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Trailblazing Trendsetters


view of bedroom in Pavilion

Fort Ticonderoga and the Pavilion were shaped by a number of strong women: museum co-founder Sarah Pell spearheaded restoration efforts in the early 20th century, renowned landscape architect Marion Cruger Coffin designed the iconic King’s Garden, and legendary interior decorator Dorothy May Kinnicutt Parish, better known by her nickname, Sister Parish, redesigned the Pavilion interior shortly after she finished working at the White House for the Kennedy’s. Throughout her long career, Sister Parish combined light, color, and pattern into an aesthetic that graced the pages of Architecture Digest, House & Garden, and Vogue.

entrance hall of Pavilion

Working with longtime museum director John Pell and his wife Pyrma in 1963, Sister Parish introduced bright colors and cheerful patterns to the Pavilion. The entrance hall was her focal point, where she replaced an earlier light fixture with the Cooper chandelier and chose to paint the hardwood floor to imitate marble. She supervised the painting herself and added the finishing touches to achieve a sense of understated gravitas perfectly suited to the National Historic Landmark Pavilion.

As work on the Pavilion collection continues, stay tuned here and on Fort Ticonderoga’s Facebook page for updates on the restoration of the Pavilion, new discoveries, and more from Fort Ticonderoga every week.