Ventfort Hall (1891)

Ventfort Hall

Ventfort Hall, a Gilded Age mansion in Lenox, was built in 1891 by George Morgan and his wife, Sarah, the sister of J. Pierpont Morgan. The house was designed in the Elizabethan Revival style by the Boston architectural firm of Rotch & Tilden. The name of Venfort Hall is from vent fort, or “strong wind.” The house stands on the site once occupied by the Italianate villa owned by the Haggerty family. Annie Haggerty married Col. Robert Gould Shaw, who commanded the famous black regiment, the 54th Massachusetts, in the Civil War. After the Morgans died, the house passed through various renters and owners, eventually serving as a dormitory for Tanglewood students, a hotel, a summer ballet camp and housing for a religious community. In danger of being demolished, the Ventfort Hall Association (VHA) purchased the house in 1997, restoring it and opening it for tours and exhibits. The mansion appeared as the orphanage in the film The Cider House Rules (1998).

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