The Mount is both an historic site and a center for culture inspired by the passions and achievements of Edith Wharton. Designed and built by Wharton in 1902, the property includes Wharton’s gracious main house and expansive terrace; the historic stable, greenhouse, and gatehouse; and three acres of formal gardens surrounded by extensive woodlands. The Mount is the only monument to Edith Wharton in the United States, and one of just five percent of National Historic Landmarks dedicated to women.
The Mount is maintained and operated by the Edith Wharton Restoration, Inc., which was founded in 1980. Its mission is to preserve The Mount as a National Historic Landmark and cultural center that celebrates the literary, artistic, and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton. Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born into the tightly controlled society of Old New York at a time when women were discouraged from achieving anything beyond a proper marriage. Wharton broke through these strictures to become one of America’s greatest writers. Author of The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and The House of Mirth, she wrote over 40 books in 40 years, including authoritative works on architecture, gardens, interior design, and travel. Essentially self educated, she was the first woman awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Yale University, and a full membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
The Mount is establishing itself as a year-round cultural venue, hosting, in partnership with other institutions, lectures, workshops, musical performances, theatre, and other educational programs. By hosting students on site as well as conducting outreach programs at regional schools, The Mount also seeks to educate young people about Wharton, history, and literature. The Mount hosts nearly 40,000 visitors annually.