Monday Reading: Abandoned Palaces

by - 6:00:00 PM

From imperial residences and aristocratic estates to hotels and urban mansions, new book Abandoned Palaces by Michael Kerrigan contains remarkable pictures of ostentatious buildings that have fallen into ruin.

 General Joseph Howland (1834–86) was born into stupendous wealth in New York, his family having made its fortune in the China trade. He gave much of it away, as a lifelong philanthropist, endowing libraries and hospitals in the vicinity of Beacon, but the estate at Tioronda in New York, pictured, was a present to himself.

 'Dona Chica' was the title popularly given in Palmeira, Portugal, to the local landowner's Brazilian born wife, Francisca Peixoto Rego (1895–1958). Swiss architect Ernst Korrod (1870–1944) was commissioned to create a home appropriate to her prestige and beauty.

 From ancient Roman villas to the French colonial hill station in Cambodia that was one of the final refuges of the Khmer Rouge, the book charts the fascinating decline of what were once the homes and holiday resorts of the most wealthy.

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