Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Villa Carola" THE RESIDENCE OF MR. AND MRS. ISAAC GUGGENHEIM, PORT WASHINGTON, L. I.

"VILLA CAROLA"
HOUSE OF MR. AND MRS. ISAAC GUGGENHEIM.
PORT WASHINGTON, LONG ISLAND, N. Y.
 H. VAN BUREN MAGONIGLE. ARCHITECT VITALE, BRINCKERHOFF & GEIFFERT, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS


 "Villa Carola"
THE RESIDENCE OF MR. AND MRS. ISAAC GUGGENHEIM, PORT WASHINGTON, L. I.
H. VAN BUR EN MAGONIGLE. ARCHITECT - The Architectural Forum 1920 ***Supplemented with additional photos***


Plot Plan in Vicinity of House




HOUSE OF MR. AND MRS. ISAAC GUGGENHEIM.
PORT WASHINGTON, LONG ISLAND, N. Y.
 H. VAN BUREN MAGONIGLE. ARCHITECT VITALE, BRINCKERHOFF & GEIFFERT, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS



 THE property on which the "Villa Carola"***wife - Carol for Carrie*** is located is a rather narrow and long strip of beautifully modeled land, a large proportion of which is occupied by a private golf course, by thickly wooded areas, and by a group of large service and farm buildings. The new residence and its gardens occupy a relatively small portion, fortunately situated on the highest point of the property which gradually slopes northeast and northwest toward the Sound and Hempstead Harbor. Leading toward this knoll there existed under former ownership a straight road about 1,400 feet in length, bordered on each side in the upper portion by fine locust trees and in the lower portion by maples. When Mr. Guggenheim bought the property this road was abandoned and the roadbed itself grassed over, forming a beautiful, shady grassy allee. 

 ***The original property contained an existing farmhouse on top of a long pronounced hill. In a wide arc of ever-changing perspectives of house and garden a new approach was created ending at the north side of the house.*** 


Vista from the Garden Terrace



***"Locust Avenue"***


Vista from the Garden Terrace



DETAILS OF POOL AT END OF AVENUE OF TREES
***These columns were copies from the gardens of "Villa La Pietra" outside Florence, Italy***

DETAILS OF POOL AT END OF AVENUE OF TREES

 By a most fortunate circumstance the axis of the grassy avenue runs almost due northeast and southwest, and the main living rooms of the house were therefore placed so as to command the southwesterly exposure-an ideal exposure for any house in this climate. On the northwesterly side of the house a forecourt was designed as the termination of the carriage approach, bounded by the facade of the house with a porte cochere on one side, and by the parapet of the house terrace and by box hedges on the others. On the southwesterly or living front of the house a broad terrace, shaded at each end by two large elms, forms a well proportioned base. The gardens extend from this terrace to the locust avenue and are divided practically into four parts. The central portion is a broad green sward of the width of the avenue, so that this quiet tapis vert is carried up to the foot of the terrace. It is proposed that at the extreme southwesterly end of the avenue a Tempietto will be built to emphasize this long axis and terminate the vista beautifully. ***never built***

 On either side of this central green carpet are flower gardens, the axes of which correspond to the axes of the enclosed porches at each end of the southwesterly facade. These gardens have perennial borders, against box hedges on the inside and hemlock hedges on the outside. The hemlock hedges are to be allowed to grow to a considerable height and be trimmed to formal lines so as to form a green wall around the gardens to give them privacy and intimate charm.

 At the foot of the gardens is the fourth portion, which is in reality a lower terrace designed principally to introduce water and rose gardens into the composition. In the center, lying across the axis of the locust avenue and the tapis vert is a rectangular pool. At the ends of the pool are two rose gardens. Two wall fountains are erected on the southwesterly side of them on the axes of the main flower gardens. The fountain groups in the niches of the wall fountains were modeled by Mr. F. Landi, who also made, before his death, the sketches for the figures for the pool which were developed in the groups finally modeled by Mr. Chester Beach. From this lower terrace one descends by broad, low steps to the avenue, through lofty antique stone pylons, which accent the junction of the avenue and the garden. The wall fountains and the setting for the pylons were designed by Mr. Magonigle. Vitale, Brinckerhoff & Geiffert were the landscape architects.


