest surviving octagonal residential structure in the United States, with an unusual octagonal floor plan, central observation deck, dome, and more. Although the Natchez area is home to many ornate mansions, Longwood stands out for its Oriental Revival style, which blends Italianate and Moorish styles.
According to the president of the Historic Natchez Foundation, Italianate style is reflected in the design of arched entrances and includes railings, supports, arcaded frontispieces, and arched curves. Triangular shaped walls (spandrels) and crestings (crestings) and other woodwork; while the onion-shaped dome and slender spire are clearly Moorish design.
While Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan may have looked like a hodgepodge of ideas when he designed Longwood in 1859, the mansion exudes the architectural romance that flourished during the early to mid-19th century. ism, an exotic and eclectic style.
The mansion has four two-story verandas, each facing a different direction. The capitals of the terrace columns adopt the typical scroll and leaf design of the Corinthian order. There are many groove designs engraved on the column body, which not only provide support but also have a decorative effect.
The original plan for the Longwood mansion had 32 rooms, but only nine rooms on the first floor were completed. The Civil War forced housing construction to cease. Mississippi summers are particularly hot and muggy, and Longwood has four large entrances to allow for cross-ventilation. The hot air rises to the vast six-story space and finally dissipates at the beautiful observatory and dome.
Standing in the center of the first floor of the mansion, you can clearly see the complex and exquisite design of the observatory and onion-shaped dome, as well as the planned six-story living space. The eight symmetrical arches in the interior are made of hand-laid bricks, which proves the uniqueness of the octagonal architectural design.
The focal point of the mansion’s master bedroom is a gilded framed portrait of the hostess, Julia Nutt. The mahogany-veneered Empire-style low wardrobe is owned by the Nutt family. A finely inlaid Japanese antique box is placed on top of the low wardrobe. The small photos on both sides are of Haller Nutt, the earliest owner of the mansion; he He died before the end of the Civil War in 1864. Another photo shows the hostess in mourning clothes.
A large wooden ceiling fan (punkah) hangs above the dining table in the center of the restaurant. This decorative wooden fan swings back and forth by pulling the string. The ceiling fan is inspired by the cloth fans that were common in India in the past. In an era before air conditioning, the restaurant’s double-door entrance and tall windows allowed for more air circulation.
There is an 1840s Rococo Revival-style secretary in the front hall of the mansion, which was original furniture when the Nutt family built the mansion. The writing cabinet consists of two parts. The desktop can be opened and retracted. The whole is made of mahogany, rosewood and other mahogany. There is storage space under the desktop and a glass-door bookcase above. The Rococo Revival style is particularly evident in the frames of the glass-door bookcases and the carved wood shapes of the wooden doors of the storage spaces.
original:Longwood: A Southern Mansion With a Unique StylePublished in the English Epoch Times.
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