|THE A. L. KRAMER HOUSE, GEORGIAN IN TYPE; NORTH FRONT|
Peabody, Wilson and Brown, Architects
PROBABLY no section of the country is richer in fine houses than that within a radius of a dozen or so miles from Westbury Station, L. I. Nor is any part of the Island more beautiful in character than that part. Here there is rolling country and splendid woodland, long stretches of open farmland, hills and dales and wide views with glimpses of the Sound with the Connecticut shore in the distant haze.
Time was, within our memory, when the old farms could have been bought for under a hundred dollars an acre and some of them were so purchased and built upon; but with the first few purchases the price rose until now ten times this amount must be paid for land with any pretense to beauty. First among the settlers in the district was E. D. Morgan, who obtained "Wheatley Hill". From this hill the surrounding country has taken its name and the Wheatley Hills now comprise all the rolling country in the vicinity and as far west as East Williston, several miles away. Just under Wheatley Hill is the house built for the late Robert D. Winthrop, now occupied by his brother and within view are the Whitney, Duryea and Mackay estates and many others noted for their beauty and extent. The student of contemporary architecture could spend a very profitable week motoring in this part of the country studying the art which here comprises nearly all the styles from Elizabethan to the most modern of Colonial. Here also may yet be found that type of pre-Revolutionary house known to many as the Long Island farmhouse type which is as distinct as the Southern Colonial or the Dutch Colonial which it somewhat resembles. But the day of the Long Island farmhouse has passed for the mode of living here is changing—has changed. In the place of the farms whose products were once seen snugly packed on vehicles resembling prairie wagons which, late in the evening, wound their way along the road to the city where the produce was sold early next day—in place of these producing farms are the fancy farms of new owners whose cattle are prize cattle; whose produce cost at such rates as only the multi-millionaire can afford to pay; and these new farms are surrounded by landscape gardens and crowned by mansions, every appointment of which is studied art and comfort.
One of the newest of these splendid houses is that built for Mr. A. L. Kramer and designed by Messrs. Peabody, Wilson and Brown of New York City. The work of this firm is all high grade but no house they have designed is any better than the one here shown.
|THE A. L. KRAMER HOUSE AT WESTBURY, L. I.; SOUTH FRONT|
|THE GARDEN, THOUGH NEW, IS INTERESTING; THE A. L. KRAMER HOUSE AT WESTBURY, L. I.|
|THE ENCLOSED BREAKFAST-ROOM WITH LATTICED WALLS; THE A. L. KRAMER HOUSE AT WESTBURY, L. I.|
The house is distinguished and even though new has a domestic quality which age will improve. One drives up to a dignified two-story porch and through a small vestibule enters a wide hall which runs entirely through the house. In this hall is the staircase with a landing the full width of the hall. To the west is an 18 x 25-foot dining-room with a very large fireplace and at the southerly end two ample windows. Corresponding, on the west of the hall, is the library. Out of each of these rooms one may step onto a porch, the dining-room porch being an enclosed breakfast-room prettily furnished, the walls being latticed.
Not the least feature of the Kramer house is the very complete service arrangements which comprise, seemingly, all that could be necessary to convenient housekeeping. This includes a refrigerating-room 7 x 10, a large laundry and a kitchen large enough for a small hotel. The lesser conveniences are a built-in silver safe, a dumb-waiter and ample closet room. And in another part of the ground floor is the flower-room with an outside entrance.
|THE LIVING-ROOM; THE A. L. KRAMER HOUSE AT WESTBURY, L. I.|
But the great feature of this floor is the living-room 25 x 40 with a six-foot wide fireplace at the end. This room is low in proportion to its size and paneled from floor to ceiling in dark wood. The living-room gives out onto an enclosed porch of ample size with three exposures. A feature of the ground floor is the bedroom and bathroom with access from the main hall. The second floor contains five master's bedrooms with five baths and in conjunction with the owner's bedroom are the dressing-room and boudoir. The owner's bedroom is 17 x 25 feet with a large open fireplace and windows on three sides, those on the west side leading out to an open roof over the porch below. The second story contains also six servants' rooms. Features of the second story are the splendid hall and the loggia between two of the bedrooms on the south.
The Kramer house is Georgian, the entrance porch recalling in its proportions the general aspect of "Homewood" in Maryland, which has been the inspiration of so many of our architects. The rich red of the brickwork contrasts well with the vari-colored slate roof and the white trim sets off the coloring of the masonry. The white blinds also add to the interest. All in all, Messrs. Peabody, Wilson and Brown have
produced a work of art of which they should feel proud.
|FIRST FLOOR PLAN; THE A. L. KRAMER HOUSE AT WESTBURY, L. I.|
|SECOND FLOOR PLAN; THE A. L. KRAMER HOUSE AT WESTBURY, L. I.|
|THE A. L. KRAMER HOUSE AT WESTBURY, L. I.|
Sold to A. S. Lehman (Lehman family) in the 1940's, the house burned in the 1970's after being abandoned and vandalized. Land sold and developed into the Hamlet condominiums.
wikimapia LOCATION. Aerial from 1966 showing estate still standing and the surrounding neighborhood.