 ***Within the planted borders were collections of irises, peonies, daisies, and many low-growing and spreading plants.***


***Solomon Guggenheim's ''Trillora Court'' estate, Sands Point, Long Island, NY, c. 1930s***

***Solomon Guggenheim's ''Trillora Court'' estate, Sands Point, Long Island, NY, c. 1930s***

***"VILLA CAROLA", c. 1920s ***

***Solomon Guggenheim's ''Trillora Court'' estate, Sands Point, Long Island, NY, c. 1930s***

 In considering the house it is important to understand the factors which suggested and controlled the plan and design. These are to be found in the site, the view, the aspects and prevailing breezes in summertime. Beautiful water views are obtainable from the northeasterly and southwesterly fronts. The prevailing breezes are from the southwest. In order to secure at the same time a free circulation of air through all of the rooms in both stories, and a plan which would be sufficiently compact and give good circulation and easy and rapid service, it was determined to build the house around a cortile open to the sky.


HOUSE OF MR. AND MRS. ISAAC GUGGENHEIM.
PORT WASHINGTON, LONG ISLAND, N. Y.
H. VAN BUREN MAGONIGLE. ARCHITECT VITALE, BRINCKERHOFF & GEIFFERT, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS

 The exterior of the house is of brick, accented with terra cotta and marble. The brickwork can probably never be duplicated. The brick used was the accumulation of several years in a large plant, of brick that had not burned true to shade and was therefore not considered usable. They varied in tone from rich brownish purple to a light yellow, through all the intermediate shades of brown and red. It was possible to distinguish thirteen general color groups each of these groups varying in shade in themselves, and each brick in the sub-groups frequently varying in color from one end to the other. This gave an extraordinary range of beautiful colors; and by carefully calculating the exact proportion of each of the thirteen general colors which would produce the big general tone desired for the wall, taking into consideration also the width and color of the mortar joints to be used it was possible to predetermine the general color tone of the wall, which is at a distance a warm reddish brown, but on a closer view is seen to be composed of numerous units of beautiful shades. The brick is what is known as wire-cut with a scratched surface and then rerolled. This gives a rough surface texture of unusual beauty and quality. The brick is laid in Flemish bond, the stretchers being used as headers, and two stretchers with a dry joint between forming one long stretcher. The joint is of grit cement mortar toned to a deep cream.


*** ***



View of Tower on Easterly Corner


DETAIL ON GARDEN TERRACE

DETAIL OF DINING ROOM BAY

*** ***
DETAIL OF BAY ROOM EXTERIOR

 The color and finish of the terra cotta were determined upon, after numerous experiments, to harmonize with the general color tone of the brickwork. The backgrounds of the ornamental portions are treated with polychrome glazes in a novel and interesting manner. The marble columns in the loggias, porte cochere and the exterior arcade in the second story of the southwesterly front were all selected of white marble of various tones and veinings, and then stained with a ferric stain, producing a golden tone that harmonizes them with the general tone of the house.


EXTERIOR DETAIL OF PORTE COCHERE


DETAIL OF ENTRANCE FROM PORT COCHERE

 The overhanging eaves of the roof, which is fireproof, are cased with cypress beams. The roof itself is covered with pan-and-roll tiles specially designed and manufactured for this house. The colors of the tiles are varied and reproduce in a generally warmer tone the color of the brickwork. Some green glazes are introduced here and there to give the effect of a mossy old roof .




