Those of us with active imaginations can transform just about any locale in our minds. For example, my office today isn’t a gray zone filled with the sounds and smells of humming computers and burnt coffee — it’s the sunlit garret of a colonial home that smells of fresh bread and cedar. Of course, this requires a sizeable amount of “creativity,” also known as delusional thinking. Not so at the Victoria Mansion, where any old hack — no matter how practical (or sane) — can take the 45-minute guided tour and imagine him- or herself as a character in a Henry James novel. How could you not, when you’re surrounded by lush furnishings, intricately carved walls, and grand-scale architecture? And why would you want to? That’s easy. The dresses and corsets! The calling cards and top hats! The stifled sexuality that lay smoldering beneath layers of practiced propriety! The place practically begs to be used as a mental playground, and we’re happy to oblige.
Victoria Mansion | 109 Danforth St, Portland | 207.772.4841 | victoriamansion.org