Printed and framed by Jane Rivera, Center Valley, Pennsylvania.
“Riding down Ravine Lake Road in the family car, I’d look to the high hill on the other side of lake and wonder about the series of huge rooftops I could see above the trees. What could that mysterious building be?”
“The place where this picture was taken, near my childhood home in Far Hills, New Jersey, always intrigued me. Riding down Ravine Lake Road in the family car, I’d look to the high hill on the other side of lake and wonder about the series of huge rooftops I could see above the trees. What could that mysterious building be? Then about 15 years ago my husband and I were visiting my hometown and drove that road again. We noticed a stone gateway bearing the name Blairsden. It was falling down and covered with weeds, but I knew it had to lead to the house I’d always wondered about. Curiosity got the best of us, and we parked the car and walked up the overgrown road to the top of the hill. My first peek at the vast mansion was breathtaking. It appeared empty, but the grass around it was cut and we left pretty quickly!
Looking online this spring, I discovered that Blairsden—once the home of a New York financier—would be open in May as a design showcase fundraiser for Morristown Medical Center. My husband Stephen, my son Stephen and my daughter-in-law Jessmik toured it with me. It was something all four of us were interested in, and we really had fun. We visited 36 rooms in the 60,000-square-foot mansion—and that didn’t even include the top floor.
In this shot, Stephen and Jessmik are standing in front of the football field-long reflecting pool in front of the house. Behind them you catch a glimpse of the entry, and to the left are some of the statues of Roman emperors that line the driveway.”
“When I saw the Sworl app, I jumped on the chance to frame this photo of Stephen and Jessmik. I put it in my living room as a reminder of the wonderful day we finally got to tour my ‘mystery mansion’.”
—As told to Will Jackson