Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Elm Court ~ The House We Never Saw

. . . for a better view click here


° ° °
Benjamin D. Phillips, founder of the Phillips Gas and Oil Company, resided in this Tudor-Gothic mansion named Elm Court, one of America's most spectacular private homes. It was completed in 1931 by Benno Jannsen, a Pittsburgh architect. The mansion houses the famous Skinner Organ, Opus 783.

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

SURE WAS A SITE TO SEE. PARKING LOT MADE OF MARBLE. DOWN SPOUTS OUT OF LEAD & RAFTERS CARVED WITH PICTURES. ORGAN HAD THE APOSTLES CARVED 3D STANDING. I HAD THE OPERTUNITY TO TOUCH UP THE PLASTER IN THE LATE 60'S BEFOR CHRISTMAS. I SAT AT THE ORGAN & IT WAS HUGE.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Who lives there now?

Anonymous said...

I THINK SHE DONATED IT TOO THE BUTLER HISTORIC SOCITY OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT

Charles said...

Benjamin D. Phillips built Elm Court in 1929 as an English Gothic-Tudor manor house for his family. Elm Court was so named for the huge elm tree that at one time flourished in the main courtyard. The house is constructed of cut and dressed stone, embellished with leaded glass windows and thick slate roofs. A long winding drive leads up from the main entrance gate and culminates in an impressive double row of stately trees that herald the approach to the house.

Elm Court has had only a very few owners since it was built, and each of these has taken sensitive care of the house and its carefully manicured grounds. In the 1980s the estate was purchased by Mr. Frederick R. Koch for use as a private residence. The new owner tripled the size of the house in an architecturally seamless manner, reproducing the various details of the original house with admirable faithfulness.

Philip H. said...

Off topic: Didn't Ben Phillips have a step-son named Jeff Coffin? I went to school with him--or maybe it was Scouts, I forget. Whatever happened to him? Anybody know?

Anonymous said...

Skinner Organ Company Opus 783
1929 Two Manuals, Skinner Roll Player
44 Stops, 15 Ranks, 975 Pipes

Anonymous said...

WAS WONDERING IF THIS IS THE MANSION UP ON THE HILL,OFF ROUTE 8, ACROSS THE ROAD IS THE BUTLER COUNTRY CLUB ROAD? iT WAS CALLED "THE PHILIP'S MANSION"

Anonymous said...

Yes Philip H., I to remember Jeff C. but never kept up with his whereabouts. Mrs. Philips taught our Sunday class at North Street Christian Church, so I had a rare privelege to walk the house as a guest. When we were kids we used to sneak around the property ( high walls )and act as though we were spies. Great memories.

Charles said...

About the location: This house is located in the City of Butler. If you drive out McKean Street from the center of town to Polk Street and then take a right up a steep hill you will find yourself in a beautiful courtyard and with a spectacular fountain. That is the entrance to Elm Court. Most people never get beyond that.

Hannen said...

I also went to N.St. Christian Church and got to tour the mansion quite a few times. I remember dinners that Mrs. Phillips had us to...my first experience with more than one fork. When I was in 8th grade I dated a girl named Debbie Zellorino and her mom worked there as a maid. I got to go and explore with her thru the many rooms of the mansion. Then even later after the Koch family bought it, my partner was the household guy for that family. So, without being related, I got to see quite a lot of the place. I just found this blog...a friend sent the link to me. When did you graduate from BHSH? 1970 for me. Will look forward to reading more about your Butler.

Anonymous said...

We were lucky to have spent some time in this fabulous place. A friend of ours was the house sitter when the doc & family lived there. It was overwhelming.One really understood the word 'wealthy'.
When we would go & visit our friend (with approval of the family before hand) we'd all love to order pizza to be delivered and watch the delivery guy's face when he arrived. of course, it meant giving a 'good' tip.

Anonymous said...

