Friday, May 30, 2014

MARSHALL FIELD HOUSE, 4 East Seventieth Street

MARSHALL FIELD HOUSE, 4 East Seventieth Street. David Adler, 1925-27. View from the south showing rear garden facing East Sixty-ninth Street. 
Follow THIS LINK for more on this property.

Friday, May 23, 2014

"Villa Marina" at Roslyn, L. I. The Home of Frank C.Henderson, Esq.

November 21, 1917

Frank C. Henderson Buys Long Island Estate.

Frank C. Henderson of New York President of the Oklahoma Oil Company, has purchased the George W. Eastman estate at Roslyn, L. I. The property is one of the show places of that section, and is in the immediate vicinity of the estates of Clarence H. Mackay(Harbor Hill), Judge F. K. Pendleton(?), Payne Whitney(Greentree), and Joseph P. Grace(Tullaroan). Mr. Henderson  contemplates making extensive improvements, and will lay out a private nine-hole golf course on the property. Cocks & Willets negotiated the sale.

February 16, 1919

At Roslyn, Frank C. Henderson has completed a new house on the former George W. Eastman property, which he

purchased last Winter. The house was estimated to cost $60,000 and was designed by Warren & Clark, architects.

    "Villa Marina," situated at Roslyn, Long Island, with its surrounding acres devoted to lawns and gardens, is used as an all-year residence.

Entrance Gate and Lodge 

The coloring of the entrance lodge is that of the main home, but it is more formal in type.
"Villa Marina"

On the front or south side of the house is the loggia, or breakfast room, overlooking a broad grass terrace, with its background of trees and a small garden. Birds and growing plants add to the cheerfulness of the surroundings here, with a recently established radio service as a diversion.
    The left wing of the house, as shown above, and of which the loggia is a part, contains all of the guest rooms, which are located above the living-room and dining-room, while the  right wing has been reserved for the owners' bedrooms, study, billiard room and library.

The terraced effect of the roof line is especially noticeable from the entrance driveway.

The dark green of the cedars emphasis the soft Italian coloring of the house-the red of the roof, the pink of the walls, the dull blue of the shutters, and the polychrome decoration over the entrance.
  The house is an interestingly developed series of wings, extensions, and galleries, with a variety of color none the less charming because unusual in these northern latitudes.

The gateway from the forecourt to the east terrace gives a glimpse of the dining room facade which fronts a semicircular terrace.
Above is shown the north side of the yellow stucco, red-roofed house. With these colorings sea blue blinds are a harmonious note of contrast.

At the rear of the house is a formal garden, overlooked by a shaded veranda that is a room in itself.

In the semi-circular Pompeian bath pergola, at the extreme end of the blue-lined pool, are the dressing rooms.   At the left is the golf course.
    The swimming pool is approached by flagged steps with ivy-grown balustrades leading from the Italian garden, and bordered by tall trees. 

Entrance Floor

   Plan of the entrance floor. The arrangement is unusual in having the hall on the floor below the main living rooms, and in the locating of the boiler room, laundry, etc., on the floor with the hall.

Main Floor
   On the first floor the living and dining rooms occupy the main part of the house, being flanked on one side by the service rooms, and the other by the family sleeping rooms.

Third Floor
   The third floor main house rooms are for guests the wings being given over to the servants quarters.

Old velvets, soft toned brocades, and seventeenth century Italian furniture, lend a pleasant feeling of dignity and restfulness to this spacious room.
Corner in Venetian living-room.

   In the Venetian living-room the rafters are toned green and decorated to match the flower-painted doors which lead to the dining-room.


Loggia or breakfast room.
Mrs. Henderson's Boudoir.
    Mrs. Elizabeth "Betty" Henderson achieved notoriety at the age of 71 by smoking a cigar at opening night at the Metropolitan Opera in 1947 and was photographed displaying her limbs on a table. 

Mrs. Henderson's Boudoir.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank C. Henderson

   After a year and a half of reconstruction and four years of  living at "Villa Marina" Henderson put the estate up for auction in 1923. Why the short occupation is unknown but he ended up ordering the auctioneer out of his house and the property was offered for sale in 1924. He settled in Palm Beach and died in 1943.

  Currently serves as the Pierce Country Day Camp for children.

Landscaping of the twelve acres was by Hattan & DeSuarez.  Private golf course by noted designer Devereux Emmet.

wikimapia LOCATION



   Erte's description of this month's cover translated from the French.

