PDA

View Full Version : Dan Brown's Mansion / Brief Tour



Ken
05-25-2013, 07:48 PM
... something I definitely would NOT want myself:

"When Brown returns home, it's to a place a lot like his novels."

Something I would DEFINITELY want myself:

"The office in which he writes is hidden behind a painting. Several secret passages can be found in just the library (or the Fortress of Gratitude, as Brown calls it; it holds editions of his books in more than 50 languages)."

... except for the books in different languages.
Only knowing one, they wouldn't be of much use to me ;-)

The link:

http://homes.yahoo.com/blogs/spaces/da-vinci-code-author-dan-brown-house-exactly-180438425.html

ps Do you ever fantasize about your dream home?
Mine would have a library. An oak one.
And a pool -- with a small island where I could write!
And puppy to play fetch with ^..^
So lots of land as well.

Siri Kirpal
05-25-2013, 09:34 PM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Cool! Thanks so much for the link!

I used to dream of building a house. What I drew varied over time.

Nowadays we live in a forest, but close to friends and culture and natural food stores. My writing room has a view of treetops. I'd like more book space--lots more book space--but other than that, this is as close to my dream house as I'll get.

BTW, you wouldn't want your books translated into 50 languages? I would, even if I could only read the English version.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

jjdebenedictis
05-25-2013, 09:35 PM
I would totally love a house (well, a castle, preferably) with secret passages!

I adore that house. I'd seriously buy that--if, y'know, I were a rich author also. :D

rainsmom
05-25-2013, 09:58 PM
Secret passages/rooms would be fantastic! I would love to have my own space that was completely secret.

When I was a kid, I used to design my dream homes... they ended up being apartments over elaborate barns. Horses rule! These days I prefer to keep the ponies as naturally as possible, so I don't have much need for an elaborate barn. Now my dream home is all about lots and lots of very private property. The house itself would probably be fairly small with tons of character.

CJ Knightrey
05-25-2013, 10:20 PM
Oh my, I want that house. It's so awesome, I wish I had the money to get someone to build me a house like that! :D

Medievalist
05-25-2013, 10:24 PM
All I could thing about is what a PITA heating a stone house in Winter in New Hampshire.

Susan Littlefield
05-25-2013, 11:21 PM
Interesting. That would be fun having a home with secret passages...a secret writing room would be great, too.

Old Hack
05-25-2013, 11:45 PM
My house is much better. For a start, it's real-old, not fake-old, and it doesn't have ugly brick-built fireplaces: it has proper stone ones, one of which is taller than I am. My house also has a couple of hidden passageways in the cellars, and we have stables.

However, my house is also part-derelict and has no mains services.

Medi, is New Hampshire as bad as South Yorkshire when it comes to weather? You've seen pictures of the snow we get up here on the moors. Our house has stone walls a couple of feet thick and they absorb the heat, and then radiate it back out at us over the hours: it's almost like living in a giant storage heater.

Ken
05-25-2013, 11:50 PM
BTW, you wouldn't want your books translated into 50 languages?

... never gonna happen, but yeah; it would be great having my as yet unpub'd trove translated into other languages!

I still wouldn't want to own copies.
I took French for 7 years in JHS and high school and it was a torment.
Just couldn't learn the language try as I might.
As a result I've developed a near phobia of foreign languages,
while maintaining awe for those who are multilingual.
(If I was able, I'd love to learn Russian.)

ps Neat idea about designing one, Rainsmom.
I may give that a go from time to time.
At least I can have a dream home on paper! :-)

gothicangel
05-25-2013, 11:54 PM
My house is much better. For a start, it's real-old, not fake-old, and it doesn't have ugly brick-built fireplaces: it has proper stone ones, one of which is taller than I am. My house also has a couple of hidden passageways in the cellars, and we have stables.



I agree with OH. My flat in Stirling was perfect, it was dated from 1906, and had all the original features including fireplace in every bedroom (my room had been the 'maid's room'), outside wash-house and cornice complete with rose in the reception room.

I was just offered a job with English Heritage this week, so I need to find a place in the Warkworth area of Northumberland. My dream house would be a stone-built cottage, preferably with a bit of history too it, and some land would be the icing on the cake. :)

Medievalist
05-25-2013, 11:56 PM
Medi, is New Hampshire as bad as South Yorkshire when it comes to weather? You've seen pictures of the snow we get up here on the moors. Our house has stone walls a couple of feet thick and they absorb the heat, and then radiate it back out at us over the hours: it's almost like living in a giant storage heater.

