If you’ve dined in The Madison Room at The Palace or enjoyed a cocktail in our corridor bar, formerly known as Gilt, then you are familiar with the space we are referring to and will be surprised to know some of its history.
In our previous post, “Past & Present with Mosette Broderick: Building The Villard Mansion,” Broderick touched on various stories and anecdotes about the mansion, but there was one common theme that stuck out – the collaboration of artists. The development of the mansion consisted of different architects, designers and artists who later went on to be very prominent in their respective fields coming together to create a progressive landmark.
The corridor as we know it is a very sophisticated space. The room’s lighting creates a warm ambiance as it bounces of the golden walls. Like so many other spaces in the Villard Mansion, it is the first time that designs mimicked those of their European counterparts. Initially, the room was painted in blue and greens, but after Villard moved out of the mansion the Reid’s took ownership and they commissioned John Lafarge in 1886/1887 to create paintings for the room. Lafarge used the blue and green color as a palette for his half-moon shaped paintings.
Later, in 1889 the Reid’s worked with Stanford White to update the corridor and in true White fashion, he completely changed the scheme of the room. White used gold and white to line the walls, which ultimately upstaged Lafarge’s paintings.
It is said that when Lafarge saw the golden room he became furious as he felt White redesigned the space purposefully to make his artwork look unflattering in the space. As a result, the two never spoke again.
Although a friendship was severed, this clash of artistic design has resulted in a beautiful room that has served our guests for years. Stop by the corridor and soak up all the handcrafted designs that the space has to offer.