My husband -- whose father was a first cousin of Mildred Phillips who, I think, was Benjamin Phillips' second wife -- and I drove his aunts, also first cousins, to Butler,PA, to spend the weekend at Elm Court with Mildred in the 1970's. She let us explore the entire place -- we had never seen a private residence with two separate bathrooms for men and women. We especially liked the wonderful pipe organ and the fireplace big enough to stand in located in the grand living area, the two separate dining rooms -- the family dining room as well as the formal dining room big enough to seat 40 comfortably, the music room, and, of course, the incredible architecture and grounds of Elm Court.

Mildred's brother was the Reverend P.H. Welshimer who had the largest church in the country at one time, the Christian Church in Canton, OH. Mildred and Benjamin Phillips endowed a library for him at Milligan College in Tennesee.

I was just looking through pictures from our visit there and wondered whatever happened to Elm Court since Mildred was given just a life estate, and she said Benjamin always wanted it to be a private home and not a museum.

Anonymous said...

Oops! I just noticed I said P.H. was Mildred's brother -- he was her father. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

as a kid staying with my grandmother on charles st..i can remember scaling the chain link fences that surround(ed) this property...we too thought we were spies until the maid hanging clothes outside unleased the dogs that looked like dobermans/german shepards who headed right for us....running and scaling the fence at 8 years of age is way scary; but it was worth it to catch a glimpse of what the other half lives like

Anonymous said...

My fondest memories of Philips Mansion are walking there with my boyfriend on weekend nights and making out. It was a place where many "young lovers" would find their way to, especially when we had no car. It was easy to slip onto the property without being seen (there was a place in the fence)but, sometimes we just went in the front entrance and hung out around the fountain or on the steps. The passion of youth... I wonder if kids still do that now?

Anonymous said...

My father "Sarg" would stop at the Phillip's fountain after helping someone out and getting really dirty to wash his hands and face. He came from a time if there was a pipe sticking out of a spring, people could fill up their bottles. He always insisted on bring a bucket of water home from a well or spring he found, and it sloshing all over in the trunk of our green Rambler station wagon. AMAZING how 1 picture can jog memories that were forever packed away in our brains.

Charles said...

If anyone can come up with a picture of that fountain at the entrance I would be glad to post it.

carakriebel said...

I was amazed to see a picture of this mansion. I always wanted to see just how big it really was. You would never know from the location on the street that such a grand place exists.

Anonymous said...

Once woke up in the driveway with several friends in the car after a night of partying and we all thought they had put us and the car in jail. Walls on both sides and that late at night never saw the way out. Circa 1970/71.

Tracy said...

I also grew up in the North Street Christian Church. I have been away from Butler for more than 30 years and have been hard pressed to find a church home as wonderful ... please email me if you were there. I graduated with Eleanore Phillips in 1975. She is still a kind and gracious lady.

bob dorcy said...

I lived on North Elm street(535) from the age of 3-10.I knew every way imaginable to get into the mansion grounds.I spent many hours there with friends,especially at the "frog pond".I remember being so afraid to be found by the gardeners as we called the grounds keepers,so afraid they would eat us or assign some other terrible fate.I guess what I remember best is we were allowed to ride our sleds in winter from the elm street side down to the Mckean st entrance.It was the best ride in town in spite of the long pull back to the top!

Where have those times gone? Why am I living away from the town and people that gave me memories of the best times in my life? Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and return.

Bob dorcy

Charles said...

Hello Bob,
I never knew about the Elm to McKean St. sled ride. We used to do our sledding on Oak Street. Here's a poem I wrote about that:
Sledding on Oak Street
Greetings, Charles

Philip H. said...

LOL! I remember that sled-ride very well (lived on Carbon Street--524). I don't miss the snow though.

Anonymous said...

I lived on Locust Street and we did our daylight sledding on the sidewalk beside St. Paul's School. We'd walk all the way to the top of the hill past the convent and sled down to Monroe, turning into the fence at the last possible minute to avoid going through the intersection! What guts!! But at night, we all went up to Oak St. to sled. Even in our late teens we loved that ride by the light of the street lanterns!

Chuck Thomas said...

