I glimpsed the name "Wharton" in an NY Times headline, and clicked on the link, wondering whether this was related to Edith Wharton, a novelist whose work I enjoy, and whose biography I am reading right now. Indeed, it is: Landmark Massachusetts Building Where Wharton Wrote Faces Foreclosure.
The Mount, Edith Wharton’s estate in Lenox, Mass., is in danger of being put in foreclosure, says Stephanie Copeland, president of Edith Wharton Restoration, the organization that owns and maintains this stately residence and its surrounding gardens.
Since 2002, Ms. Copeland explained by phone this week, the Mount, which is open to the public — much of it has been restored in recent years to match the period when Wharton lived there — has been covering its operating expenses by borrowing from the Berkshire Bank in nearby Pittsfield. It now owes the bank some $4.3 million, and in mid-February, when it failed to meet a scheduled monthly payment of $30,000, the bank sent a notice that it intended to start foreclosing unless the default was remedied promptly, Ms. Copeland said.
To stay open, she added, the Mount needs to raise $3 million by March 24.
Yikes! That's not much time for a lot of money to raise. If they decide to fundraise over the interwebs, I'll gladly pitch in a few dollars.
PS: They do (sort of), and I did. The Mount/Edith Wharton Restoration web site has instructions on how to contribute by check or credit card if you're so inclined.