Photo by Brett Boyle
When I first laid eyes on the Jenny Lind House in Historic Yellow Springs Village, I felt an immediate pull to create something within her walls that spoke to her history and to that of the village. As I have written about in my past blogs, this house has been re-invented many times through the years since the stone was first stacked, one-by-one, to create those beautiful walls in the 1830’s.
The large stone front of the house was actually added on to a much smaller original dwelling that seems to be from the late 1700’s. This is the room that you have seen me post about, where we took the wallpapered wall to the right of this picture out, for it was not original. Much to our surprise, this revealed a fireplace that had been covered up on the other side of that wall.
It is highly unusual to have two walk-in fireplaces side-by-side like these two, with no room for a wall in between them to separate them into different rooms. Remember, when these stone houses were built, all of their walls were incredibly thick, like in the photo below, so we know these fireplaces were not divided by a wall back in the day. With that, we think that perhaps these two side-by-side fireplaces were used to cook for all of the farmhands or a large family that inhabited this property. We know that the large barn next door that has since become the township building and the home of SALT Performing Arts and this older structure were once part of the same farm parcel.
The revelation that one part of the house was built significantly before the other and has an entirely different aesthetic and feel has been a guiding hand in the design of the spaces. We want to acknowledge their time period yet want the design to be harmonious so that one flows into the other.
In this post, I am speaking to the design inspiration of this intimate back space that is becoming the cafe part of our project, as well as the inspiration behind our menu.
In this part of the building, I want warm woods…
and metals with patina…
balanced by the luster and elegance of marble…
to fill this space with the feel of yesteryear that this house embodies.
I’m looking to create a space that is not contrived but rather feels like it has evolved over the years, layer by layer, as this house has. We have been gathering pieces that fit this design plan and are very close to beginning their installation. An exciting time indeed!
We even have the most beautiful old library ladder that we will be installing to get to the highest shelves for storage in the cafe.
What are we going to be serving in this re-imagined room where food was once prepared well over two hundred years ago? We have put so much time and thought into bringing this beauty back to her former glory and then some that we feel her menu will have to do her justice.
Food as Art is our mantra here.
Think fresh seasonal ingredients that highlight local purveyors and makers…
and the integration of herbs and flowers into the recipes, whose creative presentations will be as beautiful as the taste of the food itself.
After all, Historic Yellow Springs Village has been centered around the arts for more than a century. Before that, it was a Spa Village where the pursuit of health and wellness brought patrons from near and far to its healing springs. Our menus will delve into both art and health, giving a nod to the village’s past in which this house was an integral part.
On board will be fabulous coffees, teas, juices and flavored seltzers.
Menu items that have been inspired by what we love to eat…
that contain what we love to grow…
and that sometimes, just sometimes, might seem too pretty to eat.
At Life’s Patina, we believe in experiences and places that leave an impression.
Places that make you feel something.
Places that put a little extra into everything they do, which lends itself towards creating that unique experience.
Places you take a little bit of with you into your everyday when you leave.
In our design, in our food offerings and in our service, that is what we hope to bring to you when you visit the Life’s Patina Mercantile & Cafe at the Jenny Lind House in Historic Yellow Springs.
We hope that you can come visit us when the doors open to this Grande Dame!