Friday, August 5, 2016

"BROOKBY HOUSE" - A GORGEOUS IMITATION OF FAIRY-LAND




     John W. Blodgett has created a gorgeous imitation of fairy-land at his new home at the corner of Robinson Road and Plymouth Avenue. No expense has been spared to make this development one of the most ravishingly beautiful home surroundings to be found anywhere outside of California and Florida. There the climate makes it comparatively easy to create wonderful things with semi-tropical trees, shrubs and flowers. Mr. Blodgett gave his landscape architects a free hand in the creation of this development and they appear to have mixed a due amount of genius with the lavish expenditure of money to good purposes. Some time I hope to see Mr. Blodgett open his gates at least one day a month during the summer season for the benefit of the public who would derive so much pleasure and satisfaction from being able to inspect this marvelous development at close range. Mr. Blodgett rendered Grand Rapids a yeoman service, which can never be computed in dollars and cents (perhaps millions would he more appropriate) by the erection of the Blodgett Memorial hospital and I believe the time is soon at hand when he will want to throw open his gardens to the public under proper restrictions as to hours and the conduct of his guests. It is just like Mr. Blodgett to do this, because all his life he has evidently undertaken to forget that he is one of the richest men in Michigan and to concede that a bulging bank account entails certain opportunities and involves certain responsibilities to the public which the good citizen of which—he is a conspicuous example—is bound to recognize and respect. MICHIGAN TRADESMAN 1925

MR JOHN W. BLODGETT GENERAL PLANTING PLAN, 1927

WEST, FRONT FACADE OFF PLYMOUTH AVENUE 

ENTRANCE COURTYARD
SKETCH FOR FORMAL CIRCULAR AND CHINESE GARDEN

CHINESE GARDEN

PATH FROM HOUSE
NORTHEAST CORNER

FAR SOUTH-SIDE SHOWING "EMPEROR'S THRONE" AND "COIN"

GARDEN SEAT DETAILS - Three piece semi-circular Chinese seat. All wood used in the construction to be well seasoned oak. Two to three coats of Chinese Red Mirrolac enamel paint should be the predominating color with black enamel used to bring out the swastikas above the legs and narrow band used on the leg itself.
    Although the Swastika is often synonymous with the Nazi movement of the 20th century (actually a reverse swastika), it was widely used in ancient times as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.


CHINESE COIN ON CHINESE GARDEN SEAT DESIGNED BY SEN YU, 1928
    All ancient writing started with a pictograph. It takes the form of the picture to illustrate. The writing across reads from left to right. The character from the left meaning dwelling or humble residence. The bottom meant by the side of a stream. The character from the right is an ancient Chinese script of grass. In ancient times it meant the house probably was made up with bamboo or had a thatch roof. The character on the very top means stream or brook. The character bears the symbol of running water, the running water takes the form of three downward strokes. So this is a residence by the side of a brook.


NORTH-WEST SIDE

SOUTH-WEST SIDE


CENTER OF CHINESE GARDEN WITH VIEW TO THE WEST

BUDDHA , POOL AND BOG GARDEN 
IN THE DESIGN OF THE POOL WEEP HOLES WERE INCORPORATED TO SUSTAIN A BOG

WEST-SIDE PATH OUTSIDE CHINESE GARDEN

PATH OUTSIDE CHINESE GARDEN

CURVED PATH OUTSIDE CHINESE GARDEN

CENTER OF CHINESE GARDEN
ARMILLARY DIAL FOR THE CHINESE GARDEN
TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON, AND A TIME TO EVERY PURPOSE UNDER THE HEAVEN. Ecclesiastes


VIEW TOWARDS HOUSE
VIEW TOWARDS HOUSE
STEPS TO CHINESE GARDEN FROM FORMAL CIRCULAR GARDEN

STEPS FROM CHINESE GARDEN TO FORMAL CIRCULAR GARDEN
CIRCULAR GARDEN
VIEW FROM HOUSE

CIRCULAR GARDEN
ARBOR
ARBOR PLAN

EAST FACADE OF HOUSE
EAST SIDE 

EAST SIDE TERRACE
TERRACE
TERRACE VIEW OF FISK LAKE
VIEW FROM HOUSE TOWARDS FISK LAKE
FISK LAKE

VIEW TOWARDS HOUSE

INLET FROM FISK LAKE


WALK TO SERVICE AREA 
CHAUFFEURS COTTAGE, SEVEN CAR GARAGE

SERVICE DRIVE, GREENHOUSE AND VEGETABLE GARDEN
STEPS TO VEGETABLE GARDEN
SERVICE DRIVE

SERVICE COURT

MAIL DROP OFF PLYMOUTH AVENUE 

GARAGE, CHAUFFEURS COTTAGE AND COLDBROOK CREEK
GARAGE, CHAUFFEURS COTTAGE AND CULVERT UNDER SERVICE DRIVE
SERVICE GATE OFF ROBINSON ROAD
SERVICE DRIVE AND GATE HOUSE

GREENHOUSE, CHAUFFEURS AND GARDENERS COTTAGE
CHAUFFEURS AND GARDENERS COTTAGE
GREENHOUSE

HEAD HOUSE
CUTTING GARDEN

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