   THE eternal story of the first temptation always interested me, and I used to try to decide on which chords of the feminine soul the Prince of Darkness had to play, when disguised as a serpent, in order to make woman fail into the abyss of disobedience to the Creator's laws.

   Once I dreamed of our ancestor, Eve, and this is what I saw: The serpent which became the embodiment of wisdom, thanks to the Evil One, had commanded the birds, who were in his power, to bedeck Eve with flowers. Although almost entirely concealing her form, her neck and arms were left revealed in quite a modern decolletage and when, finally, the birds encircled her head, suggesting an unusual coiffure, Eve began to believe herself a superior being.

   Urged by the Tempter, she wandered to a mirror-like pool where, like Narcissus, she admired herself, and with primitive coquetry, contemplated her beauty, and the words traced over her pliant body by the serpent—"La Premiere Robe".

   So now I see a charming young person—perhaps one of the readers of these very words—gazing in a mirror, an actual mirror. What she sees, I also see: there are flowers covering her gown, but they are artificial, being merely embroidered. Then, there is an artificial bird in her coiffure—quite different from those which the Tempter summoned to the Garden for Eve. But this modern gown has almost exactly the same decolletage as the first gown Eve wore, and always . . . always, there is the same serpent, invisible to most people, with that diabolic glint lurking in its eyes.

Friday, May 16, 2014

"THE HEDGEGROW" Locust Valley

"THE HEDGEGROW" Locust Valley

     The Pleasants Pennington house in Locust Valley, L. I., proves that modernism does not necessarily involve the use of corner windows, iron pipe railings, and cantilevered roof terraces. Comfort, utility, and economy, the watch words of the modern movement, are all present in this residence, with its large windows and its cool, high-ceilinged rooms. The flat roof is economical and eminently practical, making possible a large, evenly distributed air space over the bedrooms, which is ventilated through flues in the chimneys. These can be shut off in the winter, making the house equally comfortable in winter and summer, and the plan throughout has been conceived with this double purpose in mind. The exterior, painted a delicate shade of yellow and recalling the simpler French residences of the early nineteenth century in its symmetry and proportions, fits gracefully into the residential tradition without being in any sense archaeological. Pennington & Lewis, architects

The dwelling is two stories at its center with single-story wings, one for guests and one for servants. The smooth brick exterior walls of were painted creamy yellow and left to ageTrees in perfect alignment border the main approach, a white gravel court that runs the length of the house and is balanced at opposing ends by a pair of tiny square outbuildings containing a garage and Mr. Pennington's workshop.

The main house consists of four bedrooms, two upstairs and two down, a dining room, and a sizable living room. An oversized paneled front door, painted black, opens to reveal a pleasant hall with vaulted ceiling. Sited in the hall's left corner is a graceful curved staircase under which a tiny rounded door leads to the staff kitchen. The entire first floor centers on the living room, the main space for indoor activity. A large crown molding of egg-and-dart motif runs along the top of its 12-foot high walls. The walls are flat with little molding, all their detail painted in shades of gray.  The west wall houses a faux-marble fireplace at its center. To the left of the living room is a small, elegant dining room. 

Three floor-to-ceiling triple-sash windows face south, overlooking the back terrace and gardens. A tiered clearing, which fans outward from the rear terrace, creates a vista to the south. There, gardens containing fruit trees, beehives, grape arbors, and an octagonal ornamental pigeon house provide country charm and visual interest.
On the Pleasants Pennington estate at Locust Valley, L. I. such a utilitarian feature as a dove cote has been made an architectural garden ornament in keeping with the classic atmosphere of the establishment.

Placed in a grove of trees to afford privacy, Hedgerow's gardens included both formal and informal elements. Four life-sized terra-cotta statues of tutelary goddesses Flora. Dora, Cora, and Nora, purchased by Pennington during a European buying trip, stand on a terrace wall facing the house. 

After Pennington's death in 1942 Lloyd Paul Stryker, attorney for Alger Hiss, was an owner.  


   Decorator Dorothy Draper started a company in the 1920's called the Architectural Clearing House which acted as matchmaker between architects and society clients. Draper and her favorite architect, Pleasants Pennington, had acquired thirty-seven acres and planned to divide them into plots of from two to four acres. By using clever architecture and walled-in gardens, they would manage to make the plots look like large country estates. The smallest house would have three bedrooms and two maid's rooms; the largest house would be twice as big. The landscaping was of paramount importance, for both Pennington and Draper believed that enjoyment of the outdoors was the chief reason for going to the country.

