I want to start by saying that I LOVE to tour old houses and gardens, so I figured Winterthur was a MUST for the hubby and me. When we got onto the property we had a hard time finding the visitor center, because the signs pointing the way were a little wonky. Once we figured out where to go we started the day with the grounds tour on a trolley which was pleasant enough although nothing particularly spectacular to look at.
Then we got dropped off at the house and this is where things got more confusing for me. Forgive me but the house is hard to figure out from the outside because they now have a library/museum/classrooms(?) all attached to it, so the viewer cannot get a sense of the house at all. We enter into the museum section and do some exploring. They have a 15 minutes film clip that is on a continuous cycle that gives a short history about the house and family. It is somewhat chopped up and I would have liked to have seen something more comprehensive to get a sense of the history. The museum largely is a sampling of DuPont's Americana collection with references to the time periods he focused on. I did enjoy seeing how furniture evolved during the course of American history. We then take the "general admission" tour of the house which gives you a tour of roughly 10 to 15 rooms - mostly those used for entertaining. The rooms were all spectacularly furnished and decorated, but again, hard to figure out where we are within the grand scheme of over 100 rooms. It isn't like they take you through the front door of the house and start from there - its literally like you are in a waiting room then you hop on an elevator and *bam* your in the middle of the house (I think she said we were on the 5th floor). It is just kind of weird to get a very partial view of the home and very discombobulating if you ask me. So it was unfortunately not one of the nicest house tours I had taken. The rooms are lovely, but again I cannot get the "personality" of the house from either the inside or the outside due to so many different interferences.
We then went back to the visitors center to grab a bite to eat. As we had expected the food was overpriced and did not taste good.
I was very disappointed overall in Winterthur. I don't know if I missed something along the way or what, but I do not quite understand the entirety of this historic home.
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