Yesterday, my girl & I headed up to San Jose to check out the Winchester Mystery House
. I had been there many, many moons ago as a kid but haven't been back since. Honestly, I remembered it as being more impressive, but we still had fun. The house was built by the widow Winchester (yes, of the Winchester firearms family) through the late 1800's. I say "through" rather than "in" because she was rather off her rocker and had construction going on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for over 30 years. And she did all the design work herself, despite not having any idea whatsoever on the topic of architectural principles. So, the house ended up with stairways to nowhere, doors that open directly to the outside (on the 2nd floor), windows & doors opening to solid walls and other such fun oddities. The house currently has 160 rooms, 4 stories (there were 7 prior to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake), over 1200 windows, almost 500 doors, 47 fireplaces (but only 17 chimneys), 40 bedrooms, 5 kitchens, 40 staircases (with close to 400 steps), 52 skylights, 2 ballrooms, 13 bathrooms (she had a fascination with the number 13, and it appears many times throughout the house), and 1 shower (designed specifically for her 4'10" self). It's an interesting place to visit, especially for the young ones. I didn't take many pictures, but will try to get the ones I did uploaded to Flickr soon.
Posted at 6/8/2008 5:40:27 pm by PhilM