I worked as a gardener during one
summer at the Mansion. Mr. & Mrs.
Phillips were very nice to me. Many
years late I owned a shipping company and did quite a bit of shipping for Mr. Koch, I remembered
telling my brother Ken that Mr. Koch at the time invested more then
$15,000,000. into renovations Ken thought I was exaggerating the amount however I was low balling
that amount. It was written in the
Pittsburgh Business Times that the
contractor Dekalava Construction was quoted stating it was one of the largest residential construction projects at the time
$28,000,000. and I've been told Mr.
Koch hasn't stopped yet. Also
I have a number of picture's of Elm Court which I will send you Charles you may do with them as you want,they were taken when the Phillips owned the house.

Richard J. Palmer said...

Every time we rode up or down North Main street as kids, we would point to Phillips' mansion. It was a point of reverence almost for Butlerites. I have a series of black and white photos which I took years ago with my friend Bob Logan and his wife Ruth. They were taken at Elm Court. I used to go up there in the Fall to get leaves which we had to collect for school. I particularly remember the Ginko leaves from one of the oldest trees in existence. Great memories.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone mention the tennis courts. The Phillips were very generous in letting us play there. Hours and hours of playng time in the best location in Butler. That was during the earlyto mid 70's when Butler was in a tennis craze and there were very few courts un occupied.

Jim said...

This is an article from the Butler Eagle on Dec. 1, 1988.
By SALLY R. MILLER Eagle Staff Reporter
The owner of Elm Court, the Tudor Gothic mansion overlooking North McKean Street, is included in Forbes, Magazine's special edition on the richest people in America.
Frederick Robinson Koch, described by Forbes as a reclusive art collector and restorer worth at least $450 million, bought the house for $1 million in 1984 from Dean E. Burget and his wife, Undine Phillips Burget, who was born there.
The house was built for $1 million in 1929 for Benjamin Dwigbt Phillips, the son of T.W. Phillips, founder of T.W. Phillips Gas & Oil Go. The Burgets bought the mansion in 1978.
Koch is one of four sons of Fred Koch, co-founder of Koch Industries, a $13-billion private oil company. Brothers Charles and David waged a three-year battle for control of the company in the early 1980s. The other brothers, Fred and Bill, joined in a takeover bid. The matter was settled in 1983 in a $1.5-billion buyout of Bill and Fred.

Since acquiring the former Phillips property, Koch in 1985 took out building permits valued a total of $1,777,500 to make renovations to the 40-room mansion, according to city records. N. Lee Ligo of Slippery Rock applied for and received the permits, records show.
Plans show the construction of a small screening room, a two-level underground climate-controlled storage room under the west terrace, and excavation of the former reflecting pool for the construction of a swimming pool.
The city engineer's office first communicated with Koch through his Monaco address but now sends correspondence to a Wall Street address.
Ligo would not comment on Koch's plans for the mansion, though he did describe Elm Court as a "world-class house."
"It'a a period house typical of what was designed during the first third of the century, and the architect borrowed heavily from elements of Tudor and Norman precedents," he said.
Ligo added that 19th-century houses usually have more rooms than their 20th-century counterparts, which have larger rooms where space flows more freely.
Elm Court was designed by Benno Janssen, who also did the T.W. Phillips office building at Main and North streets in downtown Butler and the Pittsburgh Athletic Association and Mellon Foundation buildings.

Elm Court's extensive metal work was designed by Samuel Yel-lin of Philadelphia, the outstanding wrought-iron artist of this century.

Anonymous said...

i too stayed with my grandmother on charles st and remember being about 8 and scaling the fence that was a short 3 house trip in the alley....and the maid was hanging clothes out and let the dogs loose...we ran like crazy to get back to that fence and not get stuck climbing over it...wonder if we were in the same group?

Colleen Conrad said...

Growing up in Lumar Village, the Phillips mansion was literally "in our backyard" - just a short climb up the hill behind the apartments to the hole under the fence just large enough for us kids to squeeze through. Like the other "spies" in the blog, we would creep up to catch a glimpse of the mansion and its wondrous gardens -- until the German Shepherds chased us and scared the poop out of us in the process. Years later I came to realize that the dogs always stopped chasing us at a certain spot, and just stood there and barked. They really weren't the ferocious children-eating canines that we thought!

