Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Farewell to Bannerman Castle


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

I have cut the amount of newsletters I receive down to practically nothing, but there are a few that are a treat to receive. They include high style from Balustrade and Bitters, the always entertaining and infrequent letters from Blu Dot, and the interesting updates from The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Sadly, this month they reported the loss of most of the Bannerman Castle Ruins. The castle has a “scenic ruin” designation from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and now all but one wall and part of another are standing.

The silver lining of the story is that the talented photographer John Midgley shot a fantastic spread for Esquire with the castle, combined with a moody sky, providing a sublime and surreal backdrop. You can see the whole shoot here, and here’s a teaser in memory of the lost tower and walls:

SIDE NOTE: I just bought my first issue of Esquire this month, because Tina Fey was on the cover, and I loved it. Now it’s crossed my path again with this…I’m starting to think I should subscribe. I’m curious – ladies, do any of you subscribe to Esquire?

Another question: Besides Hearst Castle, where are other  castles in the U.S.? It seems so bizarre to me – all I can think of is Lex Luthor’s castle on Smallville. Yes, I’m a geek. I’m in my thirties and I watch Smallville religiously.

O.K. One last question: Do you have some favorite ruins in the U.S.? Our civilization is so young we aren’t packed with the poetic ones like they are in other countries. Ruins can be so beautiful; most of the ones I can think of are industrial ruins; old brick factories overtaken by plants, dilapidated barns, even Alcatraz has beauty. I always loved the Barboursville ruins outside of Charlottesville Virginia. At one point it was the most lavish mansion in the regioin, a Palladian design by Thomas Jefferson. Sadly, the house was destroyed, but the ruins are a landmark as-is (I love the verticality of the fireplaces and the front columns):

Castle photographs by John Midgley for Esquire

Barboursville header from The 1804 Inn at Barboursville.