Thursday, April 16, 2015

Good Fences

Sylvanius
 
This is the former Albert S. Heck mansion just outside my hometown of Spencer, West Virginia. It was built in 1925, and is a two story, brick Neoclassical style mansion. It has 17 rooms, 6 baths and a full basement. It features a front portico with two story fluted Corinthian order columns and pilasters attached at the return to the house. The basement features locker rooms and showers. The house was built by Albert Heck, a local business man who invested in the booming oil industry in the early 1920s. He had come to Spencer with the railroad and later found and developed a local oil field.
 
The mansion and grounds were designed specifically for Heck's family. Each bedroom was built for an individual. A tennis court with adjoining locker room was constructed to satisfy Heck's interest in the game.  He named the place "Sylvanius" – his middle name!

The Great Depression hit Albert Heck hard and he was forced to sell his property. The McIntosh family purchased it in 1936 and until just recently it was known as the McIntosh Mansion.
The mansion was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 and is now privately owned. The property has been renamed (restored actually) to the name of Sylvanius.

The hand forged gate you see is a recent addition to the property. I am quite proud to say it was made by one of my former high school classmates, Jeff Fetty. Jeff has done commissions for writer Tom Clancy, former president Bill Clinton, musician Jon Bon Jovi, the Globe Theatre in London, and others. While he is internationally known he is a quiet and down to earth kind of guy. The gates were installed just a few weeks ago and I was finally able to go over this past weekend and see his finished work.

Linking to Good Fences

15 comments:

Margaret Adamson said...

what a wonderful story about the history of the house and about who made those fantastic gates.

TexWisGirl said...

how beautiful! love that you know the gentleman who put in the lovely entrance!!

George said...

That beautiful gate is a perfect fit for the mansion behind it. Thanks for the interesting information.

Rose said...

that is a beautiful gate! Wonderful that your classmate was so successful. And I loved the history of the house, even though it was sort of sad. Just like knowing the story.

Karen S. said...

Wow, he did a marvelous job. What a lovely place it is as well. He did well in adding even more charm to the mansion.

Marie C said...

I am so impressed with your friend's work! It's a beautiful gate! Love the house as well, and enjoyed reading its history!

Ida said...

First I love the style of that home. I bet it's grand inside. It sure is outside. That gate is awesome and really adds to the charm of this beautiful home.

Red said...

So this is a very good fence with a lot of interesting fiction.

eileeninmd said...

The mansion and the entrance gate are just beautiful. Great shot, Carletta! Have a happy day!

DeniseinVA said...

That is a very grand looking house with a gorgeous entrance. Your friend is a true artist to create such a beautiful gate. How neat that he is such a nice down-to-earth person considering he is very famous in his own right. That speaks of true character. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my pet hospital mural Carletta, and have a great day :)

Annesphamily said...

So lovely! It is so neat that you know this gentleman who designed that beautiful gate! What a lovely friend to have. Thank you for sharing and enjoy a wonderful weekend.

Felicia said...

Jeff does great work and the house is lovely too.

Pietro and Cynthia said...

Very interesting, Carletta, fantastic gate!

EG CameraGirl said...

I very much like the look of this one-of-a-kind gate! Talented guy! How nice he hasn't let his success go to his head.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful unique gate -- a talented artist/craftsman indeed. Interesting history of the mansion and also of your friend's work.