Elegant Country and Suburban Houses of the Twenties

Overview


This handsomely illustrated book showcases outstanding examples of suburban and country houses of the 1920s—a great period for domestic architecture in the United States. Lovely photographs present exterior and interior views of 51 classic homes, primarily in the metropolitan area of New York City, as well as other suburbs on the east coast and in California.
A variety of distinctive architectural styles are depicted, from a simple Long Island Dutch colonial to an elegant ...
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Elegant Country and Suburban Houses of the Twenties

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Overview


This handsomely illustrated book showcases outstanding examples of suburban and country houses of the 1920s—a great period for domestic architecture in the United States. Lovely photographs present exterior and interior views of 51 classic homes, primarily in the metropolitan area of New York City, as well as other suburbs on the east coast and in California.
A variety of distinctive architectural styles are depicted, from a simple Long Island Dutch colonial to an elegant Spanish villa in California with courtyard and terrace. Floor plans as well as interior and exterior views display an array of striking arrangements: central buildings with flanking wings and pavilions, arched passageways, kitchens with pantries, sun porches, servants' rooms, and even a "men's dining room"; while photographs depict such architectural details as sweeping staircases, gardens and pools, and decorative cornices, chimney caps, and fireplace mantels.
An ideal reference for preservationists and home restorers, this volume will delight enthusiasts of gracious architecture of the 1920s.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486442167
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 7/26/2005
  • Series: Dover Architecture Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.86 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Elegant Country and Suburban Houses of the Twenties


By Charles S. Keefe

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-14641-6



CHAPTER 1

DESCRIPTIVE NOTES


TO simplify the arrangement of the plates, and, it is hoped, to make the book more useful, the buildings have been grouped under their proper styles and a short explanation of each design has been given.

In addition to the complete designs shown, a number of doorways and interiors have been included. It was not possible to show the entire houses in each instance, so the portions that were available have been illustrated when they offered suggestions not covered by the balance of the book.

The descriptions have, purposely, been made simple and concise, because, in the writing of a subject such as the one with which this book deals, it is so easy to wander into generalities that mean nothing.

The term style as applied to the designs in this book must be taken in rather an elastic way. Good designers never slavishly copy a design, but, use in their own way certain forms that determine the style. This gives individuality to a building, that otherwise, it would not have. Also, our buildings are made to fulfill certain wants that did not exist when the various styles were developed. For example; porches and sun rooms must now be incorporated in most plans. All this means a reasonable amount of freedom in following a precedent but does not permit a jumbling of motives from various sources. Therefore it will be understood, that, to a good designer, the word style does not cover a cut and dried formula, to be worked out to the last degree.


COLONIAL HOUSES

PLATES 1-6 HOUSE FOR J. A. BURDEN, ESQ. SYOSSET, L. I.

The design of this house is refined and has unusual distinction. A pleasing type of Southern Colonial embodying its best traditions both in exterior and plan. The walls are of brick laid in Flemish bond with narrow joints giving a texture in keeping with the design. The cornices, window sills, chimney caps and other details, are of white marble.

It will be noted by referring to the elevations that the house has different floor levels. Two on the garden front, and, three at the entrance front, making a most interesting arrangement.

The plan consists of a central building with flanking wings and pavilions, the principal rooms occupying the central building. On the main floor, the servants' rooms occupy the East wing, while the sons' rooms are situated in the West wing with three guest rooms at the lower level. The principal bed rooms and guest rooms occupy the second floor of the central building.

PLATES 7-10 HOUSE OF LATHROP BROWN, ESQ. ST. JAMES, LONG ISLAND, N. Y.

This large country house in the Southern Colonial style is one of the best houses in America. While the design was undoubtedly inspired by Westover in Virginia, there has been no attempt to make the new house a copy of the older one. There are two facades; one, facing the water and the other, facing what will later on become a garden. The minor buildings connected to the main building with arched passageways, as at Mount Vernon, give a feeling of spaciousness and breadth to the group.

