Posted Friday, 27 September
Remember my excursion climbing up ladders through the attic and cupola to the top of the Town Hall the other day? Are you aware of my interest in architecture and how buildings are put together? And are you aware of my constant curiosity, and need to know?
This post will not go up until I have left the Atheneum Hotel in Chautauqua, NY. I respect signs like “keep out” or “staff only,” even if it is only the back servant’s stairway which would be fun to see. But if there is no posting, and a door is unlocked, it is “fair game,” right? I got to explore the old attic in the Mt. Washington Hotel that way seeing the old staff quarters. No sign, unlocked door. Cathy would not join me.
The hotel when built in 1881 had a three tiered Mansard Roof tower, but now it is but one section above the third floor. Just to give you an idea of the height, there are 31 steps from the main floor to the second, and then 22 steps from the second to third floor where my room is (of course I am always walking them). For comparison, at home I have 14 steps from the first to second floors.
Monday I went to the front stairway for the first time to go down to
breakfast. But there were stairs going higher too, but with a wall blocking off the landing before the stairs came back to the next landing where the tower obviously would be. “Gee, I would love to see the tower,” I say to myself. But no, that door has two locks on it. I get halfway down the stairs and say, “Gee, I wonder,” and walk up to the door. IT OPENS, and a few steps in I say, “go get your camera now!”
Below you see what I saw, that probably few people have seen (or cared about seeing). With all the plaster and lath gone I assumed that it had been removed to reduce weight, and later I learned that the top tiers had in fact been removed in the 1950s due to concern over the stress caused by the weight. An adventure, and a learning experience. Enjoy the view!
Looking out towards the Lake
Out a window to the south
And looking north to the Miller Bell Tower and Pier Building
Another perspective of the Tower from the south