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This is the story of one man's adventures in acquiring and bringing back to life some of America's most enticing and historically significant dwellings. With the eye of a connoisseur, the business acumen derived from a legendary career in international finance, and a Jeffersonian grasp of classical architecture, Richard Hampton Jenrette reveals his charming, often risky, ventures in the world of old houses.

Jenrette's affinity for endangered historic sites has led to the restoration of six historic houses that he currently owns, including Edgewater on the Hudson River; Milford Plantation and Roper House, both in South Carolina; Ayr Mount in North Carolina; the Baker House in New York City; and Cane Garden in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as many others that he has had a hand in restoring throughout the United States.

This uniquely personal account of the quest, the acquisition, the restoration, and the furnishing of each property is instructive and entertaining. Along the way, he introduces the artisans, curators, furniture specialists, designers, antiquarians, preservationists, and collectors who have played a part in his Adventures with Old Houses. This book serves as a beautiful reminder of the foresight, the vision, and the dedication of one of the country's most ardent collectors and a challenge to all who care about America's architectural and artistic heritage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780941711760
Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
Publication date: 09/23/2005
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 9.80(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.72(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Born in Raleigh, N.C. on April 5, 1929, Richard Hampton Jenrette is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina and received an MBA from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business.

Read an Excerpt

Restoring fine old homes to their former glory has been a hobby—some say a passion—of mine for the past thirty years. A disease might be a more accurate description! Friends have described me as a "house-aholic" who can't say no to a fine old house that has fallen on hard times.

It is certainly true that I seem to have an affinity for endangered old houses; they seem to seek me out. Currently I own six historic properties, most of them dating back to the early nineteenth century. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. I've owned and restored eight other old houses and rebuilt an antebellum hotel, all of which I later sold or gave away. Through involvement in various preservation groups, I've also had a hand in rescuing dozens of other old houses from possible destruction or ruination. No wonder people say I'm addicted to old houses.

None of my houses was acquired as a result of a conscious, planned decision to go out and a buy a home. I guess you could call these acquisitions "impulse purchases." I just stumbled on to them and each was irresistible. Even though I may not have had the money in the bank, at the time, I somehow always found a way to come up with the requisite funds. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Table of Contents



Confessions of a "House-aholic"

How I Got Hooked on Old Houses

On My Own (Early Influences)

Days of Empire (The Late 1960s)

One Sutton Place North: The Crown Jewel That Got Away

My Conversion to Americana

The Return to Prosperity (And More Old Houses)

The Roper House: How It All Got Started


Ayr Mount

Cane Garden

The George F. Baker House, Part I

The George F. Baker House, Part II

Millford Plantation: My Taj Mahal

Home Away from Home


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Adventures with Old Houses 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Amazing.....!Excellent......!Just enjoy it.....!