The beautiful organ is now in the Smithsonian's Museum of American History in Washington D.C. Displayed next to the organ is an old photo of the interior of the house - my first view inside!

Cousin Tim said...

Hi Colleen. I see you were copied on this blog email. I really must get back to work...

Cousin Tim

Anonymous said...

I remember picnicing by the mansion and sliding down the cement walls with my best friend Stephanie

Anonymous said...

My memory is of a Christmas Dinner, Mr.B. D. and Mildred Phillips entertained the female employees of the T. W. Phillips Gas & Oil Company' we were all "eyes" that evening. They were very gracious hosts. I enjoyed reading all these comments and learning the details about Mr. Koch. Mr. Ben Phillips, Jr. and the B.D.Phillips Trust became owners of the mansion when Mrs. Mildred Phillips moved out. When they sold out the arts and furniture, my job was to take the appraisers thru the mansion to inventory. It was very interesting to interact with this family and this mansion. Jeff Coffin was the step son of Ben Phillips, Jr. and resides in Cranberry Township.

Anonymous said...

Me and a bunch of my friends have been trying to see what that place looked like. We heard it was a mansion, but it's all hidden. Theres gates all around and and it's impossible to see through the trees. I caught a little glimpse of part but I really want to see it.

squajo said...

Jeff Coffin was the step son of Ben Phillips, Jr. and resides in Cranberry Township.

Please tell Jeff Coffin Philip H.says hello after all these years.

Walker said...

I wonder if there is any historic information etc for the mansion on RT 8 South at Nixon. I remember it was a resturant at one time and now is associated with BCCC. It would be interesting to know the prior background pictures etc.

Anonymous said...

so the Phillips Mansion does really exist i was begaing to think it was all a hoax a dream i heard that they at one time not that long ago had tours of it do they still give tours of it

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the big house on the corner of Fulton and Elm it was divided into apartments with a little bridge to get into the back. We spent alot of time playing on the grounds of the Mansion and never ran out of new things to find. From catching frogs and tadpoles in the pond to making forts in the wooded area that faced the houses on Fulton St. Some of my fondest childhood memories are there.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend in grade/early junior high school who lived at the Philips Mansion. I think she was a granddaughter of TW--her name was Judy Irwin/Erwin/Irvin/Ervin. Not sure of the spelling. She was sent to boarding school in the east in or after eighth grade (about 1954) and I never saw her again. But I do remember going to the mansion to play after school a couple of times. I was overwhelmed--never had seen anything like it.

Pat said...

Wasn't Judy's last name Ehrman? I remember her, but never knew what happened to her. I think there was also a daughter whose name was Barbara Phillips. She was close in age to Judy.

Anonymous said...

I was Mr. Koch's butler at Elm Court for 6 years a wonderful home and wonderful employer. I lived with my wife in the "overlook" house further up the hill. An astonishing home also. The house is grander and more beautiful than anyone could imagine.

Gaily said...

This has brought back a lot of memories. I spent every summer of my youth in Butler since my moms family are long time Butler residents. Our house is on Pearl and Second and my cousins and I did lots or roaming around the neighborhood. We decided to jump the fence into the Phillips estate one day and were just amazed at how beautiful the home and grounds were. Ben Phillips was walking around and caught us but was very pleasant. He just asked that we stay out of the gardens. I seem to remember other large homes on the property. Were there other family members who also lived on the grounds? The original TW Phillips house at the top of Second Street is quite an impressive home also. It is four stories high and very similar in style to the other homes in the neighborhood, except bigger and fancier. I come to Butler about once a month and still think about sneaking into the Phillips property when I drive up McKean past Polk.

Anonymous said...

I used to live on North Monroe St for a few years back in the late -70's. I was about 9 or 10. Geeze, I thought me and sister were the only two brave spies that scaled that fence...lol... we did it a few times untill we were chased by the child eating sheppards!!!

Anonymous said...

