Preservation Issues

Conservancy Secures Grant for Morris-Jumel Interiors

December, 2018

Thanks to Conservancy matchmaking, two French-themed rooms at the 1765 Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights will be restored with funding from The Versailles Foundation.

The Conservancy received a call from The Versailles Foundation in early December asking if we knew of a French-themed project in New York. We quickly called the Mansion, knowing of its French connections. We discovered they had plans for restoring the French Reception Room and the Eliza Jumel Bedroom, but no funding. These rooms feature early 19th century French furniture, wall paper, draperies and carpeting purchased by Stephen and Eliza Jumel on a trip to France. Stephen, a French émigré, purchased the Mansion in 1810.

We sent the estimates to The Versailles Foundation and they quickly agreed to cover the $203,000 total cost. Work is expected to begin early this year. The Mansion’s Trustees are delighted—and so are we. Merci!

The landmarked Mansion is the oldest house in Manhattan and has an incredible history. It was built by a British patriot. George Washington used it as his headquarters for two months in 1776 during the Revolutionary War. Washington held his first cabinet meeting at the Mansion as President. After Stephen Jumel died, Eliza Jumel had a short-lived marriage to Aaron Burr. The building itself is an impressive pre-Revolutionary Georgian mansion with an unusual octagonal rear wing.