Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Marland Mansion, Pt. 3

Half-way through doing Part 2, the internet went out, so we'll try to finish it here.
Marland gathered artisans from all over the world. There were so many that a huge studio was built on the grounds to give them a place to work and live. There were ornately painted ceilings, arches, domes, Italian murals, works of art like landscapes and life-sized portraits and statues, tapestries, custom cast bronze light fixtures weighing 250 lbs. each, stone carvings, and then Waterford crystal chandeliers and gold leaf that would run a couple million dollars. The artists would lie on their backs on scaffolds to paint the ceilings just as Michelangelo did in the Sistine Chapel of Rome. The sheer scantlings of the construction are mind warping. The floors are six inches of terrazzo over nine inches of concrete. The still-functional elevator is lined with buffalo leather. The walk-in closets are the size of bedrooms in many homes, are cedar-lined throughout, and a couple include wall safes for jewelry.

The Main Ballroom with Waterford crystal chandelier
and portraits of E.W. and Lydie Marland.
Hand-painted arched ceiling of
loggia or hallway.

Mr. and Mrs. Marland had not just separate beds, but separate suites, separate dressing rooms, carved fire places, and each distinctly decorated and furnished to the individual’s taste. Mr. Marland’s suite was done in a soothing soft green with a walnut-lined dressing room. The suite included an office he used for his oil business as well as work for the state while he served as congressman and Oklahoma’s tenth governor. If the labor made him a little tense and tired, his bath included one of the country’s first saunas and a shower with 11 ceramic nozzles in the dinner-plate-sized showerhead. His personal library immediately caught my attention, and included a full-set, first-edition of the complete works of Mark Twain.

Marland's private study.

Mr. Marland's bedroom.

Lydie's bedroom in limewood and rose.

The tour of the estate would take at least a half-day, and to list all the attractions here would make this the Marland Mansion blog. This is only a taste, or enticement to see this wonderful creation for yourself. The saddest part of the whole legacy for me was that between his oil business, serving in Washington and the Oklahoma State Capital, the Marlands only lived in their new home a bit over two years.

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