Monday, March 2, 2015

"OAKWOOD", RESIDENCE OF WILLIAM A. COOLIDGE, MAGNOLIA, MASS.

    THE estate is a large one, bordering the back road that leads from Magnolia to Gloucester, overlooking country and sea. The house is in the Tudor style of architecture, closely following the English country house, although not an attempt at direct copy. It is very attractive with its stucco finish broken by stone trim over window and porch and cornice. It is topped by a roof covered with one-inch slabs of Tudor stone.


"OAKWOOD", RESIDENCE OF WILLIAM A. COOLIDGE, MAGNOLIA, MASS. 
Charles M. Baker, Architect

"OAKWOOD", RESIDENCE OF WILLIAM A. COOLIDGE, MAGNOLIA, MASS. 
Charles M. Baker, Architect
OCEAN FRONT
"OAKWOOD", RESIDENCE OF WILLIAM A. COOLIDGE, MAGNOLIA, MASS. 

Charles M. Baker, Architect

The eighty-acre estate was purchased by William Henry Coolidge(1859-1933), a lawyer and investor, and a distant relative of President Calvin Coolidge in 1917.
 
PORCH
"OAKWOOD", RESIDENCE OF WILLIAM A. COOLIDGE, MAGNOLIA, MASS. 

Charles M. Baker, Architect

ENTRANCE
"OAKWOOD", RESIDENCE OF WILLIAM A. COOLIDGE, MAGNOLIA, MASS. 
 
Charles M. Baker, Architect
    One enters through the wrought-iron door into an outer vestibule with Caen stone walls. This leads to the inner hall, which is finished in imposing oak panelling topped with Caen stone. Directly opposite the entrance is the fireplace, six feet high and five wide. This is backed with Holland splints laid in herring-bone pattern. It is an unusual house, showing many features such as are found very rarely, as, for instance, the organ chamber, which is at the right. The front of this is ornamented with a carved Gothic screen backed with silk. Under the stairway, which is directly opposite the fireplace, is the organ console, designed with two small concealed doors which, when closed, lend to view nothing but bench and pedals. Especial attention was paid to color schemes, and in this room Flemish tapestry is used as wall hangings and as upholstery for the settle and chairs. One can but receive a favorable impression of the house from the hallway, where hangings are red, and the final touch has been obtained by the tall bronze candlesticks, each one holding seven candles, which stand on either side of the hall.


The finished stone effect of the exterior was carried into the vestibule, living hall and loggia. At one end of the 21-by-42-foot living hall stood a carved oak staircase, under which was a carved oak console for an Aeolian organ equipped with 2,000 pipes.

LIVING HALL 

HALL FIREPLACE, OPPOSITE ENTRANCE

HALL FIREPLACE, OPPOSITE ENTRANCE
   
LIBRARY
   Opening out of this is the library, a very large room connected with both the den and the loggia. All around the walls are bookcases, and a large bay window on the waterside gives a wonderful view of the sea. The room is finished with a plaster ornamental ceiling. The predominating color is green, which is worked out in hangings and furniture covers. The fixtures are black and bronze. This room overlooks the garden on the one side and the ocean on the front. A long French window leads out to the covered veranda, which is an out-of-doors living-room. From here steps go down to the sunken garden so closely connected with this part of the house.


DINING ROOM
The dining room was enhanced with linen-fold paneling and an unusual stone mantel, one of several that carried out the Jacobean theme.
    The dining-room, which is entered from the hall, is on the opposite side of the house. It is large, and spacious panelled walls with linen folds are used for the upper part, meeting the strapped ceiling, which is a unique feature. Soft blue brocade hanging over white gives a subdued atmosphere. The furniture is Chinese Chippendale upholstered in soft blue, which blends with the tone of the Caen stone of the fireplace. One of the most interesting features here is the Chinese Chippendale cupboard, copied from a very old one which has been brought over the seas.
       
LOGGIA
The 42-foot-long loggia had an arched ceiling, Italian floor tiles, a decorative fountain, and large windows overlooking the terrace and ocean.
    Standing by the stairway, one can view the loggia or sun-room, one of the most charming bits of the house. The den is at the right of the hallway, with a large bay window giving ample lights.   The finish is oak, and posts supporting the rough-hewn beams are of oak also. Soft shades of rose in hangings and rugs give a restful tone.


FIRST FLOOR PLANS"OAKWOOD", RESIDENCE OF WILLIAM A. COOLIDGE, MAGNOLIA, MASS.  
Charles M. Baker, Architect
    The most charming room of the house is the little breakfast-room with its small, square stone flooring. Here the hangings are Chinese printed linen with figures on a yellow background. The cane-seated chairs are covered with green-and-yellow slips.

SECOND FLOOR PLANS"OAKWOOD", RESIDENCE OF WILLIAM A. COOLIDGE, MAGNOLIA, MASS. 
Charles M. Baker, Architect


    No paper has been used on the second story nor, in fact, in the whole house. The rooms have had to depend on the hangings and rugs to give the necessary color. Six master chambers each had a fireplace and connecting tile bath.


BEACH HOUSE
    Also on the property were a beach house, garage, a barn, cottages for the gardener and chauffeur, and houses for the Coolidges' grown children. Coolidge, his wife May and their four children lived in the house until 1944, and in later years it was used as an assisted living facility. It remained elderly housing until 2003, when it was purchased by Mark and Leslie Lynch, of Merrill-Lynch, for $2.6 million. Ongoing legal problems with the neighbors about a massive horse-riding ring they built, dubbed an "aircraft hangar", soured there efforts to continue renovations. "Oakwood" had fallen into poor condition and was demolished in 2012.

Initially the plan was to place 24 smaller condo units in a "garden-style" building and another 16 units in four townhouse-style buildings.

   Problems with neighbors, zoning and permits changed the plans a number of times. 


http://summerhillmanchester.com/index.php
Priced from $1,570,000 to $1,840,000.

Final development with 12 luxury single family homes. The homes are cottage style homes that are oriented to an Olmsteadian-style common green.

    The beach house survives in an altered state. BING VIEW still shows the house standing. Above color photo of the library is from the time property was the assisted living facility.

4 comments:

  1. Yet another developer with no skills nor imagination nor interest in saving a majestic house and converting it into townhouse units. Much easier to obliterate the landscape, bulldoze all structures and build cheaply built tacky houses dropped all over the property. Too bad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't have said it better. Very sad.

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  2. If the neighbors didn't complain about the horse feature, this home would still be standing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where did the Oakwood photos come from? Our house in Marblehead has stained glass windows that we've been told came from the estate. I would love to find someone that could look at pictures of the windows to see if it they did come from the property.

    ReplyDelete