The Berkshire Eagle
Lenox Inn Rejuvenated
Friday June 18, 1999
By Kelly O'Callaghan
Berkshire Eagle Staff
LENOX -- Hand-painted antiques grace the hallway. Crystal wall sconces light a large sitting room with a fireplace. A curving staircase winds upstairs to six guest rooms.
Hampton Terrace, at 91 Walker St., is the latest bed and breakfast to officially open in downtown Lenox. Stan Rosen, former development director for the National Music Center, and his wife, Susan, bought the historic house recently and entertained their first guests this past weekend.
They had two weeks to ready the house for their first guests, and move in themselves.
"We worked 16-hour days for two weeks solid," Stan Rosen said. "But forced deadlines are always good."
While the Rosens made no drastic structural renovations, they completely repainted and refurnished several rooms to make the inn their own. The new color scheme, consisting of rich reds and greens and blues, was inspired by a postcard from England depicting an elegant 19th century ballroom.
Lenox Inn Rejuvenated
The three-story house was not built with the intention of serving as a bed and breakfast. The building was constructed in 1882 in the Gilded Age and was called Wynnstay, according to the Rosens.
The only evidence of the history of the building after its construction is a postcard from the 1920s calling the inn Hampton Terrace. A little brochure from the 1940s advertising the inn describes the "new Tanglewood."
Both papers show the front of the inn with a second-story balustrade above the front entrance, complete with overhanging flowers, though the balustrade does not exist now.
"That's something that's really important to us. We want to replace that right away, right down to the planters," Stan Rosen said. He and his wife, who dreamed about running their own inn for years, hope to keep the decor of the inn true to the time period in which it was built, right down to pulling up modern carpeting to reveal hardwood floors. Susan Rosen has refinished and artistically painted furniture for years, and plans to add her own touches throughout the house.
As for breakfast, Susan's nephew Jonah Baker, a new chef at Bistro Zinc on Church Street, will serve guests an "enhanced continental breakfast." The inn is already booked for nearly all weekends this summer.
The Rosens bought the inn from Don O'Brien, who raised his six children and ran a bed and breakfast there with his wife for 31 years.
"They said we reminded them of themselves when they were starting out," Susan Rosen said. The Rosens have been married for 20 years and have four children: teen-agers Lauren and Courtney, and 6-year-old twins Tristan and Colin. They also have a dog named Pigeon.
"We wanted a place where we could raise our family. This looked like a family home," Susan said. The Rosens purchased the 6,000-square-foot house for $500,000, and invested another $200,000 for renovations through a loan from Berkshire Bank.
They have already received the necessary town permits to renovate the existing Carriage House to create six additional guest rooms which they hope to complete by next summer, bringing the total to 12 rooms. "This wasn't a big stretch for me," Stan Rosen said. "We love the Berkshires and the cultural attractions here, and now we have a place where we can share that with other people."
Bringing people together
By Cathy L. Eberly (MEd, Curry ’00)
Stan Rosen (Studio Art ’76) is a New England innkeeper, welcoming guests to a gabled, white clapboard getaway in the Berkshires. But that’s not what he’s been doing since his Charlottesville days. The road that took him to Lenox, Mass., went through Georgia and had an assist from Dick Clark. But you might say the journey started in Mad Bowl.
As InterFraternity Council president in 1975, Rosen saw possibilities where others saw headaches — in Easters, a weekend that had morphed from a sedate springtime dance weekend to a loud and large party that attracted young people from up and down the Eastern seaboard.
He persuaded the fraternities to throw one large, centrally controlled party, and he booked national musical acts, including the Tams and Jr. Walker & the All Stars. “We treated it like an outdoor rock concert, complete with a student security force and portable toilets,” he said.
His efforts were perhaps too successful. According to The Cavalier Daily, the 8,000 individuals who descended upon Charlottesville brought some of the old problems — underage drinking, traffic jams, trash and injuries — although University officials acknowledged the party was better controlled than in previous years. By the mid-1980s, after President Frank Hereford convened a commission to study it, Easters had been discontinued.
By then, Rosen was on to other ventures. After graduation, he had returned home to Macon, Ga., and his family’s financial planning business. But he stayed involved in music. He joined the board of the Macon Concert Association, just as the group was considering closing up shop after years of diminishing subscription sales and donating their sizeable nest egg to another music organization.
Rosen had other ideas. “I proposed investing their accumulation into an anniversary season that would either raise ticket sales to a healthy level or end their 50-year run with a bang,” he said. The series he helped plan attracted a new generation of subscribers that sustains the organization today.
But Rosen didn’t limit himself to the classics. A pianist who played for visitors to his Lawn room, he was proud of the hometown he shared with Little Richard and Otis Redding. Leasing the Macon Coliseum and City Auditorium and a high school football stadium, he produced shows by the Moody Blues, Jefferson Starship, Kool & the Gang and Willie Nelson, among others.
In 1986, he promoted a show that brought together two bands fronted by Macon natives Greg Allman and Dickie Betts, estranged members of the Allman Brothers Band. Rosen’s goal was to bring a reunion of the surviving original members to Macon — he sold 3,000 tickets to fans who shared his dream. Allman and Betts argued about everything, Rosen recalled, including which band should perform first.
“After Allman’s set, he went back for an encore and Betts joined him,” Rosen said. “After a couple of songs, Greg looked at Dickie and smiled, and Dickie nodded yes. At that point, the remaining members — Butch Trucks, Jai Johnny Johansen and Chuck Leavell — joined them on stage. The place was electric.” The band played until 1:00 a.m., he said, “when the fire marshals made us close the show.”
As Rosen pulled off other successful events, including Little Richard’s nationally covered homecoming to Macon after 30 years, his reputation grew. At various times he led the Macon Arts Alliance, the Macon Heritage Foundation and the Macon Sports Commission and served as director of development for the Macon-based Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
Then Dick Clark called. A founder and chairman of the National Music Foundation, he was looking for someone to direct the foundation’s fund-raising efforts. Rosen, his wife Susan and their four children moved to Lenox, where they chose to stay when the foundation moved its headquarters to Florida three years later.
Home to Tanglewood, summer base of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the village is a destination for travelers in search of culture and cool temperatures. In 1999 he and Susan bought Hampton Terrace Bed and Breakfast (www.hamptonterrace.com), a 19th century residence that had opened to guests in the 1930s. “We love Lenox — it’s a Mecca,” he said. “We saw great potential in the property.”
Rosen brings all of his skills to play as an innkeeper. He and Susan Rosen welcome guests from around the world, including U. Va. “I try not to lose contact with old friends, because I always assume there is a project out there just waiting for us to do together,” Rosen said. “It all boils down to seeing the possibilities, to matching the right ideas with the right people.”
Cathy L. Eberly is a freelance writer living in Charlottesville.
© UVa College of Arts and Sciences.