Nominated for: BEST Breakfast
Built in 1882 as a seaside escape for families, the Carroll Villa was built in the Italian villa or American bracketed villa style. The Carroll Villa was on the cover of the Cape May handbook as an architectural example of this style which presents an imposing, sweeping porch, tall front windows, a symmetrical facade, and often a cupola, as does the Carroll Villa.
The history of the Carroll Villa shows that about a decade later, a second section was added to the main building. These new rooms were very small, leading one to the conclusion that they were built as servant quarters for the families occupying the main building. As was true of the seaside villas of the Victorian era, the rooms of the Carroll Villa were spare and austere. When bathrooms were added, they were "down the hall," two to a floor. There was a common parlor for socializing and a large dining room for meals.
When the present owners, the Kulkowitz family, purchased the Carroll Villa in 1978, there were 31 rooms and 8 bathrooms. Each room had an odd combination of a beautiful antique dresser and a rather worn out iron bedstead. Rooms were painted in dark colors. There were many connecting doors between the rooms. It was obvious that a restoration project had to begin. As became true with all restoration projects in Cape May, that of the Carroll Villa came to reflect the personalities and histories of the members of the Kulkowitz family.
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