The sad decline of Blandair, which can be seen here, hardly requires narrative explanation. What was once a proud, grand manor house, surrounded by utilitarian yet graceful outbuildings - barns and a smoke house, for instance - is now just a shell, to the casual eye. Windows are boarded, temporary entry stairs replace the lovely front porch, and the bricks, once offering up the burnished glow of the hand of time, are now dirtied and covered with moss and dirt. This hardly seems an auspicious beginning for a restoration process, and yet there is much good news to be associated with Blandair, as many of the repairs that make the property look most uninviting are also cosmetic in nature - and thus are less expensive and less time-consuming to correct. It would be misleading to indicate that only cosmetic repairs are necessary. Blandair requires structural enhancements, as well as total replacement of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in order to prepare the mansion for the public's use.
The property has been neglected for a significant period, and as a result, requires both modernization and rehabilitation. However, much of what makes Blandair unique and beautiful is intact.
A Pictorial Tour of Blandair Today
Pictures of the exterior and interior of the Manor House and site at Blandair provide the best indication of its current physical state. These pictures do not give a completely accurate sense of the depth of repair required; thus, in following sections we address not only programming for the future, but also intended changes and restoration.
The outbuildings are not slated to be included in the initial stage of restoration. All are intended to be included in later phases of preservation, although the County has performed such necessary repairs to rescue the buildings, even prior to ownership, and will continue to do so throughout the preservation process.
Blandair Manor House: rear view