The picture of the reflecting pond brought back such powerful memories. I lived across the fence from the mansion (on E. Fulton) and, as luck would have it, was close to the woman who managed the estate for several years in the late 60s - early 70s. I had many opportunities to visit the home; played both the organ, with it's wonderful trap section displayed on the wall above the console, and the old Steinway Duo-Art player piano in the living room where, as legend has it, Napolean's rugs (or was it lamps) were used.
When I think of the estate, I remember autumnal walks at the pool - which was in much worse shape than the current photo indicates, winter sledding on the hill down to the alley entrance, the tennis courts in the evening, and Mr. Phillips' top hat and gloves resting unmoved, where he last left them, for a very long time.
It has been decades since I visited Butler, but the estate remains very special -- when I visit, I always have make a point of taking a short tour through the (usually) open gates. My friends/guests/spouse have always enjoyed the charm of a great old-world destination.

Anonymous said...

I just "googled" Elm Court Organ and there are recordings on CD of this fully restored player organ

Anonymous said...

As a current resident on Elm Court, I can tell you that the mansion still captivates visitors and retains all of the charm and mystery of a "mansion". I love having the mansion as a neighbor and it is quite beautiful. My kitty cat loves to lay in the sweet grass of the south lawn. It is sometimes difficult to lure her from the majestic grounds of the mansion. The lights to the tennis court come on only a couple of times each year, always indicating that the owner is visiting. Truly a treasure for the city of Butler.

Mary said...

As a child I snuck up to the mansion on a snowy night and sat cold, yet spellbound by the sight of one of the Phillips family members playing the organ. My Husband worked on the renovations at the Mansion and my Son lives on Oak Street, I grew up on Carbon Street so the Mansion has been in my past and my present. It is truly a gem in the City.

Anonymous said...

I understand that that the present owner of Elm Court has a fabulous art collection. He would be doing Butler a great service if he would open a museum at Elm Court and display his paintings to the public. I am sure that people from all around Western Pennsylvania would flock to Butler to see his art.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much property there is at the mansion i just cant imagine how they were to put that big home garden and what ever else and be in the city of butler

Anonymous said...

Check out this website>

http://www.phlf.org/phlf-tours-events/

It says the property sits on 9.3 acres.

This site gives an exceptional aerial view.

And there giving a tour of the old Philips Mansion on October 17. $60 fee for Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Members only.

Susan said...

This is wonderful! When you are sneaking in you had no idea so many other people snuck in too! I remember as a teen making out on the steps. It was a good place to sneak to! It is a grand property. I wonder how often the owners are there?
I wish all the anonymous posters had names.

Amy W said...

My grandmother was Undine Phillips, daughter of B.D. Phillips. I've never been to Elm Court but my grandma would have been a teen when the place was built. Did any of you with fond memories of the mansion ever meet her or my great-grandparents?

june said...

thats NOT vidios of Elm Court in Butler!!! but of A Elm Court in the Berkshires!

Anonymous said...

Heres a bunch of photos of the exterior of Elm Court.



http://picasaweb.google.com/pittsburghpennsylvania/ElmCourtButlerPennsylvania#

Barbara Wanamaker said...

I had a friend in elementary school named Undine Burget who I believe is the daughter of Undine Phillips and Dean Burget. I would appreciate knowing whether anyone posting comments to this page has knowledge of her present whereabouts.

Marty said...

I remember once wandering onto the grounds at night right after a new snowfall. I guess the gate was open and we just walked in. We were awestruck by the beauty of the scene - the glittering snow on perfect lawn, Christmas card trees, and the mansion glowing in all its glory.

We dared not enter too far, but the picture is forever etched in my mind.

Anonymous said...

Hi B.J. Long time! Please email me off-blog. kburget (at) gmail (dot) com and put Undine in the subject line pls. thx.

Anonymous said...

Here is a satellite view. He cannot make you remove this because this was taken from a public vantage point.

Microsoft Live Aerial View of Elm Court

Jerad said...

does anyone have a picture of this mansion. I would love to see what it looks like. If you do my email address is jsoose4585@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

http://www.amazon.com/Architecture-Benno-Janssen-Donald-Miller/dp/0966095510/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237698751&sr=1-1

i have a copy of this book which has a nice spread on elm court

Lou F said...

