The Percy Grainger Archives
"What I wanted to convey in my Hill-song was the nature of the hills themselves -- as if the hills themselves were telling of themselves through my music, rather than that I, an onlooker, were recording my 'impressions' of the hills." (Grainger, as quoted in the "Program Notes" to Hill Song No. 1 in Thomas P. Lewis, A Source Guide to the Music of Percy Grainger.
Concrete vaults and cast iron columns
In the basement of his house, Percy Grainger built a fireproof concrete vault for the manuscripts of his music. Like the rest of the 1893 house, the basement was already stoutly built, the structure being supported on fluted cast iron columns, similar to those familiarly seen in cast iron commercial buildings of the day.
Always a fan of physical fitness, Grainger was famous for hiking many miles between concert engagements, then leaping onto the stage in time for his performance. When he took the train into New York City, he was equally disdainful of modern conveniences, wheeling his (or his guests') luggage to and from the train station in a wooden wheelbarrow. In the basement you can still see the wheelbarrow.
Here are some pictures of the interior of the vault. This page will eventually have more detailed information about the archives and their contents.
View 1 of the basement vault and archives. Note classical cast iron
column at the rear of the picture.
View 2 of the basement vault and archives.
(Photo from Inez Bull, 7 Cromwell Place,
View 3 of the basement vault and archives. Note box labeled "Country
Gardens" at the upper right.
(Watch for new additions to this page.)
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