|Inside main entrance gate - 2002 - click HERE for more|
THE NEW RESIDENCE OF HERMAN B. DURYEA, ESQ. at Westbury, Long Island Designed by Carrere & Hastings, Architects
|Called a experimental Italian-inspired villa, Hastings was asked what he might build as his ideal house. He replied that he had already done so at "Knole"|
A clump of wooded knolls was selected for the building operations, and a thrifty second growth of dogwood, hickories, oaks and chestnuts was deliberately cut away, not only upon the space to be occupied by the house itself, but to form an unbroken vista across the garden and continuing on for several miles over the low undulating land. Standing in the middle of this one can almost recognize the distant sea. This outlook through the enclosing woods obtained, and the house adjusted to it, the immediate surroundings of the structure became a question of great importance. Here, however, the advantage of a background for any decorative treatment of the ground already existed, and there was needed only the system of trellises at the end of the garden to speak the last architectural word before the eye is lost in the depths of a wild wood beyond.
|The grassed walk, looking south - 1904|
|One can proceed to the end of the axis and take in the views of the estate, or turn back to see the masses of the loggia wings and the villa beyond|
The design of the ground is so extremely simple that its plan can be read from the illustrations. The vista alluded to passes across the ends of the wings, and within their limits it is a formal walk bordered with hedges. Considerate of the pool, it curves outward in the center and so completes a border of green surrounding the water. Beyond the confines of the house, it meets the character of the hillside and becomes simply a broad turf walk, extremely beautiful and imposing, and suggesting in miniature the tapis verts of Versailles and Compiegne.
|The courtyard and basin - 1904|
|The courtyard and basin - 2002|
|A view from the garden entrance - 1906|
|Reflecting pool is tapered for perspective - 1984|
|The basin after being restored - 2004 - brick has replaced the original marble|
|The gardens and its background - 1906|
|The sunken garden - 1904|
|The garden courtyard - 1906|
|View of the garden from the loggia - 1903|
|Open loggia off the dining-room - 2004|
|The courtyard and basin - 2004 - enclosed loggia connected to the drawing-room|
The effect of calm dignity is furthered by restraint in giving over areas to flowers. Floral color, therefore, merges in effect with that of shrubs, with rich green turf and opulent hedges of box, brought from Holland. The treillage, too, is a green, yet darker, and the note of all is a sharp contrast with the severely white exterior of the house. Many cedars, fifteen to twenty feet in height, were brought from near Boonton, N. J., and successfully reestablished on the grounds.
|Its intended precedent is the Villa Giulia in Rome, one of Hastings' favorite Italian buildings|
|Main facade - 1904|
|A foreboding front block intended to induce the false impression of an impenetrable screen - 2004|
The character of the structure is that of the Louis XVI. style, and it is built of brick, stuccoed with cement and finished with a brilliant coat of shell-lime and marble dust. There is little exterior enrichment, except upon the center of the garden front and the first impression of the interior is one of spaciousness, due as well to the large rotunda, open through two storeys, as to the broad reaches of halls and the ample scale of the rooms. There is, also, an ingenious contriving of the different storeys in such a manner that the first floor upon the garden side of the house lies at a level midway between the basement and the first floor upon the entrance front. Steps reaching these rise and descend from the rotunda and disappear beyond a series of arches that are plastered in semblance of French Caen-stone walls.
|The basement plan|
|Entrance hall - 1920's|
|The hall - 1904|
The vertical circulation system serves to organize the entire series of indoor and outdoor rooms directing the visitor either outward, toward the garden, or inward, toward the bedrooms and balconies on the upper floors - 1904
|Smoking-room - 1904 - Mr. Duryea's office|
|The drawing-room - 1904 - living-room - measuring forty-feet by twenty-two feet|
|The dining-room - 1904|
|Portrait of Mrs. Herman Duryea - c. 1900 by John W. Alexander - Ellen Homer Winchester, widow of William Weld - born in Boston, MA 15 August 1861 and died in Bern, Switzerland 23 December 1927 - William Fletcher Weld, a third-generation Weld, was born in 1855 and died in 1893. (He established a Weld Professorship at Harvard Law School in 1882.) The widow Weld married Duryea in 1895.|
The third level
***...stairs lead to the upper third story, the corridor here forming a picture gallery. The rooms are entirely set apart for guests, and are arranged en suite with bathrooms. Each is furnished in chintz, very beautiful in color and delightfully varied. Barr Ferree - 1904 - each with different moldings and patterned wood floors. ***
|The west facade - 1906|
|The west facade - 2004|
|House with balustrade, iron work, and bronze medallions - two tier rose garden - 2001|
|Overall view of rose garden with statue of Ceres -photo taken from third floor window - 2001|
|Lower formal garden - 1984|
|View of lower formal gardens of south end of villa - 1984|
|Statue of Ceres with whimsical topiaries - 2000|
|Circular garden off lower formal garden - 1984|
|Stairs leading down to circular garden from the terrace - 1988|
|Fountain with cherub holding fish, surrounded by impatiens with urns - 2001|
|Service court - 2004|
The stable of the place lies apart and unseen from the house, and therefore does nor conform to the style of the mansion, but it is a charming structure of dignified, yet low and graceful lines ; and, especially within its courtyard, there is a local touch in honor of Long Island's indigenous dwellings, which makes it a harmonious companion to the original farmhouse of the estate, which is situated close by. This building the owner and his architects have wisely preserved as the superintendent's dwelling.
