Thursday, February 28, 2013


Edith Fabbri was an inspired woman with noble purpose to maintain her home from its early days as an elegant private town house residence to become the House of the Redeemer. The name sounds rather ecclesiastical, and indeed it is, as it once was operated by the Sisters of St Mary from 1949 to 1980, but has since become a venue for programs, concerts and retreats but remains faithful as possible to Mrs. Fabbri’s vision.

A RARE RETREAT Strolling in the Carnegie Section of Manhattan you might take a walk past 7 East 95th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenue and quite easily pass one of the very special hidden treasures in New York City, THE HOUSE OF THE REDEEMER. I realize that that is an austere sounding name for the building but it all came about by the largess of Edith Shepard Fabbri, great granddaughter of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, and her husband Ernesto Fabbri. Mrs. Fabbri was indeed a woman of strong religious values and in 1949, inspired by a sermon preached by The Right Reverend Austin Pardue on the necessity of silence and prayer in the spiritual life, Edith Fabbri, founded the House of the Redeemer.

A PLACE APART The House makes one feel like they have stepped into a Renaissance Palace in Italy. Not surprising, as the first time visitor will see that The House of the Redeemer’s interior decoration, executed by Egisto Fabbri, Ernesto Fabbri’s brother, incorporated the Fabbri’s collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque furnishings and architectural elements into his designs.When a new corporation was formed to receive the gift of Mrs. Fabbri’s house, it was to be used for the use of retreats and to be a “place apart,” which incidentally is an excellent book by the same , written by Percy Preston, Jr., which tells the story of the fabled house.
THE LIBRARY Of special interest for me is the Library, a treasure built in 2400's for the Ducal palace in Urbino, Italy, which houses rare books of ancient origin, plus a monumntal fireplacde, exquisite paneling, a balustrade gallery, and a secret gallery. However, other rooms are magnificent venues of remarkable museum-quality interiors and furnishings. The House of the Redeemer is a rare living testimony to the Fabbri’s historical heritage. It was designated a New York City landmark in 1974.

House events open to the public include concerts, retreats, seminars, book discussions, benefit dinners and parties, Bible study and meditation groups, and rental space is available for a variety of venues including cocktail receptions, meetings and weddings. Tours can be had by appointment. Phone: 212.289.0399

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Polly Guerin is an author/poet with four textbooks and 2 video productions as credentials as well as 4 books ready to be published. All my blogs are intended to become the basis for books to be published. PollyTalk From New York (c) is a current events blog about happenings in New York City. I have been PollyTalk columnist on the Internet, Big Apple News Network. AmazingArtDecoDivas blog features amazing women of notable character. I am on the board of the Art Deco Society of New York. The Fashion Historian blog gives pertinent insight into Polly's consummate knowledge about fashion history. Former professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Awaken Your Sleeping Beauty blog gives you pertinent information about holistic remedies for health, beauty, mind, body and spirit. I am on the board of the Edgar Cayce New York Center. I sing with the St. George's Choral Society and also serve on their Board. My little dog Colby is a rescue dog and I support animal charities. I hope you enjoy my blogs, please keep in touch.