Used to go sledding on the Elm Court drive and knew Ruthy Ehrman when students at Jefferson St. Elementary school. Still have scar on my chin from hitting the stanton at the courtyard entrance.

Lost touch after she went away to school.

Anonymous said...

Anyone can contact the present owner via email @ KochOffice@Verizon.net. I was there for a tour two weeks ago. It is a tremendous treasure.

Anonymous said...

There is so much being said about the Mansion on Elm, but does anyone have any information about the Mansion on Route 8? I know they rent it out for weddings and stuff, but what about the history? I've heard a lot of rumors about a brothel, about two people dying there, I heard a little about the restaurant, I heard it has one of every tree that's local to PA, but not much about when it was built or much about it from it's beginnings.

Does anyone know about that one? Did they own both? Who owns it now?

debbilyn said...

I lived at 560 N. Elm Street from 1964 to 1967. The stone wall of Phillip's mansion was our playground and I spent many days catching tadpoles in the frog pond with my brother and friends. At that time the mansion gates were always open and the family was friendly. I went to school at Emily Britton and we used to walk the road through the mansion as a short cut. They had a gardener or grounds keeper back then that had an electronic device that he held to his throat to talk and as young kids, we were scared of him. Thanks for the memories, I've lived in Henrietta, NY since 1967 and I always remember Butler fondly. I've returned on a few occasions to share this lovely town with my kids.

Anonymous said...

I lived on the 600 block of NMckean St. I would walk outback and view the castle every day. We sled ride in the winter there. I attended a private school and new the owners of the marble home. I worked at a convenience store in Butler where Mr philips patronized alot. I used to remember going to the fountain and making a wish then throwing a coin in. I can't blame the new owner for posting the property and putting in cameras, I live 25miles from town and when I cruise in I'd like to stop and make another wish,but the way the times are now,They'd just haul you away. Better just to remember how things used to be.

Anonymous said...

I am familiar with Mrs. Phillips, as she was associated with 2 colleges both of which I attended in the 70s. She apparently by all accounts was a very fine lady and wonderful Christian. With regard to photographs taken of her home, I do not understand why those photographs have been removed. I gather that somehow the new owner of the home has threatened some kind of legal action if photographs are posted. He does not have the legal right whatsoever to control photographs of the home which were taken during the time the Phillips owned the home. The copyright to those photographs are owned by the person who took them. Therefore, if they were taken with the Phillips' permission or consent (or with that of any other owner of the home) the person who took those photos owns the copyright and has the exclusive rights to them, including the right to publish them. Mr. Koch does not have the legal right to control photographs of this home which were taken before he even owned the home!!

Please re-post the photographs of this wonderful masterpiece of a home.

Chris Peeples said...

Before Kock it was owned for about 5 years by my father in law D. Dean Burget. I spent every Christmas and Spring there, photographing every stained glass window, room and architectural appointment. The home was so well built it became my icon against which to gauge all buildings

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me who Undine is? I always thought there was a Undine in my class at Butler High in the early 70"s. She was a quiet girl, but I would never think she was a Phillips who lived in a mansion. What ever happened to this Undine?

smuel said...

Wow, ---used to try and sneak in this mansino as a child growing up on Franklin Street. As a child, I saw the grounds, and they are stunning and DETAILED....On google-maps there are satellite photos of the mansion where you can actually see the entire grounds:

http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/elm-court/view/?service=1

A family friend of ours inherited this (sorry, not giving name) and still lives very closeby in the "boulevard" - or whatever they call that neighborhood now. She donted it do a historical foundation----probably the one named above.

Live in California now, and there is no architecture anywhere NEAR this old and baeutiful :)

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember that one of Butler's better cops, Dave Campbell, was connected to the Phillips family as a son in law. Hard working gent.

Anonymous said...

Remember driving up McKean and looking in from the road. We called it the Phillips mansion. I was told that G.W. Phillips and the Phillips 66 founders were cousins. Plausible since the driller who brought in the Okla. field was a Butlerite, Col. Billy Miller. One of his grandsons taught school at Center Township.

Kathryn said...

