Fonthill Dormer


Fonthill was the home of the American archeologist and tile maker Henry Chapman Mercer, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Built between 1908 and 1912, it is an early example of poured-in-place concrete and features 44 rooms, over 200 windows, 18 fireplaces and 10 bathrooms. The interior was originally painted in pastel colors, but age and sunlight have all but eradicated any hint of the former hues. It contains much built-in furniture and is embellished with decorative tiles that Mercer made at the height of the Arts and Crafts movement. It is filled with an extensive collection of ceramics embedded in the concrete of the house, as well as other artifacts from his world travels, including cuneiform tablets discovered in Mesopotamia dating back to over 2300 BCE. The home also contains around 1,000 prints from Mercer’s extensive collection, as well as over six thousand books, almost all of which were annotated by Mercer himself.

2 thoughts on “Fonthill

  1. Char

    These libraries probably smell like books. “The Man Who Wanted To Smell Books” (by Elsbeth Davie in a compilation of her stories in a book by the same name) paints a mournful picture of vanishing libraries. Your work is wonderful. I, too, love the smell of books and images of libraries, especially those in homes.


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