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Big screen inspiration, Troy-style


The weather around here is bringing me down. This morning, while driving to work, the temperature was a balmy 14 degrees. The sun was shining so it could be worse, but this many weeks in a state of perpetual cold has taken it’s toll on my motivation. Our house is cold (thanks to ultra-high gas bills we’ve been lowering the thermostat), so when I get home the only thing I want to do is curl up in a blanket on the couch.

The key, then, is to make my couch time productive in some way. That’s why I’ve decided to rent a few “victoriana” movies so I can fawn over the gorgeous sets.

I found a great list of movies at the Victorian Preservation Association site ( to get me started.

The Age of Innocence is at the top of our list, and might be my first rental. This movie was partially filmed in Troy, NY – my old college town. Downtown Troy has it’s fair share of crime and poverty, but it also has some beautiful victorian-era buildings, storefronts and ironwork. Numerous other movies have been filmed there as well, including The Time Machine, The Bostonians, and the The Emperors Club. The house that is featured in Age of Innocence is actually a frat house; students call it “The Castle” because, well, it looks like an old stone castle plunked down in the middle of Troy. At the time of it’s construction in the 1890’s, it was heralded as the most extravagant residence in Troy


I can remember my first visit to the Castle; I was completely amazed by the beauty of the house. I spent half the night talking one of the brothers into taking me on a tour; I remember tons of fireplaces, marble walls, and the fanciest woodwork I’ve ever laid eyes on. I found a few photos the boys have posted online. You can check them out here:

You’ll be happy to know that, at least when I was there, they took very good care of the place. Guests weren’t allowed in any of the fancy rooms, plywood covered the nice rugs and hardwoods, and parties were held in the attic where spills would go unnoticed

Some additional Troy links:

Historic Home Supply, a great salvage shop located on the riverfront.

Info about Troy, courtesy of my alma mater.

Oakwood Cemetary, where Uncle Sam was buried!

The Rensselaer County Historical Society
(a Troy house blog; I used to live on this same street!)

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 03.13.05:

Cool idea for maximizing that couch time! I always admire the houses and interiors in movies. I’ve noticed a surprising number of subway-and-hex-tiled bathrooms lately.

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