Sunday, November 18, 2012
Country Houses of Character
Seven Homes Selected by Their Architects as Containing
The Essential Characteristics of the Good Country House
Illustrations in Color by John Vincent
WHAT constitutes the ideal country home? Is it primarily beauty? Is it convenience? Or is it rather the home spirit that it radiates? Possibly it is the combination of the three. Country living to-day plays a large part in the life of the nation, and country estates of all sorts and sizes are scattered throughout the width and breadth of the land. Some of these homes seem slightly better architecturally than others. Some have qualities that others lack. Few, if any, are perfect.
What constitutes the perfect country house? Country Life asked this question of several of the leading architects in New York, and asked them to indicate some country houses which they had designed and which, in their opinion, made them distinctive from other houses. It was to make no difference whether the house were a marble palace at some fashionable watering place or a tiny bungalow in the foothills of the mountains. So long as the architect considered it a good example of a country house and, in his opinion it had character, that was all that we asked.
It is interesting to note the range of character in the seven country homes chosen by the architects and reproduced in color herewith.
Messrs. Delano & Aldrich selected their most recent achievement— Mr. Bertram G. Work's residence at Oyster Bay, Long Island—as an essentially good country home, while Messrs. McKim, Mead & White considered Mr. E. D. Morgan's house at Newport, R. I., erected by them more than twenty-five years ago, to represent still the best qualities of the country home.
In "Bonnycrest," the home of Mr. Stuart Duncan at Newport, R. I., Mr. John Russell Pope has successfully achieved his object in designing a house which contains the charm of cottage, and yet has sufficient spaciousness to fit in with the neighboring estates.
The contribution of one architect, Mr. Aymar Embury, II., to say the least was original. He sent as his selection a "dream" house, a house which has not yet been built, though it exists in his own imagination as the most perfect type of country home possible.
Some of the features of these houses could be easily combined with the features of others. One house may have something that another lacks. But from the entire number, we can form a fairly accurate composite picture of what our country house should be like when we determine to build it.
Click HERE to view all seven.