It's a bit colder and wetter but very similar, inland. The mountains, in the north are extreme (think snow in July as quite possible). The coast has winter and lots of snow, but the temperature tends to be milder.

The food's better in Yorkshire though . . .

Old Hack
05-26-2013, 12:00 AM
You've not had my cooking yet, darling.

Medievalist
05-26-2013, 12:15 AM
You've not had my cooking yet, darling.

You haven't been exposed to the horror known as a New England Boiled Dinner.

Old Hack
05-26-2013, 12:42 AM
It sounds suspiciously like the meals of my childhood. Those which didn't come out of a can, that is.

Medievalist
05-26-2013, 01:11 AM
It sounds suspiciously like the meals of my childhood. Those which didn't come out of a can, that is.

A can would quite possibly be an improvement, depending on the cook and the meat source.

waylander
05-26-2013, 01:20 AM
The food's better in Yorkshire though . . .

So is the beer.

victoriajakes
05-26-2013, 01:31 AM
I live in New Orleans and I love to drive past the house where Anne Rice wrote The Witching Hour. It's so beautiful and gothic and inspirational. If I ever make the big money, I would love to buy a mansion in the Garden District just like hers.

And build a crazy castle with secret passageways in backwoods Massachusetts.

And a beach shack in the Caribbean.

I like to dream big.

Mr Flibble
05-26-2013, 02:10 AM
All I could thing about is what a PITA heating a stone house in Winter in New Hampshire.


Oh, I don't know, they manage well enough in Scotland with those stone houses (which keep in heat better than brick, unless you have the old cavity wall insulation)

My son has told me we aren't allowed to move unless we move somewhere with a secret passage...I'd settle for a library with one of those stairs on wheels things and a big leather armchair in front of a fire. Butler optional.


(think snow in July as quite possible)

On eof my American customers this week mentioned she was all prepared for a British summer when she moved over here - and then in snowed in July and she O.o

dangerousbill
05-26-2013, 02:26 AM
"The office in which he writes is hidden behind a painting. Several secret passages can be found in just the library (or the Fortress of Gratitude, as Brown calls it; it holds editions of his books in more than 50 languages)."


He's also hired a secret society of insane priests to chase him and try to kill him.

frimble3
05-26-2013, 03:08 AM
I'm thinking it wouldn't be that hard to retro-fit a secret passage if you really wanted one, and had a largish room in a large house to put one in.
Pick a wall between two rooms, and build out a false wall, about 3 feet out from the original. Hide a door in the rooms at either end, in a closet perhaps, and there you are.

: )

Ken
05-26-2013, 03:20 AM
I'm thinking it wouldn't be that hard to retro-fit a secret passage if you really wanted one, and had a largish room in a large house to put one in.
Pick a wall between two rooms, and build out a false wall, about 3 feet out from the original. Hide a door in the rooms at either end, in a closet perhaps, and there you are.

: )

... neat idea.
But you do have to be careful about overdoing that.
It could compromise the building's structure.
Ideally, if you remove a beam,
you should make some sort of alternate reinforcement to play it safe.
(Maybe a crossbeam?)

:Lecture:

@ dangerousbill
One thing's sure.
If he was being chased,
he'd have no problem eluding capture with all those passageways!

Racey
05-26-2013, 05:09 AM
Oh this is awesome! Really.
I would love some secret passageways, including one with a writing space. Right now, my writing space is a tiny desk in my room.. not very secret or cool :Shrug:

jjdebenedictis
05-26-2013, 06:12 AM
I'm thinking it wouldn't be that hard to retro-fit a secret passage if you really wanted one, and had a largish room in a large house to put one in.
Pick a wall between two rooms, and build out a false wall, about 3 feet out from the original. Hide a door in the rooms at either end, in a closet perhaps, and there you are. Slightly tangential, but...

Someone my husband knows has this monstrously large house. It was built to look monstrous and large (and ostentatious), but the house would also have had slightly more square footage than the city bylaws allowed.

So they built a room into it that has no entrance. It's just a dead space within the house that eats up floor space so the house is legal despite being bigger than the city wanted to allow.

A room in your house no one knows about or can get into--I've always thought there was a really scary book idea lurking in that premise.

Old Hack
05-26-2013, 10:26 AM
... neat idea.
But you do have to be careful about overdoing that.
It could compromise the building's structure.
Ideally, if you remove a beam,
you should make some sort of alternate reinforcement to play it safe.
(Maybe a crossbeam?)

