Tag Archives: French Norman Style

Belcourt Castle, Newport RI

Belcourt Castle from Bellevue Ave.

Belcourt Castle from Bellevue Ave.

From 1891-1894, Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont hired Richard Morris Hunt to design a Newport castle for his horses and himself.

close up of exterior

close up of exterior

This house may be stylistically the most schizophrenic in design that I have seen.  The exterior resembles a French chateau.  Walk inside the entrance archway into the courtyard, and one finds oneself surrounded by half timbering that reminds me of an English Tudor style, but I have been reminded that half timbering is seen in Norman style architecture too.  All I can say is that the juxtaposition of the two styles so close together is jarring.

entrance archway from courtyard

entrance archway from courtyard

About the stables….. I have heard the following about this house: “It is a palatial stable with an incidental apartment attached.”  In addition to the stable wing, the whole first floor of the house (the incidental apartment was on the 2nd floor) was also stable space, open to the outside until Alva Vanderbilt Belmont moved in in 1896.  Alva enclosed the first floor and turned it into an Italian Renaissance styled hall and banished the horses to the stable wing.

Stable wing inside courtyard

Stable wing inside courtyard

Belcourt is privately owned and open for tours sporadically.  I hear that it is up for sale and I hope a suitable buyer can be found for it.  It is in need of restoration and it’s history and architecture are worthy of saving.

Click here to see more of my photos of Belcourt Castle.

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Filed under Historic Homes Out of New York State, Newport RI

Falaise, Sands Point NY

I visited this house on October 7, 2011.  It was built by Harry Guggenheim on land that was part of his father’s estate.  Today it is part of the Sands Point Preserve.

Courtyard View of Falaise

Courtyard View of Falaise

The pool area

The pool area

Main Entrance

Main Entrance

Wonderful detail was paid to all aspects of this house’s architecture.

One of the many carvings around the front door

One of the many carvings around the front door

Detail of columns on terrace

Detail of columns on terrace

Terrace Turret

Terrace Turret

Charles Lindbergh was a frequent guest at this home.  It is said that he wrote “We” while siting at this second floor window, seen below.

Dining Room and Guest Suite from Terrace

Dining Room and Guest Suite from Terrace

The house is built on a cliff overlooking Hempstead Harbor.

Hempstead Harbor from the terrace

Hempstead Harbor from the terrace

This is one of my favorite North Shore mansions.

For more photos see my Sands Point Preserve Flickr page.

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Filed under Long Island Historic Homes