The first time I experienced The Von Hoardenburg Estate was a couple of years ago from the backseat of an 1967 Cadillac. We were on our way to a party at house once owned by a Standard Oil heir who in his will had not passed it on to his family but to his rent boy who in turn passed it onto his rent boy. Seeing it was a sign we were headed in the wrong direction. While reversing direction, I was told the story of how concerned new money residents of the town wanted to “save it,” or do something else equally awful. According to local middle class historians, it is of some invented historical significance. The only extant example of type X architecture from time period Z in all of New England! To the newly indebted (I mean rich) towns people it is such a horror that a structure containing so many whiteness signifiers should decay in plane view of everyone!
Years later and slightly more sober, my friend Joie’s cousin Jeff took us there and I heard an alternative history. It had been the home of a hoarder who had hoarded so much that the house had begun to fall in on itself from the weight of the objects inside it. I know this because rather than attend a Vermont task force meeting on hoarding, I chose to buy new madras shorts at American Eagle. The compound is pretty spectacular, the main house (not pictured) which has caved in, is surrounded by old cars and trailers all filled with amazing things. There is even a supply of 6 or 7 tow trucks to help bring additional vehicles if necessary.