Saratoga's Pompeia

saratoga pompeiaThe vintage photo blog Shorpy featured a 1901 photo today from a home on Broadway in Saratoga Springs -- a building that included a replica of a home from ancient Pompeii. It's a beautiful scene (be sure to click through for a larger view).

Blogging Pompeii -- a Pompeii blog -- dug into the history of the building last year (and found a bunch of photos):

The Pompeia was built in 1889 by Boston hardware merchant and architect, Franklin Webster Smith, once dubbed 'Reconstruction Smith'. He had already built the Villa Zorayda in St Augustine, Florida (a Moorish Palace) and the Casa Monica Hotel, also in St. Augustine (another Moorish castle but on what seems a far larger scale; the website contains historical images of the hotel, which are amazing). Smith was described as 'a man of vision and foresight' who wanted both to enhance Saratoga's prosperity and her cultural and intellectual standing. Apparently he had a personal distaste for horse-racing and gambling, for which Saratoga was famous.

According to Blogging Pompei, the building has had a string of different owners and mishaps over its lifetime (apparently there was an incident involving smoldering mummies). The building still stands today -- though not as a house. It's now the offices of Palio, an advertising firm.

(Thanks, CJ!)

photo: Shorpy

Comments

"Smoldering mummies..."

Now that sounds intriguing!

After a long hard day - this was fascinating! Thanks!

I have one of Franklin Webster Smith's books containing his vast plans for a national history and world cultural museum in Washington DC. The best part is his "Plans and Suggestions for the Aggrandizement of Washington"- it called for a new Executive Mansion bigger than the Library of Congress (and designed by the same architects) and generally rebuilding the whole city to look like Paris, but much bigger and fancier.

This is what I love about AOA. Never knew about this place, but it sounds fascinating.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine