Series VI. Residences

1928-1985, n.d.

10.5 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series documents where McIlhenny made his home and the measures he took to make each residence suitable to his tastes. Correspondence, invoices and receipts make up the bulk of the material, documenting approximately half a century of fine living, along with photographs, drawings, fabric swatches and ephemera. The "Philadelphia" subseries pertains to several addresses in the metropolitan area, including the family homestead in Germantown, McIlhenny's later home in Center City and his sister's homes in Chestnut Hill and later in Villanova. Apparently any and all residential expenses for McIlhenny and his family were paid from accounts he maintained as head of the family after his father's death, which could account for documentation of his and of his sister's homes. The second subseries, "Glenveagh," pertains primarily to McIlhenny's country getaway in the northwest of Ireland, which was nothing less than a secluded castle and garden surrounded by 24,000 acres of fields, forests, lakes and streams. A small portion of the Glenveagh material pertains to Dunlewy, another estate in the area, which McIlhenny owned apparently as a rental property for approximately ten years. The third subseries, "Gardening and related topics" reflects a passion shared by the McIlhenny family, and documents horticultural ventures from the mundane, such as lawn service, to the more innovative, such as shipping blueberry plants to cultivate in Ireland. Material consists of a variety of papers, drawings and supplier catalogs pertaining to each of the Philadelphia area gardens, as well as for Glenveagh. A few items pertain to Bonnie Wintersteen's home in Maine, which seems to have been another family retreat.

While this series contains some documentation of how McIlhenny furnished his homes, the "Art collection" series should also be consulted since McIlhenny incorporated his collection of fine and decorative arts into his style of daily life. Most of the magazine articles in the "Articles, interviews and lectures" series also pertain to McIlhenny's homes, accompanied with interior and garden illustrations. There is also a piece written by McIlhenny about the Glenveagh gardens.

See Also:
Henry P. McIlhenny Papers / V. Art collection

Henry P. McIlhenny Papers / IV. Articles, interviews and lectures