Sunday, April 29, 2012

Glynallyn Castle

Glynallyn Castle, Convent Station, Morris Township, New Jersey
Site of Mansion in May 2012
the 16th semi-annual designer showcase to raise funds for 
Morristown Memorial Hospital.

Excerpts from "Morris Township’s Historic Heritage – Glynallen"
By Carol Barkin, Commission Member, Morris Township Historic Preservation Commission

"One of Morris Township’s remaining Gilded Age-era mansions is “Glynallen”, built in the years 1913-1917 for George Marshall Allen and his wife, Charlotte. Allen, heir to the Old Crow Whiskey fortune and a world traveler, admired Compton Wynates in Warwickshire, England, the ancestral Tudor castle of the Marquis of Northampton (c.1528), once lived in by King Henry VIII. He hired Charles Berg, a New York architect, and sent him to study the castle and prepare working blueprints so that Allen could build a replica in Morris Township."

"A NY Times article in 1914 claimed that “efforts (are being made) to reproduce as accurately as is possible the type and atmosphere of the early Tudor homestead on American soil and if the success is commensurate with the effort, Mr. Allen’s Morristown home will undoubtedly be the most perfect example of Tudor architecture, both in respect to the house and landscape, in this country.” Early fame came to Glynallen when it was used as the setting for the 1919 silent movie “Witness for the Defense”, which starred the turn-of-the-century Broadway star Elsie Ferguson. The Allen’s daughter, Loraine, was married in Glynallen’s Great Hall on August 21, 1917, and the Allen home was the site of many festive parties. "

"Over its 95-year history, Glynallen was a single family residence, the offices of General Drafting Company, and again a residence. Located on Canfield Road in Convent Station, the home was purchased in 1997 by Chris and Melitta Shields, who have been restoring the 32,000 sq. ft. mansion with its 66 rooms and 12 bathrooms, Great and Little Halls, landscaping, moat, stonework, and outbuildings. A particularly interesting feature is the dungeon, with its heavy oak door taken from Dannemore Prison, and heavy iron chain and shackles on the walls."

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