This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The White House on Park Ave (Part 1)

Rensselaer's only bed and breakfast is located in the White House on Park Ave. The White House is also known as the Emmet Kannal House, and it was built in 1891. Many years ago it was on a tour of homes, and I recall that it originally had an extra floor, but a fire resulted in the building losing its top floor. It still is a very impressive house, though the Jasper County Interim Report only gives it a ranking of "Contributing." It may be that in the renovation after the fire the house lost a lot of its original Queen Anne ornamentation.

Recently I was invited to a small party at the White House, and I took pictures. (Are you surprised?) As you approach the house at night, you will see several stained glass windows. Since I have a tag for stained glass, I have to include a picture of them.

The whole house is very tastefully decorated. This room is not immediately adjacent to the entry way, but close to it. The hosts, Fred and Sally Berger had the Christmas decorations up, and they were wonderful.
 
One of the notable features of the house is the woodwork, a lot of it in the form of spindles. I liked the woven panel at the end.
 
Below is the center of the decorative woodworking that is shown above. I know very little about this form of house decoration. It seems to have died out in the twentieth century. If you know more and can provide some background, feel free to comment.
 
From the dining area you can proceed into a sitting room. I think the guests can watch television in this room if they do not want to stay in their bedrooms upstairs. 
 
When the Bergers bought the White House, I went to their open house and pondered this inscription for twenty minutes trying to figure out what it said. Eventually I figured out a very rough translation. It helps to have taken Latin in high school, but it hurts that high school was over forty years ago.

There are several elaborate candelabras in the house, but none is more elaborate than this one near the entryway.
 
We are in the little room to the left of the entrance, the room that has the candelabra shown above. Behind us is the room with the piano and white Christmas tree. The partial door on the extreme left leads to the dining area. A small fireplace (one of several in the house) is on the right. In front of us we see more spindle work and beyond it is the main staircase to the second floor.
 
As we go up the stairs and look back down, we get a better view of the room we just left. 
 
The guest bedrooms are on the second floor. We will look at them another day. Below you see the main hallway, which has more beautiful woodwork. 
 
If you cannot wait to see what the bedrooms look like, you can cheat and see them here. You can even find out how much it costs to stay in one of them.

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