First Floor Plan
HOUSE OF MR. AND MRS. ISAAC GUGGENHEIM. PORT WASHINGTON, LONG ISLAND, N. Y. H. VAN BUREN MAGONIGLE. ARCHITECT

VIEW OF INTERIOR COURT


FAIENCE FOUNTAIN AND LONG GALLERY DOOR IN THE INTERIOR COURT
ROBERT AITKEN, SCULPTOR
***Fountain has been disconnected and court is no longer planted***
GALLERY DOOR TO COURT

Second Floor Plan
HOUSE OF MR. AND MRS. ISAAC GUGGENHEIM. PORT WASHINGTON, LONG ISLAND, N. Y. H. VAN BUREN MAGONIGLE. ARCHITECT
***Note on the plans a second-story breakfast room for Mrs. Guggenheim, it was decorated like a Chinese tent with walls and ceiling covered in canary yellow silk.***


Entrance Front From Approach to Forecourt

 The walls of the entrance vestibule are of travertine and the floor of marble inlay. The decorative painting of the ceiling, which is so designed as to carry up through it the character and color of the faience corners, is by Herman T. Schladermundt. The cornice and ceiling ribs are of cypress with aluminum powder rubbed into the grain of the wood and decorated in gray and yellow. The panels between the ribs are of plaster; the central panel of the ceiling is of decorated glass painted with the signs of the zodiac, through which the vestibule is lighted.


WROUGHT IRON GATE AT ENTRANCE LOBBY

*** ***
***ENTRANCE HALL***


***Entrance Hall Ceiling***

***MUSIC ROOM, ESTEY ORGAN IN BACKGROUND*** 
***MUSIC ROOM 1927***

"Pianissimo"
Screen made for the music room  was a collaborative effort between Jean Dunand and the sculptor Séraphin Soudbinine, a favorite student of Rodin. Made of lacquered wood, eggshell, mother-of-pearl and gold. "Fortissimo" is its pair and both were donated by Mrs. Solomon Guggenheim to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Follow THIS LINK for more on these beautiful panels.  Dunand supplied large-scale decorative panels for the the "Normandie".

***Music Room Ceiling***

FOUNTAIN AND AQUARIUM IN SUMMER DINING ROOM

Detail of the Main Entrance Doors
One of Two in Wrought Iron and Glass
STAIRWAY WINDOW

DOORWAY TO ORGAN FROM LOGGIA

VIEW ACROSS GALLEY SHOWING LIBRARY DOOR

 The Long Gallery, carried out in early Italian style, has a marble floor. The walls are of travertine with a fine, sand rubbed finish. The two doors at each side of the main staircase are of Italian walnut, carved. The remaining doors were decorated by Herman T. Schladermundt, who also decorated the ceiling which is Siennese in character in black, white and red. Between the brackets supporting the cross ribs are panels in red, black, blue and white in heraldic devices. This painting is done upon cypress treated with muriatic acid and then burned with a plumber's torch, and the soft grain brushed out, leaving the harder parts of the wood to form a dark tracery on the light ground.

 The loggias at each side of the court connect the living rooms, which are on the southerly and westerly sides of the house, with the Long Gallery.  They open into the court with three large arches which are glazed and have borders of painted glass. At the ends of each of these loggia are panels in which doors occur, and around these door openings are mural decorations painted by Edith Magonigle.

 The walls of the court are of stucco; the string course at the second story level and the coping at the top are of white Vermont marble. The marble columns in the loggias in the second story are of Vermont marble, and toned with a preparation which makes them harmonious with the warm cream of the stucco walls.





SATYR CARRYING AWAY A MERMAID by ROBERT AITKEN

 The fountain basin in the center of the court is lined with blue, green and blue gray tiles. The outer rim of the basin is of North River bluestone. The fountain group, representing a satyr carrying away a mermaid, is by Robert Aitken and is executed in colored faience. The four grotesque bronze animals spouting water are also by Mr. Aitken. Under the balcony is a searchlight which throws a beam of light on the fountain at night, and in each corner of the court is an electric outlet for lights in the court on festal occasions.

 The service portions of the house were given a large amount of study in order to provide laborsaving arrangements and make housekeeping easy. For example, the doors throughout are laminated, and with no panels or mouldings to catch dust. The door trims are perfectly plain without mouldings and with rounded edges. The windows have no trim at all, but the plaster runs into the jambs and heads with rounded angles. The hardware is of solid white metal with white porcelain knobs. The hallways and passages are tiled to a height of 5 feet and have a sanitary base. Along the top of the tile wainscoting is a 2-inch band of black paint so that when the rounded ledge of the wainscot is dusted, there will be no dirt mark on the wall. All of the interior and exterior corners of floors, walls and ceilings are rounded. The floors are of plastic linoleum, which is carried up the service stairway. Around all of the service rooms, including the servants' bedrooms and closets, are white tile bases with white tile plinths under the wood trims, and the saddles are of white marble.

