Reimagining a Historic Estate at Annual Mansion in May

One of New Jersey’s most anticipated charity events is expected to attract more than 30,000 home-decor fans to Alnwick Hall in Morris County.

To see how top designers redecorated Morris County's historic Alnwick Hall, visit the Mansion in May fundraiser this month.
To see how top designers redecorated Morris County's historic Alnwick Hall, visit the Mansion in May fundraiser this month.
Photo courtesy if Mansion in May/Wing Wong/Memories TTL

One of New Jersey’s most anticipated charity events, the 2017 Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens, is expected to attract more than 30,000 home-decor fans to Alnwick Hall, a Morris County landmark for more than a century. For the month-long event, 45 interior and 17 landscape designers were chosen to infuse the 20,000-square-foot mansion with eye-popping furniture, lighting, window treatments, artwork and flowers.

Every other year, the Women’s Association of Morristown Medical Center organizes the Mansion in May benefit. This year’s edition, supported by 1,300 volunteers, will help establish a Center for Nursing Innovation and Research at the hospital. Since 1974, the previous 17 mansion events have raised more than $10 million for worthwhile causes at the medical center.

Known by Morris County locals as the Abbey, the circa-1903 Alnwick Hall is a brick mansion modeled after centuries-old homes such as Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England.

Designed by renowned architect Percy Griffin, the Abbey is a rare and virtually unaltered survivor of Millionaires’ Row, the stately stretch of Madison Avenue between Morristown and Madison that, during the area’s Gilded Age, was lined with similarly opulent estates.

“The historic significance and urban location of the Abbey attracted particular designer interest,” says Megan Cassie Schubiger, event cochair.

“Chosen designers submitted unique proposals,” says Katherine Sheeleigh, one of the design chairs. Many drew inspiration from personal experiences, adds Sheeleigh, “including travels throughout the world, design work in all sizes and types of residences, and backgrounds using color, texture and design elements to create new concepts. This year’s Abbey is truly exceptional.”

Formerly the country residence of attorney and businessman Edward Peter Meany and his wife, cultural enthusiast and socialite Rosalie Behr, the Abbey was party central in its early-20th-century heyday. Each year, the Meanys hosted festive musicales in their grand ballroom, often catered by Delmonico’s, the iconic New York City restaurant. Joining Madison and Morristown’s turn-of-the-century glitterati were members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and international musical stars.

The Mansion in May will be open to the public for daily tours, 10 am to 3 pm, from May 1 through May 31. Tickets are available at mansioninmay.org for $40 before May 1. After May 1, tickets online and at the door are $50. Gift shops and lunch will be available to guests. Private tours and special events may also be arranged. Weekday visits are encouraged; lines tend to be longer on weekends.

For the full list of designers and landscapers, visit njmonthly.com/mansion-designers.

Click here to leave a comment
There are no photos with those IDs or post 153141 does not have any attached images!
Read more Home & Garden articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.