A rare jewel of Second-Empire architecture, the circa-1881 Vaile Mansion sparkles brightest during Yuletide. The beloved Independence, Missouri, landmark closes its doors to guests for nearly a month in preparation for the annual Christmas Open House, sponsored by the Vaile Victorian Society. Holiday tours, offered regularly from Thanksgiving Day to December 30, usher participants into the fanciful environs of a late-nineteenth-century residence, dressed in seasonal finery. Towering trees decorate many of the thirty-one rooms, while lush festoons of beribboned greenery adorn marble fireplaces, glittering chandeliers, and various nooks throughout the manse. Contrasting with the sophistication of elaborate woodwork and hand-painted murals, whimsical vignettes impart a sense of wonder to the interiors. Each year, designers showcase a new theme—drawing visitors back to rediscover the exquisite beauty and timeless allure of this historic home.
—Melissa Lester, Associate Editor, Victoria magazine