Friday, July 25, 2014

"HICKORY HILL" THE SUMMER HOME OF ARCHITECT WILLIAM LAWRENCE BOTTOMLEY

A farmhouse that is an oldest inhabitant250 years set lightly on its rugged frame


Dating back to 1680, the country home of William Lawrence Bottomley, architect, at Brookville is one of the oldest houses still standing on Long Island. Necessary remodeling has been so carefully carried out as to preserve all of its old-time charm. The wall shingles are gray and exterior trim is painted white.

    In 1924 William Lawrence Bottomley acquired "Hickory Hill" (c. 1680), in Old Brookville, New York, for use as his summer house. Bottomley carried out extensive restoration, renovation, and additions to the original saltbox structure, one of the oldest houses on Long Island. Roads, terraces, pools, and gardens were laid out, boxwood and borders planted, and the ancient trees pruned on the seven-acre property. The result was judged at the time as one of the most charming and dignified small country places in its section of America.   



Landscaping is decidedly informal, with Phlox, Iris, Peonies and flowering shrubs creating a typical old-fashioned garden before the house. Shading the front grass terrace are a huge Sugar Maple and a Silver Birch. A grape vine from a side arbor clambers across the face of the house at second story height.

A pear tree such as this provides beauty in the Spring, shade in Summer and fruit in the Fall.


Boxwood Garden, "Hickory Hill"

South Garden, "Hickory Hill"

Harriet(Townsend) and Lawrence "Larry" Bottomley enjoyed gardening together at "Hickory Hill".
c. 1944


Above a powder blue dado, room walls are covered with an old French wall paper in which soft greens and blues predominate. The sofa is upholstered in blue silk. Under a valance board painted in blue and gold to resemble drapery, curtains are of white voile edged with old-fashioned cotton fringe.


A Seventeenth Century original

   Numerous paintings and etchings adorned the walls. In 1932 these works were destroyed in a fire that started in the cellar of the house and spread to the first floor. Little damage was done to the structure itself, but the loss of the artwork was estimated at $20,000.  The housed was being opened for the season with blame attributed to a faulty furnace. 

Huge fireplaces were characteristic of the Early American houses—such fireplaces as this one still surviving in the living room of William Lawrence Bottomlcy's Long Island home. The wood paneled fireplace wall is painted powder blue. The rug, in tan and blues, is decorated with the various signs of the zodiac—the Gemini twins being located in position to toast their little bare toes.


Mr. Bottomley's dining room has oyster white walls inset with old toile paper panels. Chairs are white with gold decorations. The huge antique sideboard displays a miscellaneous collection of old blue and white china and silver. The principal color notes of the room are red, blue and gold, usually on white.

In 1947, Bottomley added a barn to the property. 


William Lawrence Bottomley in his studio.


    "Hickory Hill" was leased for additional income in the 1940's


Hickory Hill"
William Lawrence Bottomley, Architect

   Bottomley died on February 1, 1951 after a series of small strokes, with the sense that he had been typed as an eclectic, hence irrelevant in the modernist world of architecture. The Bottomley family sold the property in 1952. 

  "The great masters of painting, sculpture and architecture are remembered by their successes, not by their failures." William Lawrence Bottomley

   wikimapi LOCATION of "Hickory Hill".  BING.

   Before "moving on up" to the River House in New York City the Bottomley's  resided at a remolded brownstone. Follow THIS LINK to see "The House of the Hanging Kitchen".

   Mrs. Bottomley gave the scenic French wallpaper originally  in the  living-room to the Goodspeed Opera House in Essex, Connecticut.


Outside the Ladies Drinking Parlor at the Goodspeed Opera House is this wood-framed commemorative plaque 
This Early 19th Century Wallpaper given in memory of William Lawrence Bottomley by his wife Harriet Townsend Bottomley



This Early 19th Century Wallpaper given in memory of William Lawrence Bottomley by his wife Harriet Townsend Bottomley



This Early 19th Century Wallpaper given in memory of William Lawrence Bottomley by his wife Harriet Townsend Bottomley



This Early 19th Century Wallpaper given in memory of William Lawrence Bottomley by his wife Harriet Townsend Bottomley

This Early 19th Century Wallpaper given in memory of William Lawrence Bottomley by his wife Harriet Townsend Bottomley

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