If you were only creating a passageway by building a new wall, you wouldn't have to remove any beams or braces. The only issue would be putting that new door into the existing wall, which would require a lintel (in stone- and brick-built houses) which isn't too big a job to sort out.

I love playing with buildings. We've done all sorts here: turned staircases round, rearranged (non-supporting!) walls, moved windows... right now we're renovating an old bedroom, and the attic above it, to create a split-level bedroom for our youngest son. It's looking so good now that I am tempted to take it for my own!

Raindrop
05-26-2013, 11:56 AM
I'd like to have my own room for writing, with a large bay window looking into the back garden. The garden would have a grotto, secret twists and turns, and aromatic herbs.

There'd be a forest nearby so that I could go for a run or for a walk easily. I already have that, and I really can't see myself living far from the trees again.

lolchemist
05-26-2013, 11:59 AM
Hate to sound like a hater but I just could not deal with a big house. 3 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms plus kitchen, living room and den and balconies would be as big as I could handle. I don't want a pool or anything like that either, too much of a pain to deal with even if I were rich enough to just pay staff to deal with it. However, just to be extravagant, I wouldn't mind this home being right in front of the ocean or on top of a snowy mountain in the middle of a forest or in a very convenient and expensive location in the heart of a major city!

bearilou
05-26-2013, 02:56 PM
Hate to sound like a hater but I just could not deal with a big house. 3 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms plus kitchen, living room and den and balconies would be as big as I could handle. I don't want a pool or anything like that either, too much of a pain to deal with even if I were rich enough to just pay staff to deal with it. However, just to be extravagant, I wouldn't mind this home being right in front of the ocean or on top of a snowy mountain in the middle of a forest or in a very convenient and expensive location in the heart of a major city!

I'm with you, lol. Large houses look lovely and they can be spectacular but for myself, I want something smaller.

Location would be the big thing for me.

Ken
05-26-2013, 03:17 PM
If you were only creating a passageway by building a new wall, you wouldn't have to remove any beams or braces. The only issue would be putting that new door into the existing wall, which would require a lintel (in stone- and brick-built houses) which isn't too big a job to sort out.

I love playing with buildings. We've done all sorts here: turned staircases round, rearranged (non-supporting!) walls, moved windows... right now we're renovating an old bedroom, and the attic above it, to create a split-level bedroom for our youngest son. It's looking so good now that I am tempted to take it for my own!

... good to know about the "lintel."
Was hoping someone would explain how.
Maybe one day the info will prove useful.
Your home sounds neat.
I recall your describing it a bit in another unrelated thread.
You were restoring or replacing an antique, stained glass window of sorts.
Did you manage that?
LOL about the new room. I'd probably have that dilemma myself :-)

@ Lolchemist: we're agreed on the balcony.
Always a neat addition.

@ JJ: definitely a premise there. You should give it a go.
An inaccessible room would be a neat basis for a story.

Phaeal
05-26-2013, 04:12 PM
You haven't been exposed to the horror known as a New England Boiled Dinner.

Mmmmm. Get a nice big in-house brined brisket from Whole Foods. Fresh carrots, fresh Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh onions, fresh cabbage. Pack 'em all into a crockpot with extra "corns": black pepper, mustard, coriander, cloves. A bay leaf or two. Just enough water to cover the brisket. 8-10 hours later, Nirvana.

But, wait? Dan Brown's house, oh, yeah. Not for me. All I want is a single level Cape Cod-shingle style with two beds, two baths, laundry room on the main level, huge screen porch out back overlooking the kettle pond and gardens, and a detached two car garage. Separate building for two offices, among the trees, and, just for fun, an "ancient" stone tower for chatting with the Outer Gods and housing the cats in wizardly style.

aikigypsy
05-26-2013, 04:29 PM
This is the best/most distracting thread!

I am now trying to figure out how to work a secret passageway into our 1200 sq. ft. house, and have decided to wall off my writing space so that it becomes a "secret room." The entrance to it used to be a wall, so this would be do-able, but would work best if we could put on the passive solar greenhouse addition.... none of which can be done any time soon, but it's nice to think about.

I love love love the idea of secret passages, but in small houses the options are limited, and big houses are a PITA. As a housecleaner friend of mine put it once, "This is the kind of house for people who don't clean their own houses." Big houses are also harder to heat, maintain, etc., and fake old is just silly... so in theory I wouldn't want Dan Brown's house. If I had that kind of money to throw around I might buy an old Irish castle and make it liveable, though.

Now I am going to spend all day thinking about house plans!

As for the food, I'd say New England and Old England are about evenly matched -- some things better on one side, some better on the other, and that things like a boiled dinner can go either way, depending on the quality of the ingredients and the skill level of the cook.

