The first floor of the main house has six spacious rooms including a grand entrance hall leading to a two-tiered terrace. The layout encompasses 6,000 square feet, offering the perfect setting and ambiance for social gatherings of 50 to 275 people.
Great Hall & Terrace
The heart of the house is the great hall with a ceiling soaring two stories high. Distinguishing features here include: a massive carved stone fireplace, an elegant staircase, and pilasters with ionic capitals. Three Roman arches frame French doors accessing the flagstone terrace and sprawling lawn. The vaulted ceiling is reminiscent of the New York Public Library’s famous Astor Hall, which Carrère and Hastings designed in 1897. Similar to the library, the great hall’s open atmosphere is designed to create a grand first impression and accommodate many guests comfortably. Today, toasts from the top of the stairs, the first dance, and often the ceremony itself take place here.
Living Room & Veranda
The largest room in the west wing, the living room is finished in original black walnut paneling and rich brocade wallpaper. The room was designed to accommodate formal social gatherings of men and women. Centered in the room is a large dance floor and French doors providing access to the covered veranda.
Library & Side Garden
Adjoining the living room and providing access to the manicured side garden, the library is a masculine space with floor to ceiling bookshelves and a carved fireplace with bronze reliefs of Grecian nymphs inspired by the Parisian, Fountain of the Innocents. The American white-oak shelves and mantle are the ideal location to display family photographs and personal mementos.
Finished in the style of Louis XVI, warm pink wall panels are set off by plaster details trimmed in gold leaf and creamy tracery. The room is anchored by a majestic fireplace with an Italian Sienna marble mantle and a French plate glass mirror rising to ceiling height. The Pitcairns were a musical family, and two generations of their children had music lessons in this room. The space was used for chamber music performances by John and Gertrude’s eldest son Raymond and his wife.
During the Gilded Age, a formal dining room was vital to every hostess. Meals were the primary focus of social life. The dining room, with its inset ceiling, panel pocket doors, built-in seating flanking a large fireplace, and stunning view of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral, was designed for a spectacular dining experience. A carved Hebrew inscription above the fireplace reads: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 107.1 NKJV). This scripture was chosen for this location because it was a favorite meal blessing of the Pitcairn family.
Billiard Room & Porte Cochere
Historically, the billiard room was a space to which men could retreat to smoke and discuss business or politics without offending the ladies. A billiard table was originally located here and two louver vents remain encased in the ceiling moldings to vent the cigar smoke. Today, an intimate dinner for 50 guests, a signature drink display, and often a cigar lounge in the adjoining porte-cochere take place here.