07 May, 2013

Villa Turicum Today

Every so often I will receive an email asking me either a: if anything of Villa Turicum still exists, or, b: if it (does) can it be visited? I always smile at the former question as it makes it obvious to me that the correspondent has not visited the Villa Turicum website proper - where there is a page titled appropriately, "Today."

The front of the former pool house/changing rooms and the tunnel to the house elevator. (Photo by Charles Birnbaum [2003] The Cultural Landscape Foundation)

As for the question of visiting Villa Turicum, I try to discourage it. The property was originally 300 acres, and when Robert Kendler purchased it in the 1950s it had only shrunk slightly due to some sell-offs to pay various delinquent bills over the years. The residential real estate development he cultivated on 1-3 acre sites was named "Villa Turicum," and the community has more than a few homes located on Edith Rockefeller McCormick's former estate.

The dolphin fountain on the second terrace below where the house was situated. (Photo by Charles Birnbaum [2003] The Cultural Landscape Foundation)

There are some elements of  Edith's Villa Turicum that remain extant, but they are located on private property. Fortunately, the Cultural Landscape Foundation has a page on their website that is almost a virtual tour for the curious. I highly encourage a to visit it; it saves gasoline,  and in our hectic lives, time. The pictures give a true sense of the place, and the map function can alternate between traditional and satellite views.

(The Cultural Landscape Foundation - Click Here)

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