Grand hall

The Grand Hall

If the outer facade of this magnificent Mansion wasn't a good enough first impression for his special guests, then Buck's magnificent Grand Hall was sure to wow everyone who walked inside the front doors. The incredible architectural elements such as the Italian marble floors and illustrious crown molding are all original to the home and were personally selected by Mr. Duke when he built this grand hall as well as the East wing after purchasing the home in 1919. Buck wanted this incredible hallway to immediately surround his guests with a feeling of grandeur and luxury mixed perfectly with southern charm and gracious hospitality - which is the very same way we want every one of our guests to feel still today. The Grand Hall and the entire first floor that surrounds you was the entertaining portion of the Mansion and includes a Living Room, a Dining Room, a Library, a Kitchen, and a Solarium. The second floor of the Mansion were the bedrooms for Duke and his guests, and the third floor was the staff's quarters. In addition to the three floors above ground, Buck also had a basement added to which runs the entire length of the home. In the early 1900s, while most people traveled by foot, bicycle, horse-drawn carriage, or streetcar from one side of town to the other, millionaire Buck Duke had a chauffeur to drive him around in a beautiful Royles Royce - which would be parked in the basement below. Not only that, but Buck couldn't be bothered with backing his car out into his steep driveway whenever he wanted to leave the home; so, he put a turn-table in his basement so he could drive his Rolls Royce into the basement, park it, then have the turntable turn it around so that he could later drive it right back out heading in the right direction. Today, the basement is used for day-to-day operations such as laundry service, food storage, and the like. If you're standing in the grand hall with your back to the front entrance of The Mansion, look to your left all the way to the end of the hall and you will set a set of false doors. Remember how we mentioned that front of the original home faced to the West? These false doors represent the original back doors to the home before Duke expanded it to the Mansion we have today. Head towards the false doors and enter the room directly to the right of the false doors to visit the Dining Room. 

The Duke Mansion
  1. Welcome
  2. The Front Entrance / The Water Fountain
  3. The Grand Hall
  4. The Living Room
  5. Doris Duke Painting
  6. The Solarium
  7. The Dining Room
  8. The Mary DBT Semans Gardens