Travel Back to 1910 at Elbert Hubbard’s Utopia in Western New York
by Robert W. Lang.
Seeing furniture in the flesh is much better than looking at photographs or drawings. A visit to a museum is good, but seeing furniture in context, in relation to other pieces and in an appropriate interior is better still. The Roycroft Inn and adjacent campus, Elbert Hubbard’s utopian community, offer that in abundance, and if you are fascinated with the Arts & Crafts period of the early 20th century, a visit to East Aurora, New York should be on your bucket list.
The inn, originally opened in 1905 and restored in 1995, offers the opportunity to enjoy a meal or spend the night surrounded by the best examples of the period in furniture, metalwork, glass and architecture. When you step into one of the public areas, dining rooms or guest rooms, it is like stepping back one hundred years to when the Arts & Crafts period was the height of fashion. If you like the furniture by itself, you’ll enjoy it more when you sit in an original Stickley morris chair, look out the window at the garden and enjoy coffee and conversation surrounded by murals, exposed wood construction and art glass lighting. At the Roycroft Inn, you are surrounded by the real thing and invited to make yourself at home.
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