Historic Details of the Dining Room
The dining room at Willowdale Estate is one of our more iconic rooms, full of artistic detail and handcrafted elements. The black and white floor pattern, vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, ceramic tile mosaic, and Dutch Delft tile fireplace all contribute to the beauty of this room.
Originally, the dining room was built as horse stables in 1902. Bradley Palmer housed his beloved horses in this room, but after expanding the house in 1915, began hosting dinner parties, class reunions, and other social gatherings. However, by retaining the exposed beams of the original stable, Palmer paid tribute to the original function of this room.
Nowadays, this room has continued to be used for dinners and social gatherings. Not only that, but this is a great location for private meetings, dessert bars, additional cocktail hour space, and intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions!
Top Left: Zev Fisher Photography
Top Right: Shane Godfrey Photography
Bottom Left: Allegro Photography
Bottom Right: Annmarie Swift Photography
The ornate Italian marble fireplace is lined with beautifully detailed blue and white Dutch Delft tiles. The mantle above the fireplace is reminiscent of a game of chess with each side showing a castle, a king and queen, and a variety of horsemen, and soldiers in a battle.
Top Left: Kelly Lorenz Photography
Top Right: Monika Rivard Photography
Bottom: Katie Slater Photography
The Mexican Ceramic Tile “Madonna of Light”
The mosaic tile depicts Mary, with baby Jesus surrounded by angels – this is most likely from Central America where Bradley Palmer visited while working with United Fruit Company.
The Stained Glass Windows
Throughout this room, you can find many depictions of mythic, literary, and familial themes in the etched stained glass. The bottom right side of the largest window has the inscription “palma virtuti” which is a symbol of triumph and victory. Translating to “Palm of Virtue” or “Victory by Virtue”, it is believed to be the crest of the Palmer family. On the bottom left side of this window, you can find the phrase “Haec Olim Meminisse Juvabit”. It comes from the Aeneid meaning “One day it will be pleasing to have remembered these things.” Perhaps Palmer meant this as an encouraging note after the horrors of WWI. At the top left corner, there is an image of the lion and the cupid most likely comes from Aesop’s fable The Lion in Love. Lastly, on the door leading out to the tent and courtyard, there is the Lady and the Unicorn perhaps referring to the famed tapestry set by the same name. The tapestries are one of the greatest medieval works of art. In particular, they are praised for their use of feminine symbolism, via the unicorn, the moon, and the lady.
Featured Image: Shane Godfrey Photography