Ten Chimneys

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ten Chimneys
Ten Chimneys - Main House 1.jpg
Entrance to the Main House
Ten Chimneys is located in Wisconsin
Ten Chimneys
Ten Chimneys is located in the US
Ten Chimneys
Location S42 W31610 Depot Rd., Genesee, Wisconsin
Coordinates 42°57′51″N 88°22′38″W / 42.96417°N 88.37722°W / 42.96417; -88.37722Coordinates: 42°57′51″N 88°22′38″W / 42.96417°N 88.37722°W / 42.96417; -88.37722
Area 60 acres (24 ha)
Built 1915
Architect Charles Dornbusch
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals
NRHP reference # 98000076
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 23, 1998[1]
Designated NHL July 31, 2003[2]

Ten Chimneys was the home of Broadway actors Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt. The property is located in Genesee Depot in the Town of Genesee, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States.[3]

Ten Chimneys was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2003, for the significance of its owners to the history of performing arts, and for its distinctive architecture and decoration.[2][4]


During their careers, Fontanne and Lunt retreated to Ten Chimneys every summer for personal and artistic rejuvenation. A host of stage and screen luminaries made pilgrimages to Genesee Depot as guests of the Lunts, including Noël Coward, Helen Hayes, Laurence Olivier, and Vivien Leigh. Carol Channing said, “If you get to go to Ten Chimneys, you must have done something right.”[5]

Upon retirement, the Lunts returned to Ten Chimneys and spent the rest of their lives at their beloved home in Genesee Depot.[6]

The estate takes its name from the number of chimneys on the grounds.[7] Buildings include a large main house, a cottage, a Swedish log cabin studio, an L-shaped pool, pool house, creamery, greenhouse, barns, stables, and other outbuildings.

Opening Ten Chimneys to the public[edit]

Arts advocate Joseph W. Garton, a restaurateur in Madison, Wisconsin, purchased Ten Chimneys. In 1996, Ten Chimneys Foundation was established to preserve and share the estate. The foundation then purchased the property from Garton in 1998.[8]

As a historic property, the estate was exceptionally well preserved, since the Lunts' original furniture, decorations, and personal items were barely disturbed between Lynn Fontanne's death in 1983 and the beginning of preservation efforts by Ten Chimneys Foundation in 1998.[9]

Ten Chimneys Foundation opened the estate to the public for the first time on May 26, 2003, which would have been the Lunts' 81st wedding anniversary.[8] The estate remains open for public tours from May through November. Ten Chimneys Foundation also continues to fulfill the estate’s original role as a home for the arts by providing programming and resources for theater professionals.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Ten Chimneys". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  3. ^ http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/hp/register/viewSummary.asp?refnum=98000076
  4. ^ Accompanying 14 photos, exterior and interior, from 1999, 2002 (that would accompany National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination for Ten Chimneys (2.47 MiB)[dead link]
  5. ^ http://www.tenchimneys.org/tours/
  6. ^ "Broadway's Rural Refuge, With Lunt and Fontanne". The New York Times, September 29, 1998.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  8. ^ a b http://www.tenchimneys.org/foundation-history/
  9. ^ Robert K. Elder. "Beyond Broadway in Wisconsin, A Stage Legacy Takes Shape". Chicago Tribune, July 14, 2002.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ten Chimneys at Wikimedia Commons