focus on Side trips

August, 2016

Ten Chimneys offers a personal view

of the Golden Age of American theater

Alfred Lunt Pours Drink for Lynn Fontanne Poolside

Ten Chimneys in Genesee Depot, 30 minutes southwest of Milwaukee, was the summer home of theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. “Anyone who was anyone” in theatre, arts and literature visited from the roaring 1920s through the 1940s.

      Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the estate remains an important place for artistic creation, discussion and inspiration. Ten Chimneys is overflowing with memorabilia: notes from Laurence Olivier, snapshots of the Lunts with the Queen Mother, mementos from Helen Hayes and Noël Coward, inscribed first edition books from Edna Ferber  and Alexander Woollcott, and remembrances from dozens of others.

     More than just the Lunts’ home, Ten Chimneys was a home for the arts. Most of Ten Chimneys’ historic furnishings, hand-painted murals, personal décor, and diverse collections are intact and unchanged – original pieces hand-picked by

the Lunts in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. And the magic is undiminished. As guests are welcomed through the Lunts’ remarkable creation, they are surprised and then moved by countless details.

     Visitors are led through the estate by highly trained docents. Tours are available Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 2:45pm and Sunday, noon-2:45pm. The 2016 season ends Dec. 4. Reservations are highly recommended; phone (262) 968-4110.

      Remaining special events for 2016 are the All Access Day on Aug. 6; Wine Tasting & Food Pairing by Ruben Moreno, former captain and sommelier at The French Laundry and now proprietor of Soil & Vine, on Aug. 13; play reading on Oct. 17 and “Virgins to Villains” one-woman show by famed Shakespearean actress Robin Goodrin Nordli on Nov. 5.

 

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne with Three Friends at the Pool

From Milwaukee, take I-94 west towards Madison to Hwy 83 south, Hwy. 83 to Genesee Depot. When Hwy. 83 curves left, turn right onto Depot Road and watch for the Ten Chimneys sign on your left. For info, visit tenchimneys.org.