Hello and welcome to the website of the Friends of Schuyler Mansion.
What a season it’s been! Beginning last February, the Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” has brought an entirely new audience to Schuyler Mansion. Not only was Hamilton the close son-in-law of Major-General Philip Schuyler, the mansion was also the place where Alexander Hamilton married Philip’s daughter, Elizabeth. The musical celebrates this relationship and even features a musical number sung by the Schuyler sisters. Consequently, visitation at the Mansion has increased tremendously, and a new special theme tour was developed, focused on son-in-law, Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton has truly become a celebrity thanks to Lin Manuel Miranda, the author and composer of “Hamilton," the musical.
The year 2017 is a year for celebration. Not only is it the centennial of the Schuyler Mansion becoming a State Historic Site, it is also the fortieth anniversary of the Friends of Schuyler Mansion.
To prepare for the centennial, the mansion will be undergoing restoration during the winter and spring.
Some interior projects include:
- Installation of historic wallpaper: A copy of the original wallpaper, “The Ruins of Rome,” that graced both the lower and upper central halls of the mansion during Schuyler’s lifetime will be re-hung this November / December.
- A papier-mâché decorative ceiling echoing the original eighteenth century ceiling will be installed in the drawing room or best parlor.
Exterior projects underway are:
- The stone wall and former entryway at the corner of Catherine and Clinton Streets have been completely dismantled and will be reconstructed so that the public will be able to access the site through the Clinton Street entrance.
- The brownstone front steps to the mansion are being restored.
- The mansion’s exterior woodwork is being painted, including window frames, the balustrade along the roof, and the ornate railing on the vestibule roof.
Upon completion of these projects, the mansion will be resplendent for our anniversary year, and will better reflect the grandeur of Philip Schuyler’s taste and his elite status.
To celebrate the centennial, several special events are planned throughout the year:
There will be a special preview evening featuring the newly decorated walls and ceiling for Friends members only; the centennial of the opening of the mansion as a historic site on October 17, 1917 will be celebrated with a special program; and in September we hope to bring the Schuyler descendants back to Albany for a special weekend reunion, with visits to related Schuyler sites in the area and lectures on relevant topics. The best news is that the reunion will be open to the public as well as descendants, so we can meet and mix with the Schuylers. Besides these special events, there will be the regularly scheduled annual events; Farm Day in the City; Fourth of July; and Twelfth Night.
In regards to the Friends 40 years, As I look back on the organization of the Friends of Schuyler Mansion, I remember the early years when I first came on the Board, shortly after the support group was first organized in 1977. I had worked summers at the Mansion during my college years as guide and care- taker from 1963-1967, and Bill Campbell who had been the site supervisor and my boss during those years contacted me shortly after the formation of the Friends to become a Board member. During those first years we organized two Schuyler family reunions, several house tours, and published a Schuyler genealogy. I also remember celebrating the sixty-fifth anniversary of the mansion as a state historic site in 1982 wearing an appropriate costume. I canít believe that was thirty-five years ago.
Please look for our spring newsletter, which will be a special commemorative issue featuring articles on the new wallpaper and ceiling restoration, the many changes in the furnishings and interpretation of the mansion during the past one hundred years, and an article on the history of the Friends of Schuyler Mansion. As we move forward into the next hundred years of the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, there is no better time to be a Friend of Schuyler Mansion. We are counting on your help and support.
CALLING ALL SCHUYLERS
The Friends of Schuyler Mansion will be hosting a Schuyler Family Reunion in mid-September 2017, and is developing a list of descendantís names and addresses. If you are a Schuyler descendant or know of one, please contact the Schuyler Mansion so we can add you to the list. This will be our first Friends sponsored reunion since 1982. We would like especially to hear from those who attended our 1980 and 1982 reunions. All Schuyler descendants are welcome. The reunion will feature visits to local Schuyler related sites and lectures on relevant topics including the Schuyler slave cemetery at the Schuyler Flats and restoration of Hamiltonís Grange. Hope to hear from you very soon!
John L. Scherer