After a century, the silk velvet drapes and the ornate ceiling design were showing their advanced age, diminishing the opulence of the impressive and elegant dining room.


The drapery project was funded in 2017 in part with a generous grant of $48,000 from the New York State Park and Trail Grant Program (NYSPTGP) for “Keeping Up Appearances: Maintaining Opulence of Staatsburgh’s Grand Formal Dining Room.”

The custom made materials used to make the drapes very closely replicate the Gilded Age materials of the mansion’s historic drapes. Drapery fabric was made by Kravet/Lee Jofa and trims, tie-backs and tassels were supplied by Samuel & Sons.

Volunteers from the New York Capital District Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America worked many hours on the creation of the stunning new drapes for the room’s 5 enormous windows and terrace door.


The Friends funded the re-painting of portions of the room’s ceiling where the peeling paint detracted from the splendor of the room.


Mrs. Mills was renowned for the quality of her linens. To complete the refreshed setting and to reflect her special concern for this aspect of entertaining, the Friends purchased a stunning, linen damask tablecloth for the 15-foot dining table, custom made in Ireland.

Custom Storm Windows

Phase 2 was completed in 2021. The windows and terrace doors were cleaned of the deteriorated UV coating. Newly created custom exterior storm windows for both the dining room and library were hung.

 “The dining room was the zenith of impressive experiences during the Millses’ lavish weekend parties for the elite people in New York society,” says Pam Malcolm, Historic Site Manager: “If their guests were not sufficiently impressed by all the other rooms, or the stunning landscape and river views, entering the dining room with its marble-lined walls, giant tapestries, and gilded 18-foot ceiling, tended to elicit the admiration Mrs. Mills sought from peers in her social set.”

We think Mrs. Mills would be pleased.


Decorative flourish

Click through the gallery below for more photos of our dining room project.

detail shot of a glass bowl on top of a table inside the mansion

“These projects can be pretty involved when we do it right. They can take time and need support so we’re very grateful to the Friends of Mills for helping us with these projects.”