Chesterwood is the House and Studio of noted sculptor Daniel Chester French. French is best known for his Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. He hired architect Henry Bacon to design this estate between 1898-1901.
The House and Studio
Of all the houses I have visited, this one had the best visitor center display I have seen. It explains and places in context, the importance of French’s public works. If you go, definitely plan on spending some time on this exhibit. It is well worth your time.
Front Facade of House
The house itself is rather modest.
Front Facade of Studio
French’s studio is a fantastic space. Visible in the above picture, if you look through the door, you will see French’s final sculpture, Andromeda. It is as he left it in the work space.
Studio from garden
The studio also has entertaining areas along with the work areas, and it is situated in a garden setting.
A contemporary sculpture on the grounds.
Interspersed on the grounds are works by contemporary sculptors.
As well as works by French’s daughter, such as this Lincoln Sculpture.
Click here to see more of my photos of Chesterwood.
Edith Wharton’s home in the Berkshires.
The Mount as viewed from the garden.
Edith Wharton designed this house with the help of Ogden Codman, Jr. and
Francis L.V. Hoppin (of Hoppin & Koen) between 1901-1902. It embodies all she and Codman wrote about in 1897 in the “Decoration of Houses.”
The exterior of the house exudes symmetry and balance. It is said that the house is based on Belton House, a 17th-century Palladian-style English country house, with classical Italian and French influences.
To me, the true beauty of this house comes form its relationship to the surrounding landscape and gardens.
The gardens and grass terraces from the patio.
The Gardens were designed by Wharton and her niece, Beatrix Jones Farrand. They include a walled garden in the Italian style; flower garden reflecting French and English design influences; rock garden; lime walk; grass terraces; and kitchen garden.
Flower garden reflecting French and English design influences
Walled garden in the Italian style
Click here to see more of my photos of the Mount.
Front Facade, Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park, NY
Of all the Vanderbilt Homes I have visited, this might be my favorite. It was designed in 1895 by McKim, Mead & White for Frederick Vanderbilt.
Oval Entrance Hall
I love the scale of the rooms. The mansion is like a jewel box with all the public rooms arranged off the large oval entrance hall.
2nd Floor Balcony
A skylight and 2nd floor balcony are above the main entrance hall.
Mrs. Vanderbilt’s Bedroom
One of the most amazing rooms in the home is Mrs. Vanderbilt’s bedroom. It is inspired by the Marie Antoinette chamber at The Palace of Versailles.
Rear facade, Vanderbilt Mansion.
The Mansion is overlooking magnificent grounds and the Hudson River.
Hudson River View from rear portico.
Today the mansion is owned by the National Park Service.
Click here to see more of my photos of the Vanderbilt Mansion at Hyde Park.
This property was once the most northern part of the Manor of St. George. Today it is parkland preserved by the Town of Brookhaven. The Estate consists of farm buildings, a one room school house, a caretaker’s cottage, etc. The house itself has been added onto multiple times and is representative of vernacular architecture of its place and time.
Click here to see more of my photos of the Longwood Estate.
Wave Hill is a public garden that is owned by the City of New York. It is comprised of two adjacent estates – Wave Hill House and Glyndor House.
Glyndor House is used as an art gallery.
Wave Hill House
When I visited, Wave Hill House was undergoing extensive renovations. Both houses are on a hill, above the Hudson River and overlooking the Palisades.
Sweeping views of the Hudson River and the Palisades
Both houses have had quite a history with many prominent owners and visitors. See http://www.wavehill.org/about/history/ for a full history of the site. This garden is well worth the visit – the grounds are just glorious!
A Garden View
Click here to see more of my photos of Wave Hill.
Front of Marble House
Marble House is a monumental homage to extravagance. Built principally for Alva Vanderbilt by Richard Morris Hunt, it is based on the Petit Trianon at Versailles.
Under the main entrance
The entire house screams formality and classicism inside and outside.
Over one of the side windows
Inside the house boasts more than 500,000 cubic feet of marble.
The Ocean facing facade
The Tea House at Marble House
The tea house was added to the grounds by Alva in 1912. It was designed by the firm of Hunt & Hunt. (Richard Morris Hunt’s sons.) It was the site of several suffragist meetings after WWI.
Inside the Tea House
Today Marble House is one of the mansions operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County.
Click here to see more of my photos of Marble House.
Kingscote was originally designed by Richard Upjohn for George Noble Jones in 1839 – 1841.
Side view of Kingscote
One of my favorite rooms in Kingscote is the dining room, which was expanded sometime in the 1870’s to 1880’s by the firm of McKim, Mead and White. To quote their webpage: “The room combines Colonial American details with exotic ornament – reflecting the architects’ interest in combining eastern and western motifs. The innovative use of materials was also important, such as cork tiles as a covering for the wall frieze and ceiling, and an early installation of opalescent glass bricks by Louis Comfort Tiffany.”
Kingscote Dining Room
Today it is one of the mansions operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County.
Click here to see more of my photos of Kingscote.