Friday, March 28, 2014

"Lilliothea" The Home of Mr. George R. White, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.


"LILLIOTHEA"
"PLACE WITH A VIEW FROM A HILL"

The Home of Mr. George R. White,
 Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. 
Bigelow & Wadsworth, architects; R. H. Wambolt, associate
Olmsted Brothers, landscape architects


The view is best enjoyed from the main rooms. The dining-room has a balcony and loggia which also serves for minstrels. With the gods we would remember that dining is an art well-nigh lost in the jumble of affairs we term civilization. The view also enlighten the oval breakfast room, which has an additional benediction in the morning light through the opening of the domed ceiling overhead, so that the sun is ever present at the breaking of the fast. Many of the trees have been removed and replanted, the gaps between the tall ones taken up by shrubs brought from the distance yet suited to this climate. rich both in foliage and fruit. The property has been considered as a unit, separate and distinct.



HE silhouette outline of "Lilliothea", with its splendid towers, is the first thing we see as we look from Manchester out in the direction of Smith's Point. It is the circular tower which is the most prominent. This energetic accent is verily the Hallelujah Chorus of domestic architecture. The picturesque property, which is on one of the most entertaining sections of the Bay, finding its exit in the broad harbor of Manchester-by-the-Sea, has been in the family of Mr. George R. White for many years. Recently, from the Putnam family, he acquired adjoining acres, enabling him to rebuild, adding greatly to the original house, and so entirely changing its character and significance. The alteration entailed considerable engineering skill. The old Putnam house had to be removed and the outline of the ground changed somewhat. Then there were trees to lift from their original anchorage that they might assume new importance as setting, facilitating the view, boundaries to re-form following a new line and a new direction, roads to rebuild, shrubbery to replant, to extend further the idea of the French chateau type of architecture, wherein the building is enclosed within a private park. 


MAIN ENTRANCE AND TOWER
ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 

BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT


   "Lilliothea" was named by an Indian chief, on the occasion of his visit to the original house some time ago, because of the breadth and charm of its wonderful view. It was a clear day, so clear that the chief could see, looking south, much of the ragged outline of the coast, and, of course, the beautiful homes of Beverly Farms and Marblehead, and beyond Massachusetts Bay with many of its islands. Looking north as the fog lifted. Eastern Point came into view, marking the entrance of Gloucester harbor. 


ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT
   
At the time of construction, the estate with its barrel-vaulted loggia, stone balustrades, and turrets rivaled the era's grand seasonal "cottages" in Newport, R.I. Built using the finest materials available, the exterior consists of tapestry brick, imported barrel by barrel from France and carved Indiana limestone. Twenty-eight stone carvers were brought to the site to ensure the elaborate carving was done with absolute authenticity, and they worked 24 hours a day. 

   That Mr. White selected for his residence that peculiar phase of the architecture which is forever associated with the Renaissance of Francis I is a source of congratulation by no means confined to the area worthily known as the Athens of America. It is not surprising to find that this type of building, wayward and charming, with picturesque grouping and wealth of ornament, appeals, because it is magnetic. Of the grand manner we have surely had more than enough. This school of architecture attracts by the gaiety of its color - red, white, purple and green - the distinction of its outlines. Think for a moment of the silhouette, examine it and see how the owner may have minaret or dormer adjoining that tall roof, balcony or loggia almost wherever he likes. We of the new America who have always flirted more with France than with England naturally prefer the French interpretation of this fascinating form of architectural independence to that more sturdy work adopted by the Lone Isle. This house reminds those of us who cherish such things seriously of an interesting but somewhat forgotten section of French chateau building, which happens to be singularly adapted not only to this property but to other properties belonging to other people along the great coast line of New England. 


THE  ENTRANCE PORCH It is of the type known in Europe as wayward and charming, characterized by picturesque grouping and wealth of ornament. We are delighted to welcome it heartily on our shores as a hint to other wealthy citizens to build.


ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT
The exterior of the house is composed of tapestry brick, which was imported barrel by barrel from France, and carved Indiana limestone. The main house has two dining rooms, with a circular staircase in the foyer leading to the second floor, where the five main bedrooms are located; altogether, there are 11 bedrooms on the property. 

ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT
   Study has been made of the general lay of the land, which comprises a hill on the broad shoulder of which the house stands. It has also a small valley, where the garage and stable are comfortably located behind evergreen plants. Here also are the yards, enclosed and concealed, but convenient for service. Every frontage has so well been studied that strictly there is not any rear elevation. The building, having received study as a unit, stands free and clear. Indeed, this was imperative, considering the prominence of the site and the character of the design. We must remember that the one thing which attracts as we examine closely the best houses of the old country is the fact that they are a complete picture within themselves. What, for instance, is more engaging than Azay-le-Rideau, engaging, if you please, not for its magnitude nor startling cost nor indeed for its geographical position, but for the picture it makes? It is a little gem within itself and everything about it is beautiful. "Lilliothea" has this quality beyond a doubt. 

ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT

ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT

ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS.
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT
   
RECALLING THE CLOISTER OF CASTLE BLOIS,  THE   LOGGIA   IS SIGNIFICANT The most engaging view of the valley is the one obtained from the loggia upon the main axis of the house, opening upon the living-room. The flat arches, caps and diapered pillars are interesting. The balustrade is of bronze which is accepting tones of emerald and russet imposed by the sea air.

   
Built in 1912, the main residence is a replica of a French chateau created using bricks imported from France.


   The architect of "Lilliothea" has accepted the circular tower as well as the octagonal tower, making of it the accent somewhat after the fashion of that adopted in the Castle Azay-le-Rideau, the Castle Chenonceaux and Chateaudun. The monumental chimneys, exalted dormers and many-membered cornices recall Chambord, the magnificent palace of the dancing, rippling Loire, whose valley is famous for its country houses. 



SERVICE ENTRANCE
ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT
   ***The kitchen, located on the basement level of the house (as was often customary in early 20th century mansions) is one floor down from the home's living areas.***

SERVANTS VERANDA
ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT

   Rambling through the chateau land of France and remembering the opportunities of America with its rich material and brilliant climate, it is astonishing to realize that this style of architecture has waited so long to be acknowledged here, to be added to the equipment of the architect! It only requires to be known to be appreciated, to be adapted. True, we no longer have Leonardo, the magnificent, the incomparable, but we have splendid workers sensitive to the finger tips, who can drink as deeply of the spring which inspires. Samuel Howe


First Floor Plan
Entrance Hall.


A look back at mansion's front door.

The mansion's main staircase is seen here.


A look down the main staircase. 

RECEPTION  ROOM
ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT

DINING ROOM
ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT
   The dining room is paneled in rare Circassian walnut from Russia.

DINING ROOM

LIVING ROOM
ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT

The carvers worked meticulously inside as well, exquisitely detailing ceilings, columns, and fireplace surrounds.

BREAKFAST ROOM
ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT
Breakfast Room features an inlaid floor of green Connemara marble from Ireland and a skylight made of translucent stone.

DEN
ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT


The 12,000-square-foot house has original elegant details - ornate moldings, elaborate carvings, leaded glass panes, and gilded hardware.

SUN PARLOR
ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO A HOUSE AT MANCHESTER, MASS. 
BIGELOW & WADSWORTH, ARCHITECTS; R.H. WAMBOLT, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT

SUN PARLOR
Second Floor Plans

The master suite looks out to the ocean and also has a view of a 100-year-old Dutch elm tree on the estate. In another bedroom the walls are sheathed with rich mahogany paneling imported by White from a chapel in London.

Before alteration.

   Originally a modest frame house, built towards the end of the 19th century, White had the home completely remodeled in 1912 by the architecture firm Bigelow & Wadsworth, and the landscape was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. 

   After White died in the 1920s, a second owner inhabited the home until 1944 when the Reeves purchased it for their year-round residence. "Lilliothea" was listed in 2004 for $23.5 million. In 2007 the estate was then offered as two separate properties, the main estate at $14.75 million and a three-bedroom carriage house with a six-car garage on 2 acres listed at $2.75 million.

   The carriage house sold for $2.5 and the main house for $9.2 million in 2010.


"Lilliothea" The Home of Mr. George R. White

   lillio might come from lilas "blue" or "lily" fair/beautiful thea comes from the French "to see"  so maybe a made up word having to do with beautiful view of the blue ocean.

Wikimapia location. BING. Architect Henry Forbes Bigelow.


4 comments:

  1. Fascinating as always. Thanks!

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  2. Such a magnificent estate

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  3. Do you know where the architectural drawings above came from, and if there are other drawings available?

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    Replies
    1. American Architect and Architecture 1917. Unknown if others.

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