E. Belcher Hyde, Inc. 1927 

   NEW YORK EVENING POST, 1927  The ideas of the development is to  demonstrate that an ideal country home can grace a small place instead of vast acreage being required.

Dolph & Stewart 1939

March 3, 1927

PLANS IDEAL HOME COLONY. Mrs. Draper to Divide Piping Rock Tract Into Small Sites. To demonstrate that an ideal country place can be built on a small piece of property, Mrs. George Draper of 186 East Sixty-fourth Street, social leader, and Pleasants Pennington, architect, of 250 Park Avenue, have acquired thirty-seven acres on the Piping Rock Estate property, near Locust Valley, L. I., for development, it became known yesterday.

   They are dividing the land into plots varying from two to four acres, and are planning to build in the near future several types of small houses varying in size from a small house containing three bedrooms and two maids' rooms up to twice this number. The houses will be of distinctive design and will demonstrate how a small piece of land may be planned with walled-in gardens and orchards. Mrs. Draper and Mr. Pennington plan to build such houses for themselves.

    "Enter the Saturday Night House A Tiny, Perfect Cottage for Week-ends where One Can Dwell in True comfort and Simplicity Solves a Great Problem." Dorothy Draper

   She understood the modern need for overworked and overstimulated upper-class urban dwellers to decompress on the weekends.
    Simplest of all is the thatch-roofed, half-timbered cottage with its one large living room occupying practically all of the main space as shown in the plans. It has no cellar, no servants and no real bedrooms. Notwithstanding, it is comfortable and good-looking.

The first plan brings the cost of the Saturday Night House idea within the reach of almost everybody. It has no cellar. It contains only one real room. It plans for no servants, except a visiting gardener, taking for granted that one has placed it sufficiently near to a club or a hotel so that the midday meal will be taken there, leaving only breakfast and supper to be prepared in the house itself. It will achieve its loveliest effect if one can find a beautiful old boiserie (inexpensively?) with which to panel the inside—dark wood, much polished. The floor will be of flags or red tiles, polished again. Copper pots and pans —or those of brilliant enamel, red, yellow or green—delft tiles at the kitchen and around the stove and the sink, the rag or straw rugs, the fire place never without its glowing logs, the peasant china, the pots of flowers on the windowsills give it color, quaintness, charm—the air of those low-ceilinged Breton houses where the whole life of the family has a common center in a single room.

 The kitchen alcove opens  directly into  the living room. With its copper pots and pans, Delft tiles and peasant china it helps to produce the feeling of Brittany's low-ceilinged old houses. 
Here is the opposite end of  the  living  room  with the berth and fireplace.

Simplest of the three is the plan of the thatch-roof cottage. Here are shown the one large room and the garage, bath and little kitchen niche off one end opposite the fireplace.
The Bermuda cottage with its four double masters' rooms, its two servants' rooms and its three baths. You are asked to see in your mind's eye a local couple—a woman who can be simple cooking over week-ends and be laundress through the week, and handyman who is also a gardener of sorts. These are to keep your few possessions speckless, attend to your breakfast and supper, and ensure the fact that you yourself will be free from care under the white roof of your gay little house with its patio, its flowers, its lovely big living room with the inverted tray ceiling and the fireplace that  never goes out. 

The Bermuda cottage with its four double master bedrooms and service quarters, still retains the simplicity which a Saturday Night House should have. Its ground floor shown is so flexible that almost any desired additions may be made to it.

The third house is by far the most sophisticated—as it is, lamentably, the most expensive to build. But it would be so amusing to do that I shall never rest until I have it myself.

That cool white facade with sky blue niches, so correct, so perfectly proportioned in its every detail—that beautiful big living room, fourteen feet high: Can't you just see it—with 1830 woodwork throughout, tall mahogany doors with silver knobs, a black marble mantel for the fireplace, Empire or Directoire furniture, glazed English chintz for the windows, English chintz again for the slip cover of the Lawson sofa.

This last house, of course, calls for something more ambitious in the way of servants than the Bermuda cottage can do with. At best, one would think of a neat English couple—the man a butler-chauffeur, his wife a competent cook. One might spend as much money as one happened to have. But the staterooms should remain staterooms, for in them and in the big informal living room centers the whole idea of the place—never to be taken seriously or one would find oneself with the regulation country house on one's hands, and life would be just what it has always been, without the fillip of the unexpected.