Old Hack
05-26-2013, 04:53 PM
... good to know about the "lintel."
Was hoping someone would explain how.
Maybe one day the info will prove useful.
Your home sounds neat.
I recall your describing it a bit in another unrelated thread.
You were restoring or replacing an antique, stained glass window of sorts.
Did you manage that?
LOL about the new room. I'd probably have that dilemma myself :-)

Ken, our home is challenging, but we do like it. Here's a picture of a monster icicle we had at our house (http://twitpic.com/cert4i)this winter, which also shows a couple of stone lintels very nicely (and the remains of the original water pump); and here's a longer shot of the house (http://twitpic.com/3ciuu6) showing our car stuck on the track.

On the inside of the walls there are wooden lintels: they're hidden behind the plaster, so don't have to be made so carefully. But you do need to support the whole thickness of the wall, and as ours are a foot or two thick that means a lot of support.

We've not yet started work on the glass: we've not finished the entrance hall yet, and so we'll wait until it's nearly done before working on the glass. The porch is nearly finished though (http://twitpic.com/bdrl37): we had to take the original one down as it started to fall away from the house, but we've reused as much of the original stonework as we could.

aruna
05-26-2013, 05:48 PM
I want to play the piano like that! (Or violin, or flute...)

As for the house, I'm with lolchemist, as edited below:


Hate to sound like a hater but I just could not deal with a big house. 3 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms plus kitchen, living room and den and balconies would be as big as I could handle. I don't want a pool or anything like that either, too much of a pain to deal with even if I were rich enough to just pay staff to deal with it. However, just to be extravagant, I wouldn't mind this home being right in front of the ocean or on top of a snowy mountain in the middle of a forest or in a very convenient and expensive location in the heart of a major city!

Ken
05-26-2013, 08:16 PM
we do like it.

... me too. Actually, pretty awesome!
Good, thick stonework. Nice and solid.
I figured that'd be what lintels would be like with wood,
but never suspected stone would be like that also.
Makes total sense, but still nothing I'd ever have thought of.
Good somebody figured that out already :-)
G'luck with the rest of the renovations and additions.

@ Phaeal: accommodations for cats. Neat ^..^
@ Aruna: "piano." Yep! Don't own one, but I can play.
Not great. But still would want one. (+ Added to my dream home.)

Putputt
05-26-2013, 09:03 PM
Hate to sound like a hater but I just could not deal with a big house. 3 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms plus kitchen, living room and den and balconies would be as big as I could handle.

I agree with this, except why yes please, I would like a pool. I just wanna wallow in a pool all day long and spray anyone who comes too close.

muravyets
05-26-2013, 09:26 PM
Slightly tangential, but...

Someone my husband knows has this monstrously large house. It was built to look monstrous and large (and ostentatious), but the house would also have had slightly more square footage than the city bylaws allowed.

So they built a room into it that has no entrance. It's just a dead space within the house that eats up floor space so the house is legal despite being bigger than the city wanted to allow.

A room in your house no one knows about or can get into--I've always thought there was a really scary book idea lurking in that premise.
AKA an oubliette (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM-JzqCULI0) (youtube link). You could still get an original if one of those old appropriately equipped castles goes on the market.


Hate to sound like a hater but I just could not deal with a big house. 3 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms plus kitchen, living room and den and balconies would be as big as I could handle. I don't want a pool or anything like that either, too much of a pain to deal with even if I were rich enough to just pay staff to deal with it. However, just to be extravagant, I wouldn't mind this home being right in front of the ocean or on top of a snowy mountain in the middle of a forest or in a very convenient and expensive location in the heart of a major city!
Yeah, me too. I don't want to have to go traipsing all over to get or do stuff in my own house or else have to maintain multiple bathrooms, etc. I think houses should be sized for the number of people living in them and their regular activities. Rattling around in too much space would be just as much of a hassle for me as being cramped in too little space.

That said, I do have successful writer/artist house fantasies. They involve either real-old buildings -- I have a passion for Georgian vernacular -- or new construction I commission myself. They also involve municipal water/sewer/gas service, broadband, and a public transit/walking lifestyle. Natural light, fresh air, garden space, room for an art studio and a writing office and lots and lots of books and art, as well as basic amenities.

With those criteria, there are places I like and buildings or locations I occasionally see that I then fantasize about specifically. So there are places on the east coast where I could have a house facing the ocean within a township and the ability to walk to downtown along the beach. That would be great. So restful and rejuvenating.

