January 21, 2011

Feature: Lilly House/Oldfields

I'm madly in love with the Lilly House and the surrounding gardens at the IMA.  The 22-room mansion sits on 26 acres and is known historically as Oldfields.  The house was built in the French chateau-style in the early 1910s.  The house and surrounding area has undergone many changes since then.

The Loggia (bottom left in the above photo) is my favorite space in the house.  It's filled with so much light, and you get an incredible view of the outdoors.  The murals weren't added until the 1950s.  These were created by Douglas Riseborough.  This is also the only room in the house that has been restored to its appearance in the 1950s.  The rest of the house has been restored to the 1930s.

At the beginning of January, the inside of Lilly House was decorated for the holidays.  It was so charming.  My favorite decoration was in the Stair Hall.  It was a hot air balloon mistletoe ball.  It is said that "young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under [the mistletoe], plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases." (Christmas Eve by Washington Irving)

The third floor of the house is not open to visitors.  I've been told that this floor is a ballroom.  I imagine it's wonderful.  Maybe one day they'll be able to open it back up.

Lilly House
4000 North Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46208