On a recent day trip my husband, Andrew, and I visited Beauport, the magnificent Sleeper-McCann house in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I love to tour historic buildings and Beauport is like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Literally built out onto the rocks, it was originally the summer residence of Henry Davis Sleeper, a well known interior designer. Henry, along with architect Halfden Hansen, began building in 1907. Throughout his life, Mr. Sleeper expanded Beauport, ending up with 56 rooms at the time of his death.
Then in 1935 the McCann family purchased it. And except for minors changes, they pretty much kept the house exactly the way Henry left it.
In a brilliant article about this magical place, author and historian, Howard Mansfield describes it perfectly. “Beauport is a dream that a house might have if it dreamed.”
A maze of rooms, each decorated around a different theme. Both whimsical and dramatic. Shadows and light, revealing and secretive. It is elegance with a twist.
There are many windows within that are retrofitted to display Mr. Sleeper’s collections of colored glassware. The light shining through them makes for a stunning impact when entering a room. There are also endless interesting architectural details, many of which were dismantled from other buildings and repurposed.
Around every corner there is something to surprise and delight. There are nooks and crannies and hidden stairways. It’s reminds me of a grownup’s playhouse! I couldn’t help but think what a great place it would be to have a party, especially on Halloween. And apparently Mr. Sleeper entertained there quite a bit and was known for his costume parties.
I opted to wear my 1950s seashell print skirt which I thought was befitting for a day spent at an ocean side estate!
My comfy Aerosoles ballet flats were just right for traipsing around the gardens and climbing all those narrow stairways! You can find similar ones here.
Topped off the outfit with some cute aqua beaded 50s clip on earrings that are surrounded by rhinestones, turquoise tassel tote (similar) and my trusty vintage RayBan tortoise shell cat eye sunglasses.
And here is my little slideshow featuring some pix of the Beaufort grounds and interior. But there is so much to see there, I couldn’t possibly get pictures of all of it and I did the three hour tour! It’s one of those places you could visit time and again and still discover something different.
Have a glamorous day !