The Richards House is a Bed and Breakfast lodging in Dubuque, Iowa. I reserved online in advance and had no idea what it would look like, but I guess I imagined a sunny white or yellow house with a fancy sign out front. Instead, when we arrived at the address at dusk, my heart sank. It looked like a haunted house! Even spookier because it had been raining!
I reminded myself of the old adage, “You can’t tell a book by its cover” but even so, I mounted the wet stairs* with trepidation. And we were richly rewarded – inside the house, we were surrounded by old-fashioned opulence! The family who built and owned this house previously were obviously quite wealthy, and the neighborhood contains many big old houses that most likely have been repurposed.
All the doors and windows at the Richard House had stained glass on and over them.
Even the door hinges were beautiful!
Our hostess, Michelle, showed us many features of the house, including these door hinges. She and her partner have owned the house for 29 years, which she calls “a work in progress.” They bought the house as a “fixer upper.”
The bathroom had some old-fashioned features, including a genuine “water closet” that made a loud racket when the flush chain was pulled!
Our bathroom did have a modern shower with a glass door, but one of the rooms downstairs had a half bath plus this:This shows most of the room we stayed in – I was standing in front of the door when I took this photo.
Our chandelier and fireplace (there are fireplaces in each room, each of them surrounded by unique tiles).
Michelle invited us to have a “snack” – in the hallway outside our room was a refrigerator with boxed wine and two crystal cake holders, one of which was blueberry cake and the other pumpkin cake, both left over from that morning’s breakfast. Plates, glassware and silverware were provided. I poured Dale and myself glasses of wine and helped myself to a large piece of pumpkin cake.
I wanted to take pictures of everything in the house before we left! In the morning, we joined five other people at the dining room table for an amazing breakfast – warm (freshly made) blueberry cake, bacon, egg casserole, French toast, freshly squeezed orange juice and rich coffee served in mugs with “The Richards House” embossed on the side.
Door to our room from the outside
Doors to other rooms (I think the house can accommodate 8 couples maximum at one time):
There is also a living room, or parlor, with this baby grand piano. Michelle told us that when they first got it, it had several coats of white paint on it!
Other fireplaces (there were a few more I didn’t have a chance to take photos of):
Looking down on the reception table from upstairs* where our room was:
Window on the stairwell:
Ceiling and embossed wallpaper details:
For $85 per night, this place was a steal, with all the amenities that were offered! There are different prices, I think, depending on what room you are in. A young single man paid $64 for his room. This was our last night in Iowa – the next night we were in our own bed. I strongly encourage anyone who stays overnight in Dubuque to book lodgings at the Richards House. You will not be disappointed – it’s so much cozier and interesting than a hotel room!
*If you have trouble with stairs, please note there is a stairway (about 6 steps) to get up to the front door of the house, and you should let the proprietors know that you need a downstairs room.
Posted for Norm’s Thursday Doors, 10/4/18.