The color and texture of the walls are uncommon. The bricks slightly larger than usual, are of a pronounced orange pink color, laid in yellow lime with narrow joints. Petros bleaching lime stone was used for the entrance and other details. With the exception of the entrance doorway and the cornice, everything is very simple and only needs the growth of planting to give it the appearance of settled age.

The plans are ingenious and worthy of thoughtful consideration. A concealed mezzanine floor is carried over the arched passageway at the service wing allowing access to the main house from this part of the group. This arrangement has many advantages, as it does away with the service stairs in the main house, and prevents the kitchen and pantry from being used as a passage way, yet, allowing these rooms to have exposures on two sides.

PLATES 11-14 COUNTRY HOUSE OF MRS. W. M. RITTFR MANCHESTER, VT.

A large New England Colonial house with a plan resembling that of a Southern mansion. It is situated on a hillside at Manchester, Vt. (that town of delightful views) and all of the principal rooms face the view. The exterior is simple with delicate detail and the entrance porch with its bowed front is unusual and charming. The interiors are very interesting and have been furnished with old pieces.

PLATES 15-20 RESIDENCE OF WILLIAM CHATTIN WETHERILL, ESQ. LAVEROCK, PA.

It will be observed that Colonial buildings from different sections vary a great deal in character; local conditions and materials being the cause. The style developed in this locality is known as Germantown Colonial and stone was generally used for the walls. While white washing was not often done, the stone work of the Wetherill house has been white washed, as was its prototype "Wyck" at Germantown, but the chimney shows the usual stone work of this section. The plan is long and rambling with the principal rooms opening on a terrace to the South. A view of the hall gives an idea of the charming interior. The room called a den is really a man's own room, being fitted with work bench, cupboards, etc. It is finished in oak and is a real work shop; something that almost every man would like to possess.

PLATES 21-26 HOUSE OF J. M. TOWNSEND, JR., ESQ. MILL NECK, L. I.

A straight forward New England Colonial house with a peculiarly well planned interior, for, it is difficult to secure such generous sized rooms with so small an amount of space devoted to the hallways. Doorways open to the North and South and both doorways are original in conception and delightful examples of good taste and refinement in detail. The little library with its panelled walls is just the proper home for good books.

PLATES 27-30 THE RESIDENCE OF PROF. W. L. PHELPS NEW HAVEN, CONN.

A New England Colonial house that takes its place naturally among its olden time neighbors. Simple and dignified in appearance it follows the best traditions of the old builders.

The walls are of soft red brick and the window sills, lintels and keystones are of white marble. The plan is very convenient and well arranged with the service wing coming at the rear.

The design and furnishings of the interiors are in the same period as the exterior and the result is a most delightful home.

PLATES 31-34 RESIDENCE OF AIRS. WILLIAM NORTHROP RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

This Colonial shingled house with a beautifully detailed entrance porch and doorway has an ideal setting, surrounded as it is by magnificent old trees.

A carefully studied plan gives direct communication between the different parts of the household and all the principal rooms have exposures on two sides. The interiors are carried out with the same delicate detail displayed in the entrance porch.

PLATES 35-38 RESIDENCE OF COL. J. C. WISE HENRICO COUNTY, VA.

A good example of the type of Colonial houses developed in Virginia. The detail is much bolder than that used for the New England houses of the same period. The visitor to Mount Vernon and other Virginian homes receives this same impression of bold and rather heavy detail, yet, this effect is very charming in the large rooms of these houses. The interiors shown here have all the beauty of the old work in this section.

PLATES 39-41 RESIDENCE OF H. F. ATHERTON, ESQ. BROOKVILLE, L. I.

The rambling plan and the informal treatment of the exterior of this house gives it all the flavor of an old New England Colonial House. The exterior is simplicity itself. Good window arrangement, different roof levels and the location of the entrance all combine in giving a pleasing result. The curved entrance porch and the doorway have been very well handled.

PLATES 42-44 THE HOUSE OF M. A. LEVTIS, ESQ. HARTSDALE, N. Y.

