Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tryon Palace in New Bern, NC

Monday's Memorial Day holiday represented an unusual occasion when the Teleospouse and I both had the same day off from work. I work a traditional M-F schedule but she has chosen to have Mondays and Fridays off to allow her to serve as a touring Docent at the NC Museum of Art. When we both have the same day off we like to plan a day trip to a local North Carolina attraction and for Memorial Day we chose to visit New Bern -- the second oldest town in North Carolina which served as the colonial capitol and, after the revolution, was briefly the State capitol before state government was relocated to Raleigh.

The primary attraction in New Bern's historic district is the Tryon Palace -- the first permanent capitol of the Colony of North Carolina and a home for the Royal Governor and his family. Built between 1767 and 1770 for Governor William Tryon by John Hawks, an English architect, the Palace was built in the manner of fashionable Georgian houses in the vicinity of London. It was regarded to be the finest public building in the American colonies.

Tryon Palace Facade

The building fell into disrepair during the 19th century, serving among other purposes as a dance school and a Masonic Lodge. It was finally demolished after a fire. A road was built through the site and only the stable office building remained when reconstruction/restoration began in the 1950s. Today the Palace has been rebuilt to Hawks' plans and furnished with period furniture using Tryon's inventory as a guide.

A fifteen dollar adult admission ticket gets you a guided tour of the Palace and self-paced tours of several other historic buildings nearby. All the guides and other staff are dressed in period costume and are in character as various real or invented personages from the historical period represented.

Many of the photos here are 180 degree panoramas -- a format that poses problems with my blog layout since horizontal space for photos is at a premium. I have put the panoramic shots in twice -- once scaled to fit the 500-pixel wide space available and once, somewhat larger, in a scrolling display. The smaller image gives a sense of the overall scene and the scrolling image lets you see details not visible in the smaller version. Each of the panoramas is three individual shots stitched together automatically by the Teleospouse's new Kodak V705 camera. Pretty cool, actually, and works amazingly well.


Photo of the Palace from behind the Stable Office. Left to right, more or less, are the Stable Office, the Palace (in the background behind the trees) the Pidgeon House (round brick building with the conical roof, and the Teleospouse sitting by the gerden wall.


The formal garden.


Another shot of the format garden.

The Arbor

Artichokes growing in the Kitchen Garden.

All photos taken with a Kodak V705 camera except for the Palace Facade which was taken with a Kodak P850 which has a longer reach in the telephoto end of the zoom.

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