Music-world consultant Andrea Anson’s 1830s Manhattan home is a story teller and a world of emotions! African artifacts, European accents, and fond memories fill the townhouse and take us to another time and place.
As soon as we enter de house, we feel like we are inside an english country house from the 19th century. The walls are filled with gilt-framed portraits and landscapes and Turkish carpets. Most of these treasures were brought from Anson’s parents – a widowed Italian duchess and a British Army officer – italian apartment. Accompanying him was his partner, Gordon McCollum, a commercial real-estate executive with an encyclopedic knowledge of New York City architecture.
McCollum’s acquired the house in the 1970 and made a huge restoration of the building, which was in a pretty bad shape. McCollum retrieved period architectural details from demolition sites in New York and transplanted an 1830s staircase from a condemned house in Connecticut. Beige and white paints were applied to the walls in order to offer a neutral background for a few sinewy American Colonial antiques.
Then, in 1978, along came Anson and together the couple made the decor evolve to a mix os english decor styles and eras. An austere guest room, for example, was redecorated à la Charleston, and became a pattern-rich space. Accenting an 18th-century English chest of drawers in the rear parlor are African artifacts, their presence an oblique reference to Anson’s mother, who first married a son of Mussolini’s viceroy of Ethiopia.
In the top-floor office red-framed family photographs spanning more than a century wrap the green walls. The illustrated family tree encompasses an English grandfather who lived on a ranch in Texas and befriended Calamity Jane; an Italian marquis who married a niece; a brother who served as a page at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation; and a late uncle’s longtime mistress, who is sending over a crate of family portraits by Paulo Ghiglia, a gifted 20th-century Italian artist.
The elegant ecletic decor gives a rich visual aspect to the house and all the art treasures inside make this house a perfect fitting for our surprising collection of the world’s most luxurious homes.
Source: Architectural Digest