A Colonial house such as we find on the farms of New England and Eastern New York. It is simple, dignified and homelike, long and rambling with wood shed at the end. The ordinary conception of a Colonial house is one with the windows spaced equidistant from the doorway. This example is less formal as the location of the window openings show.

PLATES 45-50 RESIDENCE OF MR. ELLIS Y. BROWN DOWNINGTOWN, PA.

To quickly acquire the feeling of having been built for a long time, seems to be one of the attributes of a Germantown Colonial house. The Brown house has this appearance and the pleasing texture of the stone work is an important part in the result. The broken roof lines, and the porch projecting at a right angle, all tend to suggest a large house when really it is not. The plan is good, all of the principal rooms having two exposures. The porch will look its best when the vines have grown over the lattice work letting in splashes of sunlight here and there. An inviting and delicately detailed doorway forms the entrance to the house. The interiors have been carried out in the same simple style as the exterior and are charming examples of Colonial work.

PLATES 51-54 THE HOUSE OF HARVEY S. LADEW, ESQ. AT BROOKVILLE, LONG ISLAND

A rambling Long Island Colonial house adapted to present needs. It is a very pleasant and homelike building, with an old fashioned garden and an attractive setting.

This house exhibits the condition that exists where one style is preferred for the exterior and another for the interior. The interiors are English and the Dining Room is particularly good. While the co-ordinating of the two styles has been well done in this instance, it is not a thing to be recommended.

PLATES 55-57 THE HOUSE OF MISS E. A. WATSON WHITE PLAINS, N. Y.

This is one of the best brick houses in America. When such good effects are produced by such simple means it is not as easy as would appear. Good design and careful detail are responsible for the result.

PLATE 58 FARMER'S COTTAGE ESTATE OF GEORGE S. BUEWSTER, ESQ. BROOEVILLE, L. I.

This little house follows the precedent set by the Dutch Colonial builders on Long Island. Note the absence of roof overhangs at the gables and the texture of the hand split cypress shingles on the walls.

PLATES 59-62 HOUSE FOR MORRIS ESTATE OVERBROOK PA.

A simple Germantown house with all the charm and wholesomeness of this early American style. The entrance with its curved step is charming and the porch with the built-in corners loses the too open appearance that many porches have. The plan is very convenient and the wall with porches at either side effectively conceals the service portion from the garden.

PLATES 63-66 HOUSE FOR WALTER C. BAYLIES, ESQ. AT TAUNTON, MASS.

A fine example of the rather severe type of New England Colonial. The large central chimney follows the precedent of the houses erected in Connecticut. Narrow clap boards are used for the walls. This house will grow old gracefully.

PLATES 67-68 HOUSE OF P. R. JAMESON, ESQ. ROCHESTER, N Y.

A very good small Colonial house of brick, sitting well down on the ground. The doorway, with is fan light, is the center of interest in the facade and all the ornament on the exterior is concentrated at the doorway and the main cornice above. The living rooms are located on the garden side of the house, away from the road. A delightful home for a family of moderate size.

PLATES 69-70 HOUSE AT WICKFORD, R. I. FOR DR. HAROLD METCALF

There is something homelike about the New England Colonial houses. They are simple, straight forward and very inviting. Narrow siding was used for the walls of this house with pilasters at the corners. The doorway is charming.

PLATES 71-74 COTTAGE ON ESTATE OF WILLIAM CHATTIN WETHERILL, ESQ. LAVEUOCK, PA.

This is a small Germantown Colonial house with whitewashed stonework. The building is low, comfortable and homelike and age will only make it appear better. There is a charm in a building like this that is often lacking in larger buildings.

PLATES 75-78 HOUSE OF MR. ROBERT FEIN RIVERDALE, N. Y.

A simple Colonial house of brick built on a narrow lot. It exhibits the adaptability of this style to cramped quarters as well as open spaces. It is perfectly possible to design good small houses as this house proves.

PLATES 79-80 COTTAGE ON ESTATE OF ANDREW V. STOUT, ESQ., RED BANK, N. J.