Because of the Crash, the ideal home colony in Locust Valley would never be.

All of the lots created by Pennington and Draper were named after various species of trees. The community bordered the Riding Association trails and the Piping Rock Club, of which all the proposed residents were members, providing access to all the amenities ot a large estate without the overwhelming problems of its cost and maintenance. Maps Collection, Stony Brook University Libraries - 1938

    Where Valley Road and Crabapple Lane converge you can see the fan-shaped property of Pleassants Pennington's "Hedegrow". Today the property is called "Chanticleer". 

   The well delineated Valley Road was probably the initial main access into the planned development.  I don't know the specific outline of the original 37 acres. The only other Pennington build was for his neighbor to the southeast, Howland Auchincloss, a whitewashed brick Federal style house built in 1927.  "Appledore" was built for Hiram Dewing(stock broker) around the same time but was designed by Peabody, Wilson & Brown so I can't say if they allowed other architects to get involved.  Northeast of "Hedgegrow" is a Harrie T. Lindeberg  design for attorney Richard E. Dwight(Arm & Hammer Baking Soda money). Whether or not it was part of the development, it appears the Crash affected further plans. According to county records "Exterior walls - special brick. This house was built for Superintendent & main house was never built." Follow the wikimapia link below to see the whole area marked.


wikimapia location. BING.

Friday, May 9, 2014



The traditional cobbled courtyard, the precision of shrubbery, the classic facade, not too classic—Diego de Suarez, architect and decorator, has re-created in our casual times, all the formality of an age that worshiped the god of form.

   WANTING a house in France, and wanting France in a house, are not the same thing—but they very nearly are, here in the home of Mr. and  Mrs. Thomas L. Chadbourne, at Brookville, L. I. For although the place is some three thousand miles and two hundred years removed from the court of the Sun King, one still feels as if the ancien regime were smiling on it—perhaps from the skies, or wherever it is that Good Old Times go when they die. At any rate, I'm sure the spirit of Old France was very close when Diego de Suarez was designing the charming rooms looking out on stately gardens and reflecting pools. It still hovers there.

   The illusion of the 18th Century is complete, but it is not entirely due to architecture and decoration and the sorts of things you can put your finger on—part of the effect is derived from the personality of Mrs. Chadbourne. To leave the highway and stray into the Chadbourne gates, is to leave these United States. So much so that almost without thinking you are apt to begin to chat with your hostess in French, and are no more surprised when she replies in the same language than if you had stepped on the soil of La Belle France itself. The house inside, the exterior, and the gardens are all true to the period, but never to the point of slavishness; Mrs. Chadbourne's definite individuality and ideas take care of that.

Each terrace has its mirror of water, to catch and give back all the changing lights of the day, or the night, too. And then the plaisance sweeps off endlessly into the horizon, a brilliant carpet of green, patterned by shadows of the bordering trees.

    Into these surroundings, she likes best to gather her friends together for week-ends—a gracious hostess, but better still, a clever one! It is truly an art, that a guest be never conscious of being engineered into something or other,—anything, just to be kept moving. Here, one moves or not, as one wishes. For the energetic ones, there is tennis and swimming and riding; in all of which sports the hostess herself excels. For those less vigorous, there are endless numbers of cosy nooks and corners in the gardens; thoughtfully equipped with back-easing chairs, where a book may be enjoyed in splendid comfort, and more often than not, one has the vantage point of a pool to refresh the vision. Mrs. Chadbourne's parties are scarcely ever large, as large parties go. Her only venture into the realm of quantities was when she presented Palm Beach (practically all of it) to Princess Aspasia of Greece, and that was a party, par excellence. But six or eight persons, or at most ten, please her better—each person is an entity to her then, and not just part of a crowd.

    She is a vitally modern hostess, for all her rather reminiscent graciousness, which goes so well with her home—alive and original, as a modern hostess should and must be—the sort of hostess and the sort of house which makes you feel that backgammon or ping-pong, or chess or even tiddle-de-winks, if you like it, is quite the thing—but if you heard faint strains of a minuet, you wouldn't be surprised either.

   Looking down from the gallery and across the library one gets this unusually impressive view of a room which achieves the rare qualities of sumptuousness combined with comfort. The soft fawn-colored rug, in conjunction with the walnut paneled walls, makes an ideal background for the old blue and rose of the Louis XV needlepoint chairs. The south windows look out upon a rose-colored marble plaque d' eau (plate of water), a leaden figure in the center, sending high its jet of crystal water.

