Dec 21, 2016

Martin Van Buren's Lindenwald Estate: Innovations Inside A Presidental House

Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

Part One: The Main Hall Table

Lindenwald Exterior in Summer, From the collection of: Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

Martin Van Buren was known to entertain many guests at his Lindenwald Estate in Kinderhook, NY. To accommodate different size groups, he had a very unique table placed in his Main Hall.

Lindenwald Interior - Center Hall, From the collection of: Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

The table, when fully expanded, could host up to twenty people.

Center Hall table blueprints, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, From the collection of: Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

Blueprints for the table.

Center Hall table leaves being removed, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, From the collection of: Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

The table could be made smaller to clear the main hall for entertainment.

Center Hall Table with leaves removed - open, From the collection of: Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

Under the leaves of the table, there is an accordion like structure which allows the table to be pushed together and thus be made smaller.

Center Hall table without leaves, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, From the collection of: Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
Center Hall Table with leaves removed - Close-up of Hinge, From the collection of: Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

A photo of one of the hinged segments.

Center Hall table being collapsed, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, From the collection of: Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

After removing the leaves, two people can easily push together the two ends of the table.

Center Hall table with leaves removed, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, From the collection of: Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

Once pushed together, the table is dramatically smaller. This allowed for easy storage and opened the Main Hall up for entertainment such as dancing.

A brief documentary featuring craftsman John Kovacik.

Click on this image for a panoramic view of the Main Hall and a glimpse of adjoining rooms. A Virtual Tour of President Van Buren's home is available as a separate exhibit.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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