Some Fantasies Really Ought to Be Grounded in Some Reality


In a recent Curbed newsletter, I came across an item titled “Three Gilded Age Berkshire Retreats for Sale Right Now.”

The author of the article, Robert Khederian, notes that as a summer destination for the very affluent of the “Gilded Age,” the Berkshires never quite had the cache of Newport, Rhode Island, as a place to build a “summer cottage.” There is no equivalent in the Berkshires of the Vanderbilts’ “summer cottage” in Newport, the Breakers:

It is worth noting that the Vanderbilts lived in the Breakers in July and August of each year. That’s it.

Nonetheless, the Berkshires “summer cottages” are nothing to sneeze at. Khederian notes that a builder constructed 75 of these “cottages” in Lennox, Massachusetts, in the last quarter of the 19th century. The three currently for sale may or may not be representative, but they are listed at $7.9 million, $3.95 million, and a…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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