The Phelps Mansion Museum was built to be the biggest house on a street of mansions.
The brick and stone mansion, with it’s highest point surpassing 50 feet, still proudly sits on Binghamton’s Court street.
First built in 1870, the mansion was designed for Sherman Phelps by Isaac Perry, who was the architect behind many of New York state’s iconic buildings. The Phelps mansion, in particular, is one of his most remarkable creations. The building, which is now a museum, has been carefully curated and is filled with beautiful pieces.
The first floor is adorned with huge chandeliers, which are complemented by the ornate original woodwork. The decadence of the first floor is contrasted by the second floor, which is significantly less flashy (though still absurdly fancy), since guests would never go upstairs. Throughout both floors there are intricate hand-painted wallpapers and generous slabs of Italian marble, which cover the floor of the foyer and surround many of the fireplaces.
Much of the furniture in the house was bought after 1905 by the Monday Afternoon Club, a women’s civic organization that took over the mansion. The things they brought were also stunning, enhancing the mansion’s intrinsic majesty. In the parlor, there’s even a piano with opalescent mother of pearl keys.
I was blown away by the Phelps mansion; if I wasn’t afraid of ghosts I would love to live there. Aside from the amazing features, like the gigantic 10 foot mirror across from the grand staircase, the tour was fun and informative.
The mansion offers guided tours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
The OCCT Leroy Southside bus (LRS) runs from campus to Court and Washington, which is about a block away from the museum.
More information can be found at http://phelpsmansion.org