Lobby Bar Chandelier
The newest addition to The Greenbrier’s Lobby Bar is a stunning 600-pound crystal chandelier used on the 1939 movie set for Gone With The Wind. The Greenbrier’s interior designer and curator, Carleton Varney, purchased the chandelier from the collection of Debbie Reynolds. Although widely known as a singer and actress, Ms. Reynolds also maintained an extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia rescued from the warehouses of large movie studios.
This chandelier is one of two Gone With The Wind fixtures now owned by The Greenbrier. The second will be hung in the entry foyer of the upcoming Greenbrier Medical Institute. Carleton Varney selected these particular chandeliers because the narrative of the movie connects with The Greenbrier’s 19th century history when it was universally acclaimed as the most fashionable summer social resort in the south. In addition, Gone With The Wind was Dorothy Draper’s favorite movie and one of several inspirations for her “Romance and Roses” themed redecoration of The Greenbrier in the late 1940s. Those original themes are very much carried on by her successor, Carleton Varney.
In 1936, shortly after the publication of her extraordinarily popular novel which formed the basis for the movie, Margaret Mitchell wrote a letter to The Greenbrier’s General Manager sharing her memories: “When I was a small child listening to old ladies’ conversations, so much was said about White Sulphur. So many of their romances had begun there. So many honeymoons had been spent there before the Civil War, and time and again I have heard them tell of how much they missed their annual trip there after the war and the great excitement when finally times were prosperous enough for them to go back and spend the summer!”