I would love to find my old Kindergarten friend, Undine Burget, who lived on Delaware Drivein Cleveland Heights, Oh, but moved away to PA. She may have gone to Butler High School in the 1970s--probably graduating in 1976. Does anyone know her? Uncdine, are you out there? I would love to be in touch again !
Kathryn Reiss
www.kathrynreiss.net

Anonymous said...

Elm Court has had only a very few owners since it was built, and each of these has taken sensitive care of the house and its carefully manicured grounds. In the 1980s the estate was purchased by Mr. Frederick R. Koch for use as a private residence. The new owner tripled the size of the house in an architecturally seamless manner, reproducing the various details of the original house with admirable faithfulness. Included in the work was the restoration of the Skinner player organ located above the ceiling of the Main Stair Hall.

Anonymous said...

Just saw this photo (haven't lookoed for a while). I remember going to school with Ruth Ann Ehrman - some of us girls had a club where we met at different people's homes one day a week. Going to the Phillips Mansion (which we called it then) was an amazing experience. I was fascinated by the huge kitchen and all the "upstairs, downstairs" rooms. What fun to remember that time of my childhood.

Anonymous said...

I was actually to the house (kitchen door) in 1968 or so with my neighbors.We were delivering phone books.I think we left about 5-6 there.
I remember the lady coming out the door in the "Hazel" uniform

Anonymous said...

Would anyone be willing to share pictures of te grounds? My email is catfishing85@hotmail.com, thanks!

Victoria Scheerbaum (Heasley) said...

In the early 80's my father worked on the restoration of the mansion. He was a plasterer and I got to go into the music/theater room and thru some of the other rooms as well. It's something I will never forget. My father has since past and I really would like one of those tours if they still do them.

Randy Everett said...

I actually spent over 2 years working the Elm Court project in the late 80's after Mr. Koch purchased the home. I was in the early years of my plumbing career and witnessed most of the home 1st hand, and from the remodel of most of the areas in the home. I did alot of the plumbing throughout the home, the pool and poolhouse as well as the water lines for the larger statue he had brought in from Picadilly Square in England. The home is absolutely AMAZING and I was in every square inch of it, including the loft that houses the organ.. Oh the stories I have of the place, and I even got alot of pictures and I even still have some of the blueprints from the home's remodeling. Its a toss up as to my most memorable of jobs between this project and the plumbing at PNC PARK in Pittsburgh.

Anonymous said...

could someone find out if they allow the public to tour it?? as i have been reading some of the comments i remember as a kid always wondering but never seen the fountain and my curiosity is driving me nuts. i have lived in butler all of my life. and i remember reading one of the people saying they would sit on the steps. can you even get in there still?? i drove around looking and i found the steps but i dont want to get into trouble snooping around... so if anyone has any info i'd really like to know. its just truly amazing to me that such an amazing place is here and i have never seen any of it... msara89@live.com. if anyone has any other information i'd really like to hear about it.

Dáithaí C said...

About the present owner of Elm Court, Frederich R. Koch:
http://daithaic.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/villa-torre-clementina-roquebrune-cap.html

Anonymous said...

I had my wedding there in the garden and reception indoors in July 1977. It was a restaurant/hotel then, Ernie'Esquire and it was fabulous. Late night cocktails on the open rooftop and we spent our wedding night in a beautiful bedroom there.

Anonymous said...

my mother first told me about this glorious mansion.i think about it all the time. i wish so much i could tour it if anyone has any info please post or let me know daisyq77@gmail.com. its always been my dream to see it

Kathryn said...

Thank you for getting in touch, Hilary! I was so sorry, though, to learn of your mom's death. Glad to hear your grandparents are alive and well, however! They were our neighbors in Cleveland Heights, Oh, when your mom and uncles were very little. How lucky you all are to have such a glorious house in the family!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Judy Ehrman is my Great Aunt. She is doing well and lives in PA.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting article I read some years ago, but thought someone may want to read it if they look back on this blog. I know no one has written anything on Elm Court for some time, but it has always remained unique subject matter for me.
http://pipedreams.publicradio.org/gallery/us_northeast/pennsylvania/butler_elm-court_skinner.shtml