Ten Chimneys

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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 United States
Ten Chimneys
LocationS42 W31610 Depot Rd., Genesee, Wisconsin
Coordinates42°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
Area60 acres (24 ha)
ArchitectCharles Dornbusch
Architectural styleLate 19th And 20th Century Revivals
NRHP reference #98000076
Significant dates
Added to NRHPFebruary 23, 1998[1]
Designated NHLJuly 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. Text "df " ignored (help)
  3. ^ "Ten Chimneys Summary/Photo Page". Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29.
  4. ^ "Ten chimneys famed home of lunts declared a national historic landmark". Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ten Chimneys Foundation - Estate Tours and Reservations". Archived from the original on 2009-09-24. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
  6. ^ Rick Lyman (September 29, 1998). "Where Stars Came Out to Play; Broadway's Rural Refuge, With Lunt and Fontanne". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  7. ^ "Ten Chimneys Foundation - About the Estate". Archived from the original on 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
  8. ^ a b "Ten Chimneys Foundation - About Ten Chimneys Foundation". Archived from the original on 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
  9. ^ Robert K. Elder (July 14, 2002). "Beyond Broadway in Wisconsin, A Stage Legacy Takes Shape". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2018-11-06.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ten Chimneys at Wikimedia Commons