Getting down with a ‘Downton Abbey’ fundraiser for the Bruce

It takes a grand estate to honor another.

“An Evening Inspired by Downton Abbey,” a fundraiser for the Bruce Museum that riffs on the beloved PBS series, will be held in Greenwich on Saturday, Feb.7, at one of the town’s great houses, the Topping Estate on Round Hill Road.

“We always look for new and interesting ways to engage the community with our events, and a ‘Downton Abbey’ theme seemed right this year,” says Jen Bernstein, the museum’s special events manager. “It’s such a popular show, and when we toured this incredible mansion right here in Greenwich, we knew we had to do it.”

Possibly the most famous and considered the best-documented of the grand houses in Greenwich, the Topping Estate was designed in 1916 by William B. Tubby for Daniel Gray Reid. He commissioned the work as a present for his only child, Rhea, who in 1910 married Henry J. Topping, son of John Topping, the president of Republic Iron and Steel. By 1927 the estate totaled 208 acres, with 23 servants living in the main house, and seven families housed on the estate. It remains a stunning example of architecture in the grand manner and a reminder of the gracious living that flourished in the United States in the period between the two World Wars – the setting for “Downton Abbey,” Series Five.

The Bruce Museum benefit will feature a cocktail reception and seated dinner, co-chaired by Jean Doyen de Montaillou, Michael Kovner and Leah Rukeyser. Proceeds from the benefit will help support children’s education and scholarship programs at the museum.

Period dress is encouraged; formal dress is required. Valet parking will be provided.

Space is limited. To receive an invitation to the fundraiser, contact Jen Bernstein at or 203-413-6761, or purchase tickets online at – edited by Georgette Gouveia

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