September 1, 2013


From 1902 to 1903 Robert Todd Lincoln, the only child of Mary Todd Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln to live to adulthood, purchased 500 acres of land for $30 an acre in Manchester, Vermont, with plans to build a home. On April 18th 1903, construction of the home began with builder Ira G. Hersey of Boston Massachusetts and Architects Sheply and Rutlan & Coolidge, also of Boston. On June 20th of 1905, the Lincolns moved into the home calling it Hildene. The 8000 square foot, Georgian Revival style home has 24 rooms, 8 bathrooms, a basement, an attic, 8 fireplaces, and two coal fired furnaces, and lest us forget the Pipe organ that was installed in 1908.  The estate also features formal gardens that were added in 1907 and designed by Frederick Todd, an apprentice of Frederick Law Olmstead who designed New York’s Central Park.  According to archives by, “the Hoyt Formal Garden  was designed in 1907 for Mary Harlan Lincoln by her daughter Jessie. Her design was influenced by French parterre gardens she had seen while the family lived in Europe and she wanted the garden to resemble a stained-glass Romanesque cathedral window. The panes of colored glass were produced by different colored flowers and privet hedge was planted to represent the leading between the panes. In mid-June, over 1,000 peony blossoms from original plantings fill the garden with color.” Additional features of the estate include an observatory, meadows, walking trails, a carriage barn, a Franklin Roadster, and a Pullman car sunbeam. Hildene is a wonderful American home. I hope that anyone passing through Manchester stops to visit the historical estate.



Sarah A. Blank



Sarah Blank Design Studio is an architectural design firm that specializes in high-end kitchens, butler’s pantries, libraries, master bedrooms, and bath suites.  The firm works predominantly in Fairfield County and Westchester County. Our award winning firm, with 33 years of experience, often works beyond the kitchens and baths of a clients home, and designs the architectural interiors for many of the projects that have been commissioned.