Maximizing Your Membership

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By: Oliver Hartner

Thursday, October 31st 2019

Oliver Hartner

During a committee meeting for the Palladium Society 2016 Silent Auction, I met the woman who would eventually become my wife. Another chance encounter at Reagan Airport and a random seat assignment next to her on the plane ride back from D.C. to Columbia led us to the altar.

Though membership in Palladium might not guarantee you’ll find love, one particular perk from our Historic Columbia Foundation membership became quite useful during our recent honeymoon in Newport, Rhode Island.

Newport has served as a highly lauded destination since the 19th and 20th centuries, and wealthy families such as the Vanderbilts constructed massive mansions as summer homes (think Biltmore on a smaller scale). They’re remarkably apportioned for hosting lavish parties of various kinds—from debutante balls to state dinners. These places now serve as house museums and are maintained by the Preservation Society of Newport.

We wanted to see these witnesses to the Gilded Age, and though the ticket price was steep, our Historic Columbia Foundation membership at the Friend Level granted us free admission to all the Newport Mansions— it was quite a treat to gain such a rich experience at no additional cost. This was possible through Historic Columbia’s affiliation with the North American Reciprocal Museum Association, which connects over 1,000 arts, cultural, science, and historical institutions across the continent.

It’s a great feeling to discover more value and utility in something you already had. Wherever our travels may take us in the years to come, rest assured we will remain dues-current Historic Columbia Foundation members and plan our trips accordingly.