Tag Archives: historic houses

Idle Hour: An Exhibit of Historic Photographs

Idle Hour: An Exhibit of Historic Photographs

An exhibit I am curating which will be on display March 14, 2013 to June 16, 2013 at the Islip Art Museum.

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March 3, 2013 · 3:11 pm

Inisfada, Manhasset NY

Inisfada (Gaelic, meaning Long Island) was built for Nicholas and Genevieve Brady in 1919 by the architect John Torrey Windrim.

Part of the Front Facade

Part of the Front Facade

It is an excellent example of the Tudor Revival Style.

Front Entrance

Front Entrance

The facade of the house is decorated with scenes from Fairy Tales.

The Hare from the

The Hare from the “Tortoise and the Hare”

Billy Goats Gruff

Billy Goats Gruff

The Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood

The Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood

In addition to the fables, the facade is beautifully decorated with nature.  Here, the top of each capitol is decorated with a different flower.

Flowers on Capitol 1

Flowers on Capitol 2

Flowers on Capitol 2

Also, each chimney on the house is decorated differently.

Examples of some of the many different Chimney decorations.

Examples of some of the many different Chimney decorations.

The interior of the house has many of its original furnishings.

1st floor hall way through the scroll work of an iron door.

1st floor hall way through the scroll work of an iron door.

Stained Glass Window inside the St. Genevieve chapel on the second floor

Stained Glass Window inside the St. Genevieve chapel on the second floor

On the grounds there are several beautiful memorials.

The estate tea house and the gardens surrounding it are a memorial.

The estate tea house and the gardens surrounding it are a memorial.

Statue in the pond

Statue in the pond is a memorial a place to reflect

Inisfada front facade

Inisfada front facade

The house is presently serving as the St. Ignatius Jesuit Retreat House, which is unfortunately, slated to close on June 1, 2013.  This Manhasset, NY house is currently up for sale at $49 million.  After visiting this beautiful house, I personally would hate to see it demolished.  I believe that the Jesuits are being short sighted in their desire to divest themselves of this property. There is a need for a place like this in today’s society – this perhaps has never been more true than now – after the wrath of Hurricane Sandy and in the wake of the Newtown (CT)  shootings.

Click Here to see many more of my photos from Inisfada.

 

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Ventfort Hall, Lenox MA

Ventfort Hall was designed by the architects Rotch & Tilden in 1891.

Front Entrance

Front Entrance

This summer home was built for  Sarah Morgan, the sister of J. Pierpont Morgan.

Rear Facade

Rear Facade

It is in the Jacobean Revival style.

Jacobean Revival Detail

Jacobean Revival Detail

This mansion was very nearly lost to the wreaking ball in the 1990’s.  Extensive restoration work is taking place both inside and out.  Some of this work was made possible from a site use fee – the house was used as the Orphanage in the Movie “The Cider House Rules.”

Click here to see more of my photos of Ventfort Hall.

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Springwood / FDR Estate, Hyde Park NY

Springwood Front Facade

Springwood Front Facade

Springwood was the home of Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The original Italianate-style house has been added to several times, the most recent modifications were made in 1915.

Roof line detail

Roof line detail

The house actually belonged to Franklin’s mother, Sara.  Sara paid for the work that Franklin designed with the architects Hoppin & Koen, doubling the original house’s size.  These alterations gave the house a Colonial Revival Style identity.

Statue of Eleanor and FDR

Statue of Eleanor and FDR

The estate is quite large and features individual houses for both Eleanor and Franklin, The FDR Presidential Library, a Visitor’s Center, several estate outbuildings and the 32nd President’s Final Resting Place.

Gravesite

Gravesite

Click here to see more of my photos of Springwood.

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Olana, Hudson NY

Olana was the home and studio of Hudson River School artist Frederic Edwin Church.

Front Entrance

Front Entrance

The house was designed by Calvert Vaux (best known for his work on NYC’s Central Park) in 1872.

Roof Line Detail

Roof Line Detail

It is a Persian styled confection located at the top of a hill, overlooking the Hudson River.

Window Detail

Window Detail

The day I visited, the house was not open to the public and extensive restoration work was being performed on the exterior.  I look forward to returning here one day.

Facade Facing the Hudson River

Facade Facing the Hudson River

It seems that there are 2 web sites for this park.  One by a friends group and one by NY State.  If you decide to visit, the hours posted on the State Site seem to be more up-to-date.

Click here to see more of my photos of Olana.

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Chesterwood, Stockbridge MA

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

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

Front Facade of House

The house itself is rather modest.

Front Facade of Studio

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

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.

A contemporary sculpture on the grounds.

Interspersed on the grounds are works by contemporary sculptors.

Lincoln Sculpture

Lincoln Sculpture

As well as works by French’s daughter, such as this Lincoln Sculpture.

Click here to see more of my photos of Chesterwood.

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The Mount, Lenox MA

Edith Wharton’s home in the Berkshires.

The Mount as viewed from the garden.

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.”

Front Facade

Front Facade

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.

Roof Detail

Roof Detail

To me, the true beauty of this house comes form its relationship to the surrounding landscape and gardens.

The gardens from the patio.

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

Flower garden reflecting French and English design influences

Walled garden in the Italian style

Walled garden in the Italian style

Lime Walk

Lime Walk

Click here to see more of my photos of the Mount.

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