 The kitchen walls are tiled to a height of 8 feet and above that are enameled plaster. The sinks are of white metal.

 The refrigerating machinery room, which has an ice-cream freezer electrically operated, as well as a machine for making ice for the table, has the walls insulated with sound-proofing material. This is true also of the room in which the elevator machinery and the vacuum cleaning machinery is enclosed. The vacuum cleaner is connected through piping with all parts of the house, and dust is washed away into the drainage system outside of the house. The heating plant consists of a range of three boilers so that one or more may be operated according to the state of the thermometer. The heating in the main portion of the house is by indirect steam, and the temperature is controlled by thermostats located in every room. The End.

 Click HERE to see "Villa Carola" at wikimapia. HERE to read   The Guggenheims: An America Epic By John H. Davis for more insight into the life of Issac Guggenheim and his family. Issac Guggenheim died in Southampton, England in 1922.

 "Trillora Court", owned by brother Solomon, was adjacent to "Villa Carola". Upon the death of Issac's wife Solomon inherited the estate and combined the two properties.

 Click HERE to read grandson of Solomon reminiscence about visiting "Trillora Court" as a child. HERE to see the redecorated bedroom of Solomon from the Guggenheim Archives.


GATE HOUSE - DEMOLISHED

ORIGINAL ENTRANCE GATES
The estate is now the The Village Club of Sands Point.

7 comments:

  1. Excellent article and photos highlighting a uniquely styled home for Long Island. The brickwork and polychrome terracotta details are wonderful. NYarch

    ReplyDelete
  2. The extra effort in choosing the brick both here at Villa Carola and at Caumsett must have added to the cost but are justified by the results. Modern builders take note. Thanks for the comment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank You Issac, when Villa Carola became IBM Executive Training Center, I was a cook with a view of Hempstead Harbor, any pics of the Banquets during 1970-75 I would like to see, Al,Dot,Mildred,John,Sophie,George,Dave,Ken,Drew,Dennis,Jay, just some of the "help" I remember, Other cook jobs led me to California @ Christies Bar&Grill,B.H.,CA, Century Plaza Hotel,LA, Alisal Guest Ranch,SB,CA, Ballard Country Store,CA...see hippygourmet.com on you tube what a looong strange trip it's been ! Thank You Again Issac, great times were had @ Villa Carola !

    ReplyDelete
  4. There are a number of (minor) inaccuracies in the above article, so don't take it as the gospel, besides it seems the main interest here is architecture. Having noted the above post regarding connecting with folks whose life was touched by 'Trillora', I thought I'd post a note. I only visited the estate once as a child, but my dad grew up there. My grandfather was their chauffeur, mostly for Irene, but drove the two of them throughout Europe, year after year, often away months at a time. I cannot tell you how many stories he shared. There is enough material for a good book & it was once suggested he write one, but he was far too loyal. ...and I suppose I inherited that sense of honor. If anyone has a similar experience, or knew my grandfather, drop me an email at: cruisedoc@aol.com My grandmother became a seamstress for the Baroness, and they maintained a relation long after Sol & Irene passed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Minor? Let me know what is incorrect and I'll confirm and change. Most of the text is from a group of printed articles, combined. Architectural yes but I care for the accurate history of the place. Thanks.

      Delete
  5. Could the blogger please provide me with the source of the first photograph (of two) of the interior of the music room? Thank you. Feel free to contact me by emailing at randall.griffey@metmuseum.org

    ReplyDelete
  6. Looking for information on the building of the original golf course on the property

    Date that the course was completed? Golf Course Architect? Pictures or drawings of the entire course and the routing -?

    Please Contact me at ccal5@aol.com thanks

    ReplyDelete