Sunday, December 13, 2015

Bass Mansion

On December 9, we met up with some friends to tour the Bass Mansion, also known as Brookside, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the nation's historic places worthy of preservation.


The home was originally built in 1889, but a catastrophic fire destroyed everything but a portion of the masonry veneer in 1902. It was rebuilt the following year. 

In 1944, the house and 65 acres were purchased for Saint Francis College (now Saint Francis University); and the mansion now provides office and conference space for the university.

The next three photos display three sections of a very large space. I hadn't planned ahead to stitch them together for a panorama, but I felt I needed to include a panorama to give you a bit of the feel of the space. It's not a great job of stitching, but I hope it serves its intended purpose.





The Library



This cabinet was in a corner of the Dining Room

This is a window shade in the Dining Room

African Marble Fireplace in the Dining Room 

The wall mural in the Dining Room is entitled "The Hunt" by Holslag

This red room was too small and too crowded for any wide shots, but this one allows a glimpse.

One of the ornately carved doors

Bathtub in Mrs. Bass' Dressing Room

The washstand is decorated with the same delicately painted flowers as are in the tub.

Circular Staircase

The Ballroom

A last look at the mansion

It was fun to take this tour at Christmastime, with all the festive decorations. But I think I'd like to take a guided tour sometime, without the distractions of the seasonal decorations and without the large crowds that come with the Christmas season, so that I could focus more on the period details that make the home special.


  1. WOW! What a magnificent place. I really want a bathtub like that,it's beautiful.

  2. Linda, I love the bathtub and sink, and I love the Gingham towel. This is a mansion, alright. Gorgeous, elegant and heartwarming.

  3. Such a stunning mansion. The interior is jaw-dropping, especially the huge Christmas tree. If you like you can also link up with "Through My Lens" today.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  4. what a gorgeous trip.Never saw carved doors like that. Went to church 4 times over the weekend enjoying music from a childrens concert to a orchestrated chorale. Lovely tunes,especially a song"Mary Did You Know"

  5. wow! a grand place with even grander furnishings! that woodwork!!

  6. I lived near Fort Wayne for several years, but never made it to the Bass mansion. I'd like to visit if I ever get back to that neck of the woods. You got some great photos.

  7. Hi Linda, I agree about staying AWAY from the Christmas crowds.... I love Biltmore (which reminds me of the mansion you visited here) --and it was nice to visit it at Christmas-time ---but the crowds made it much harder to really enjoy the mansion and the history....

    Merry Christmas to you all.

  8. Ruth - Those lovely flowers on the bathtub make the tub look very elegant, don't they?

    Linda - It was so fun to see this place and imagine what it must have been like to live there all those years ago.

    Mersad - Thank you. It was really a fun tour.

    Steve - There was so much detail everywhere we the woodwork, the floors, the ceilings, etc. It's not common to see that kind of craftsmanship these days. I, too, love the song, "Mary, Did You Know?"

    Tex - I'm so glad you noticed the woodwork. It was one of my favorite things to see on the tour.

    George - As close as we live to this mansion, I'd never even heard of it before our friends invited us to join them on the tour. It's worth a visit, if you ever get the chance. But I'm sure it will pale in comparison with the Biltmore House.

    Betsy - The Bass Mansion is much smaller than the Biltmore but still a fun-to-see representation of a very lovely and gracious lifestyle of the past.

  9. I agree with you, Linda, the Christmas decorations are nice but it would be interesting to see the rooms without them as well... There are so many lovely details, one could spend several days in the building just photographing them! :) It's great that the building is used.

    1. Petra - I thought of you as I was touring this mansion. The home was originally built 126 years ago, which makes it very old by American standards, unlike some of the buildings in the Czech Republic that are thousands of years old. Still, it was a treat to see; and I think you would have enjoyed it. I agree that it's nice that the building is used, especially since they try very hard to maintain the sense of history even while adding some modern conveniences.


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