The Mount (Edith Wharton’s Residence)

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Lenox, MA

Owner: Edith Wharton Restoration, Inc.

Project Type: Interior and Exterior Restoration; Historic Structure Report

The Mount was the home of Edith Wharton, the noted American author of twenty-one novels including The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth. Wharton built the house between 1901 and 1902, and lived there until 1911. After serving as a private residence and later as a private school dormitory, Edith Wharton Restoration, Inc. purchased the much-deteriorated estate in 1980 and began the preservation effort.

John G. Waite Associates, Architects prepared a detailed historic structure report for The Mount, assembling all known documentary materials relating to the building and conducting a comprehensive survey of the existing conditions of the building. In 1997, the historic structure report was published by Edith Wharton Restoration, Inc. In later phases the firm prepared documents for the complete restoration of the exterior, remedial structural work, and the installation of new HVAC, electrical, and fire protection systems. New mechanical equipment was constructed in a vault built into a hillside, outside of the historic building, eliminating the potential fire hazard from the structure.  The vault houses two wells for a state-of-the-art geothermal design, efficiently heating and cooling the house by utilizing groundwater to temper the system. The final phase of the project included restoration of the interior finishes.