|The stables could hold up to forty-seven horses - 1904|
|The stable courtyard - 1904|
|Harmanus Barkulo Duryea, sportsman and philanthropist, b. in Brooklyn, N. Y., 13 Dec., 1863; d. at Saranac Lake, N. Y., 25 Jan., 1916, son of Harmanus Barkulo and Mary (Peters) Duryea. The name of Duryea originated in France as De Deuilly .....|
Duryea's personal wealth allowed him to devote his entire life to sports and leisure. Faced with growing anti-gambling sentiment in America, Duryea shipped his stable of racehorses to France and sold all his race horses in training during a notable sale with H. P. Whitney. Duryea sold the house in 1910 to Bradley Martin Jr. and the former Helen Phipps(daughter of steel magnate Henry Phipps). With a revival in horse racing he returned to America in 1915 but died in 1916 killing plans to resume breeding and racing.
The Martins made a number of changes, adding a library, breakfast-room and a indoor tennis court, bringing Hastings back to do the work.
To the left of the rotunda the new breakfast room replaced the smoking-room, finished in light green and dominated by hand-painted chinoiserie wall panels depicting children at play. Through a pair of mirrored doors is the baronial dining room, a pine mantel added by the Martins is styled after Grinling Gibbons, elaborately carved with game birds.
Down several steps from the rotunda the library had served as maid's quarters. Here, a secret door is masked by a false bookcase that seamlessly blends with the room's other leather-bound volumes and rich oak paneling. It opens to a small hall and a set of stairs that lead down to a large billiard room. Family expansion necessitated a nursery wing addition to the south corner of the house, above the living room consisting of matching pine-paneled bedrooms and room for a governess. The tennis court was destroyed by fire in the mid 1960's. Click HERE to see its location at wikimapia.
|"Knole" is said to be the house that architect Hastings most wished he could have built for himself|
|The garden front of the house|
|The family used to swim in the reflecting pool, which is six feet deep at one end|
Two generations of Martins called "Knole" home and maintained the estate for nearly 100 years. In 2002 the family put the remaining thirty-two acres(out of the original 100) on the market for $16 million. Sothebys held a sale for the important pieces of furniture from the estate the same year.
George II white and Sienna marble chimney piece was acquired in 1911, the year after the house was purchased by the Martins, to replace the original simple drawing room mantelpiece. This features a central tablet carved with a mythological scene depicting putti and a lion.
|circa 1740, by Matthias Lock a veneered jasper slab on a frame supported by cabriole legs headed by finely sculpted lions' masks. In the center is a frieze carved with the mask of Hercules with a headdress of the pelt of the|
|George III marquetry inlaid and gilt-metal-mounted commode, attributed to Matthew and Ince, circa 1775. The firm of John Mayhew and William Ince was one of the most successful and enduring partnerships of cabinetmakers in the 18th century. In the early 1760s, Mayhew and Ince developed a close relationship with Robert Adam, one of the foremost architects of his era, and many of his most important clients, making furniture both to Adam's designs and their own.|
January 14, 2013 comment by a anonymous poster at oldlongisland.com states "home itself is deserted and being let to ruin."
Click HERE to see "Knole", Thomas Hastings dream home at wikimapia. BING. View a 1966 aerial showing the estate undeveloped, the indoor tennis court, stables, greenhouses and Superintendent's house still standing.
Photo of the stable shown HERE.