October 15, 2014


Land of Excess returns today with more reporting of our real-life tour of Norton Manor, the 47,000 sq. foot residential dwelling in Potomac, MD that was recently included in a benefit tour supporting the St. Francis Episcopal Church of Potomac.  We left off last week with the queasy feeling in our tummy upon discovering that the elaborate leather bound books in one of the offices were all contemporary mass market thrillers.  At that moment, we understood, even more deeply than we could have imagined, that the negative connotations of the word “facade” were germane to understanding the materials of this house.  So, we took every opportunity, where it was permitted, to knock our little fist against seemingly rock-like materials.  We were startled when this little knocking motion produced a pinging/ringing sound coming from what we had naively presumed was sandstone block.  What we were touching was actually just a thin coat of stucco-like material (with an excess of sand in it to give texture) slathered over a hollow wooden armature.  We think that this is how theatrical and film sets are constructed, except that in Norton Manor the material can be viewed from all sides.