Farewell to the Headless Cherub
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Written by Strawbery Banke Archives

Wing tip of Victorian plaster cherub / SeacoastNH.com


Strawbery Banke Presents

Visitors new to the seacoast region are amazed to learn that, just a few years ago, Wentworth by the Sea Hotel was in ruins. Stephen Gianotti and Tom McCarron thought they were capturing the last days of a lost Victorian hotel when they shot a series of photographs in 1989. (Continued below)


Wentworth’s lost Victorian charm

By then the Wentworth had been closed for seven years. This image of a headless plaster cupid beautifully symbolizes the slow deterioration of the once-grand structure. Similar cherubs can still be seen in the painted dome in the dining room. Roughly 80% of the expansive hotel complex was torn down by a series of owners before Ocean Properties invested millions of dollars to rejuvenate and reopen the hotel in 2003, thanks, in part, to the efforts of the Friends of the Wentworth. Amazingly, the last surviving portion of the building included the original structure built in 1874 that was incorporated into the new design by TMS Architects. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Gianotti)

Headless plaster cupid at Wentworth by the Sea in 1982/ Photo by Stephen Gianotti

For more photos by Stephen Gianotti

 From the book Wentworth by the Sea: The LIfe and Times of a Grand Hotel by J. Dennis Robinson (2004). Visit Amazon.com to purchase a signed colelctive copy or see our Wentworth by the Sea section under PLACES & EVENTS.