There are places in Vermont where I could take over a farm in or within a short hike of a fully equipped town. I could then either live in the house and rent out the barn and pasture/fields, or rent the house and pasture/fields, and live in the barn, renovating the post-and-beam structure to add more windows and install a second floor. That second floor would then be the living and writing space, while the ground floor was the studio, gallery, and possibly an indoor sports space. I've always had a fantasy of indulging in fencing and archery in the house. And I'd have the satisfaction of looking out my windows and seeing lives carrying on and work being done and commerce occurring because I hate seeing resources like land and space go to waste.

Secret passages and whatnot, though, strike me as silly. I mean, if I live alone, I don't need them, and if I don't, then the other inhabitants of the house will know about them and still be able to find me and interrupt me while I'm writing, so what's the point? Secret passages and rooms basically become just fancy closets.

Medievalist
05-26-2013, 09:49 PM
So is the beer.

Now there you'd have to come to Washington or Oregon or California, and try our local brewed micro beers and ciders.

Our wine too.

Medievalist
05-26-2013, 09:50 PM
As for the food, I'd say New England and Old England are about evenly matched -- some things better on one side, some better on the other, and that things like a boiled dinner can go either way, depending on the quality of the ingredients and the skill level of the cook.

The problem is that too many cooks take the "boiled" far too literally.

And there's no Yorkshire pudding!

Fran
05-26-2013, 10:20 PM
I want to live in a lighthouse. A lighthouse with broadband.

But I've got my wee cooncil hoose. That's my dream home for now.

measure_in_love
05-27-2013, 07:14 AM
this is amazing, thanks for sharing the link. I want secret passageways! I agree with people who said they don't want a huge house. I wouldn't want one with a bunch of empty rooms, but I would deal with a few bedrooms for me, my family, guests rooms, then the rest would be secret passages and libraries and music rooms :)

I didn't know he could play piano so well. That's pretty awesome. My family is really musical, and I'm trying to get back into it too. When they said that he was going to be at Lincoln Center did anyone else have the "wait is he playing piano there" reaction, like I did? haha then when they said to just hear him speak, I was like oh okay that makes more sense lol.

southbel
05-27-2013, 12:03 PM
We have a secret passageway in our house - nothing special. There was a passageway with shelves between my office and our living room. On the living room side, it was completely in the way and needed to be closed up so I could fit a sofa properly. Once we closed that up, I thought it would be nice to have it become a closet for the office but decided to create a hidden door of sorts. We have paneling in there and created a door with paneling on it. Can't see it unless you get close.

For my dream house, we're shopping for that now. In the country, with lots of land. I'm not much of a city girl. All I want is a small Southern cottage, Lowcountry style preferred. Wooden walls, metal roof, deep porches, and plenty of live oaks to provide shade. Round here, it's about a house that will stay cool even in our summer heat. Oh and a pool please. :)

Jamesaritchie
05-27-2013, 11:07 PM
Brow's house is a little smaller than I like, and doesn't sit on nearly enough land, but I love the secret passages. I have some friends who once lived in a house with a secret passage and a secret room. We discovered it purely by a very freak accident.

I'd love to have a hidden office, but there's just no way to fit one in where I live.

LittleKiwi
06-04-2013, 03:09 AM
For me, location is everything. It' have to be somewhere like Wanaka or Queenstown in New Zealand. It's Middle Earth.

JournoWriter
06-06-2013, 02:21 PM
Living next to the ocean ain't all it's cracked up to be. Storms and erosion and flooding and evacuations are a pain.

Aside from bookshelves and bookshelves and more bookshelves and a dedicated giant library with two stories and a rolling ladder and a garden and a little bit of woods, my main criterion for a dream house is really good water pressure. Preferably with a rain shower.

Ken
06-06-2013, 03:59 PM
... neat how individualistic and distinct everybody's dream home is.

muravyets
06-06-2013, 05:11 PM
Living next to the ocean ain't all it's cracked up to be. Storms and erosion and flooding and evacuations are a pain.

Aside from bookshelves and bookshelves and more bookshelves and a dedicated giant library with two stories and a rolling ladder and a garden and a little bit of woods, my main criterion for a dream house is really good water pressure. Preferably with a rain shower.

Every place has its downside. Ocean = storms and floods. Rivers = floods. Plains = tornados and drought. Mountains = landslides/avalanches. Tropical islands = hurricanes and volcanos. Cities = people. Etc. Hell, if people think California, with its earthquakes, mudslides, and wildfires is a paradise, I guess one can find a work-around for anything.