Sunday, November 4, 2012

Country House of Character - The Former Residence of Mr. James Byrne

What constitutes the perfect country house? Country Life asked this question of several of the leading architects in New York, and asked them to indicate some country houses which they had designed and which, in their opinion, made them distinctive from other houses. It was to make no difference whether the house were a marble palace at some fashionable watering place or a tiny bungalow in the foothills of the mountains. So long as the architect considered it a good example of a country house and, in his opinion it had character, that was all that we asked. ***1919***

***Below is the selection chosen by Architect Grosvenor Atterbury***

IN PLANNING this house photographs were taken of every part of the site beforehand, in order that the house might blend with the landscape as far as possible, a result which was successfully achieved.

The exterior of the house is of brick, which was selected as the most appropriate material. The surface is divided into panels with rough adzed half-timber in the style of the English farm house which, in all its lines, the house strongly suggests. Particular attention was paid to the economical administration of service in designing the servant quarters. The service wing has an outside stairway which, with the groupings of the roof, is very picturesque. The roof is shingled and the house is purposely built low to suit the contour of the country.

In the treatment of the main rooms on the first floor, the woodwork is in chestnut with adzed surface, and the living room has a beamed ceiling with a large fireplace of rough brick with wide joints. 

By the living room a secluded alcove has been arranged so that, if desired, this can be used as a private chapel. A novel and charming idea not generally found in country houses.

The former summer residence of Mr. James Byrne, on Long Island    -     Painted by John Vincent

"Atterbury exhibited some excellent photographs and drawings of an unusually successful house in half timber and brick construction at Locust Valley. L. I."   The  Architectural League Exhibition by Henry H. Saylor - 1908

The house was built in 1906. James Byrne was an attorney. The house was purchased by William R. Coe c. 1913 and burned to the ground in 1918 -  replaced by "Coe Hall".

Click HERE for more on this estate. 

1 comment:

  1. Atterbury must have had a special connection with this commission. The above article was published in 1919 after the house burned in 1918.