Sunday, October 14, 2012

A High Society Lady's Domain

Praised as the most exquisite and beautifully-crafted of the Bellevue-Stratford's interiors!
 The Ladies' Reception-Room

The respite of a lady has always been defined by pales and pastels, and cheerful decorations... This is so of the Ladies' Reception-Room of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Easily hailed as the most opulent and grandiose interior ever devised for Boldt's masterpiece, with its decorations and colours carefully picked out by Mrs. Boldt and realised by the great Wanamaker himself! A charming domain for Philadelphia's female patrons indeed!

A perfectly crafted interior decked with reflective French grey satin brocatelle on the lofty walls and cream and enameled paneling and pilasters with delicate bas-relief and moldings. The dainty furniture upholstered in pin-cushion style tying together the room which wholly was reminiscent of the Louis XVI style and grandeur! The Hotel's lady patrons could relax the time away socializing, taking afternoon tea or gossip about Worth's latest turnout on the fashion stage! The great mantel with its arched mirror and decorative bas-relief made the room even more larger then it already was! The floor-to-ceiling windows draped in silvers and greys with lace underlining them giving views out to Walnut Street a far... All of the furniture skillfully decorated and manufactured by John Wanamaker, the then owner of the infamous Wanamaker's Department Store! Truly only the best for Philadelphia's Grand Dame!

The torturous 1970's and 80's changed the face of the beautiful Bellevue-Stratford forevermore... This once opulent and regal interior was handed over like a pig to the slaughter house and stripped of its beauty, its grace, its originality and charm to become a posh fashion boutique servicing women! The Rubin Co. did nothing more then completely gut and erase a most admirable and stunning chambre that even during the 1940's was steadfastly becoming seen as "anachronistic" and even "offensive!" For the sake of modernization, the historic and ancient French salon had to be disposed of...

All of it for what!? A brick wall facing the Walnut Street entrance!? One of the most upsetting tragedies of the Bellevue-Stratford...

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