Upstairs, the second floor houses several bedroom suites including a large room on the southwestern corner, which was once used by Mrs. Hubbard. It later came to be used as the ambassadors’ study and houses built-in bookcases containing a complete collection of
Chinese classics. Of particular note in this room are the two telephones sitting in glass cases. One is a slender brass model, reportedly an early prototype left behind by Alexander Graham Bell. The other is an antique phone set in a box with a gold, blue, and red dragon motif, said to have belonged to one of China’s early emissaries to the U.S. in the nineteenth century.
Descending back through the house to the front foyer, if visitors pause at end of the main staircase, they will see perhaps another example of yuan fen. The newel post of the main staircase, the original from the time the house was built, is capped with a wooden pineapple, long a Taiwanese symbol of good fortune and prosperity.