A little Colonial house with the simplest of plans. The doorway is charming with its seats and the arbor covered with roses. By the way, roses are best to plant at such places as they never completely cover the structure, giving glimpses of it here and there.

PLATE 81 SUPERINTENDENT'S COTTAGE ESTATE OF GLEN STEWART, ESQ. LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND

A true Dutch Colonial type as developed near New York. The long sloping roof, the tall slender columns and the plain wall surface under the porch are all suggestive of this charming style. The absence of dormers is quite usual in these houses.

PLATE 82 GARDENER'S COTTAGE FOR ADOLPH MOLLENHAUER, ESQ. BAY SHORE, LONG ISLAND

A little Colonial farm house of the simplest type. The porch forms the center of interest in the main facade and the walls are covered with hand split cypress shingles with ends squared.


GEORGIAN HOUSES

PLATES 83-87 THE COUNTRY HOUSE OF OGDEN MILLS, ESQ. WOODBURY, L. I.

A large country house, following Georgian traditions, that have been handled in an original way; both in plans and exterior.

The main mass of the house occupys the center of the composition, with wings at either side forming courts. Only the main house is two stories high, all of the wings being one story in height, and one room in width. Planning in this way gives great openness and breadth to the building and there is no massing of rooms in the center as frequently occurs where a large number of rooms are planned for.

The exterior is of dark red brick with lime stone for the doorways, cornices and columns. The details suggest the work of the Adam brothers, especially the columns and the circular panels in the walls. It is a fine, distinguished mansion of great beauty and will grow better with time. The interiors were not available for publication.

PLATES 88-93 THE COUNTRY HOUSE OF ARTHUR S. BURDEN, ESQ., JERICHO, L. I.

An original and distinguished piece of work well handled. This beautifully proportioned Georgian house has the appearance of having existed in its environment for many years.

The wings have been kept at a lower level emphasizing the importance of the main building and the flat pilasters on the walls add to this effect. The house is in such intimate touch with the surrounding gardens and lawns that it is only a step through the casement doors to the ground.

The interiors are stately and formal and the graceful stairway winding its way upward is a delightful piece of design. At the terrace the curved steps and iron railing add grace to an altogether pleasing garden.

PLATES 94-99 RESIDENCE OF ANDREW V. STOUT, ESQ. RED BANK, N. J.

A simple well proportioned Georgian house. The mass is good and the spacing of the window openings has been well handled. The brick walls have a lovely texture and the sills and other details are of marble rather two white in contrast with the walls, but time will remedy this.

The house is symetrical in plan and all of the principal rooms have two exposures.

A designer has to be very sure of himself to attempt a stairway such as this house possesses. It is unusually successful and very graceful. The interiors are bits of good design delicately detailed. Over the dining room mantel is a panel containing a map of the surrounding country together with a dial indicating the direction of the prevailing wind. The dial is connected with a vane on the roof and works automatically.

PLATES 100-105 RESIDENCE OF JAMES SWAN FRICK GUILFORD, BALTINIORE, MD.

One of the best of our Georgian houses. The walls are of brick laid in Flemish bond with white mortar and the cornices and other details are of Indiana limestone.

The architect has been very skillful in designing such a compact and well arranged plan which provides for rooms of fine scale and proportion. The interiors are lofty and spacious and very beautiful in design and furnishings. The style is that of the Adam brothers at their best. In the library the wood work is American walnut which forms a fine setting for the brighter colored books.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Elegant Country and Suburban Houses of the Twenties by Charles S. Keefe. Copyright © 2005 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Page,
FOREWORD,
ERRATA,
DESCRIPTIVE NOTES,
COLONIAL HOUSES,
GEORGIAN HOUSES,
ITALIAN HOUSES,
SPANISH HOUSES,
FRENCH HOUSES,
ENGLISH HOUSES,
INTERIORS,
DOORWAYS,
Dover Books on Art & Art History,
Twentieth-Century Art,
Pictorial Archive,

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