Friday, August 3, 2012
THE RESIDENCE OF JAMES L. BREESE, SOUTHAMPTON, LONG ISLAND
AMONG the buildings that Messrs. McKim, Mead & White have designed are such well-known structures as the Rhode Island State Capitol, the Pennsylvania Station in New York City, the Library of J. P. Morgan, Madison Square Garden in New York City, the Minneapolis Art Museum, and many others of the largest monumental buildings in America. It is interesting, therefore, to find that they have also designed a country house of so informal and picturesque a character as the residence of Mr. Breese at Southampton, Long Island.
In designing this house the architects carried out their belief that an American country house should be exactly what its title indicates; that is, that it should be both American and country, and not an imported idea so built as to suggest monumental work.
The house follows in general Colonial motives. The two-story piazza across the front will at once suggest Mount Vernon; although it is rather like the two-story piazzas used in some of the upper New York farmhouses than that of Washington's home. The treatment of the gable end suggests the Dutch Colonial; but the house is in general free from the influence of any specific Colonial house, or even from that of the Colonial school, in any particular section of the United States.
The architects have followed rather the general spirit of Colonial as it existed throughout, and have created a harmonious whole which is distinctly adapted, and not copied from precedent. Of course much of the interest of the house is due to its picturesque setting. The white and green of the frame Colonial building is not only an excellent background for planting and shrubbery, but is bare and unsightly without them. When we find new Colonial houses apparently of good design which are uninteresting and barren as compared with the old work, we can probably lay part at least of this defect in appearance to the fact that they are not surrounded and embowered in trees as is the old work after the lapse of years. PREPARED BY THE EDITORIAL STAFF OF THE MENTOR ASSOCIATION.
Click HERE to see "The Orchard" at wikimapia with links to oldlondisland.com for additional information and photos. Property now called Whitefield Condominiums.