Sonnenberg

# 7047

# 7047

Sonnenberg mansion dates back to 1887 and was the former summer home to  Frederick Ferris and Mary Clark Thompson.  (I have a summer home too, but it’s also my winter, spring and fall home.)  The mansion and surrounding gardens is now open to the public.  We visited last Saturday and had a great time.  The weather was sunny and in the upper 70’s (F) with barely a breeze.   I was hoping for a little more overcast to cut the shadows but, except for a few clouds, the sun was shining all day.  That may account for the postcard look of the top photo.  But I love postcards and when we vacation I always look for the more interesting ones.

In one of the interior shots you’ll notice what looks like a child’s bathtub.  It’s the only one I’ve seen like it.  Click on any image to enter the gallery.

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42 thoughts on “Sonnenberg

  1. Charles Ford

    Wow! What a home. Once again, whatever post-processing mojo you have conjured up here has given these that light, airy, painterly feeling. Oh, and I see you in the mirror!

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Charles. 7008 and 7068 were HDR processed because of the very high contrast which blocked up the shadows too much. The NIK HDR Pro does a good job of opening up shadows and saving highlight detail. I may work on these to get a little more realistic look but the software did a fine job whit little effort on my part.

      Reply
  2. Paul

    That is quite a beautiful place! And you are correct, it certainly looks like a postcard, but that’s a good thing. The Vanderbilt’s have a place here in NC, Biltmore Mansion. I’ve been here for going on 10 years and I’ve yet to visit it. Perhaps I’m a cheapskate and don’t want to pay the $60 admission to get in; however, looking at your photo, quite honestly, makes we a bit curious about it.

    Reply
    1. John Linn

      Paul, the Sonnenberg is really nice, but no match to the Biltmore.

      The Biltmore was worth the money for my wife an I when we visited a few years ago. It is a very large, very impressive home with beautiful gardens and situated on a huge property. They have made it into a MAJOR tourist destination with a high end hotel and winery on the grounds.

      The Sonnenberg is situated in a town with neighbors surrounding it… again nice, but not a Biltmore.

      Reply
    2. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Paul. WOW!!! $60 sounds steep but I think the Biltmore might be worth it. I have only read about it and seen some photos but, as mansions go, it’s pretty nice. I visited the Hearst Castle in San Simeon a few years ago and that was $20 for the guided tour (which you were not allowed to leave). Lots of photo ops but I was without a camera.

      Reply
      1. oneowner Post author

        I was on a business trip and I had too many things to bring with me to include a camera. I didn’t have a little point & shoot at the time.

  3. Earl

    Ken, nice “little place” they had. 🙂 The post card look suits the subject matter very well — as having a home such as this seem completely surreal to me. I enjoy visiting places such as this but often think how much more good could have been done with the money instead of building such lavish homes/second homes. Nice gallery of photos.

    Reply
  4. John Linn

    Ken, I love the look you achieved with these images. The do have a postcard quality to them. Have not been there in years, but it appears to be in great shape and looking good… at least in your photos it does.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, John. It’s showing it’s age in some spots but it’s a difficult site to maintain since most of the upkeep is done by volunteers. If it were a little closer to Webster (Where Life is Worth Living) I might volunteer there myself.

      Reply
  5. Howard Grill

    Very nice photos. It is always hard to get good shots when you happen to be visiting someplace. But these are really nice….how did you get rid of the other visitors in the photos?

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Howard. There were a lot of people there but I just set up my shots and waited till there were as few people as possible. It works, at least most of the time.

      Reply
  6. LensScaper

    I really like the slightly dreamy feel to the two main shots of the building. They would make really nice postcards, Ken. A fascinating gallery of images too – I enjoyed the one of the piled up chairs especially.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Art. The gardens surrounding the house are what really draw people here. The rose gardens bring in folks by the bus load in season. Not many roses last week, though.

      Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      I think the chairs are used for special occasions where patrons can sit outside. Apparently, my visit was not a special occasion.
      Yes, we have consolidated all of our residences into one compact home which serves us well. We had to let go of most of the staff but I think, for the most part, they were happy to leave.

      Reply
      1. Melinda Green Harvey

        Emo was part of the staff you retained, though? We’re also down to minimal staff – two adults, one cat, a couple of fish. For the most part it’s working out well, although it would be nice to have a cook…..

      2. Melinda Green Harvey

        Yes, that’s what I meant. We are only allowed to live in our house because our cat can’t open the cat food bin. Once she figures it out, I am pretty sure we will live out our remaining years on the street, or under a bridge.

  7. ehpem

    I don’t think that’s a kids bath. I think it is a bidet for an exceptionally large adult.

    I like your processing of these shots, the HDR came out really well.

    Reply
      1. ehpem

        Is the pay better than in Texas?
        My work there is unpaid.
        I like it that for this job I did not have to do any research, I barely even had to use my imagination (and no visualisation was called for, thankfully). More of that kind of work would be welcome.

      2. oneowner Post author

        The pay is not better but NYS taxes are higher, so you may end up paying out of your own pocket for the position. There are some fringe benefits though: unlimited number of working hours and 2 days unpaid vacation every week!!!

      3. oneowner Post author

        Of course, I never thought he’d give up his day job for this gig. For one thing, it’s only 2 posts per week – It’s like a part time position! Plus I’d be paying him in cheap US dollars!

      4. Melinda Green Harvey

        (Unfortunately, I have been advised by Legal that I should not correspond with you until our own negotiations with Ehpem have been completed. However – and this is off the record – we have made him a lucrative counteroffer.)

      5. ehpem

        OK, here’s the deal. Ken is right, his is only part time. And Melinda is hinting at new directions, ones that for all I know may not need research, so I think I can handle both positions. With 2 days of unpaid vacation, I can’t resist.
        Now for a paying job seeing as how my current one is coming to an end …

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