    Another corner of the library, showing the bookshelves which tower fourteen feet to the ceiling, and cover the entire north wall, while the tapestry and fireplace make a pleasant break in what might appear to be too literary a background. The iron gallery, halfway up, has its obvious uses, and is reached by a hidden stair, tucked away behind a secret door in the rank and file of the bookcases. The Louis XV marble mantel holds only one choice ornament, a terre cuite bust, typical of the 18th Century.

Mrs. Chadbourne's drawing room, with its old French blue furniture, walls of rose and pale gray, is dominated by the lovely portrait, by Elaine Vicaja, of herself and her two little daughters. The same colors—rose and blue with pale gray—are found in the bedroom, but here they have a bit warmer feeling, perhaps, achieved by deft touches of apricot and yellow.

   This property is a real mystery - The house obliviously existed  because here it is in black and white. Until I found this article I never knew it existed and never heard of Thomas Lincoln Chadbourne. The SPLIA book makes NO mention of Diego de Suarez involvement in designing this house. The Spinzia book does have Chadbourne listed but they do not note the architect and they were "unconfirmed" on if it did still stand. 

   Chadbourne sailed on his yacht "Jezebel" in 1928 to write his autobiography with no mention of having this house built(he died in 1938 without updating). The above article is from 1932 so you can guesstimate a build date. The kicker is the house that now stands where Chadbourne lived is where Diego Suarez and Evelyn(Marshall)  Field built their home with help from Architect Frederick Rhinelander King  in 1952. Did the original structure burn???

   Coincidentally one of Chadbournes law partners had handled Marshall Field III's fight to break his grandfathers will that gave him only $30,000 a year(at the insistence of his wife Evelyn). They settled for $70 million out of $150 million.(He received the rest when he turned fifty). Is this the connection that brought Suarez together with Chadbourne???
Dolph & Stewart 1939 

Maps Collection, Stony Brook University Libraries - 1938

Maps Collection, Stony Brook University Libraries - 1947 from 1966 - wikimapia location

Thomas Lincoln Chadbourne (1871-1938)

   Thrice married, endowed with a handsome and striking physical presence (he was six feet seven inches tall and had a determined and aggressive personality), it was foreordained that he would rise to the top in whatever field he chose to pursue. He began practicing law in 1893 and by 1903, upon moving to New York, he became one the country’s top business lawyers, counsel to over 150 of the largest corporations in the country. At the time, antitrust laws had only recently come into being, railroads were still being constructed, and the diesel had not yet replaced the steam engine. It was an era when large-scale corporate mergers and consolidations were not viewed with misgivings by governmental agencies. 

   In the 1920s, Chadbourne masterminded a merger of New York City’s subway, train and streetcar firms and became the City’s “traction Czar.” During its first year Chadbourne joined the Council on Foreign Relations, an elitist think-tank of wealthy Americans that still wields great influence over government policies. He was one of ten voters that unanimously voted to to incorporate Brookville in 1931. 

  A genius for political fund-raising, he had been one of the most influential members of the Democratic Party ever since the Woodrow Wilson Administration(served as a "dollar a year man" holding the office of vice-president War Trade Board). He gave Alfred E. Smith more than $400,000 in cash and stock options while Smith was Governor of New York hoping for approval for an increase in the subway fares. That interaction led to a judges imprisonment for accepting bribes while on the bench in one of the worst scandals in the history of the American judiciary.

   Chadbourne's most notable achievement during the last decade of his life was his transatlantic negotiation of a plan to restore stability to the international sugar market. Fortune magazine called the plan "one of the greatest ventures ever undertaken in business diplomacy." For his efforts, in 1931 France made him an officer of the Legion of HonorHis name has been perpetuated in the present New York City firm of Chabourne & Parke, LLP.

Chadbourne's yacht, "Jezebel", a 175-foot oceangoing vessel with six staterooms and a crew of 28. 


    "A designer in New York and Paris, Countess Dolfin has had wide experience in the world of fashion. And because of her belief that "you're as young as you dress", she is currently touring the country as commentator for a series of fashion shows featuring 'that radiant look'...a look, as shown in Harpers Bazaar, you can have your self." DESERET NEWS AND TELEGRAM, Salt Lake City, Wednesday, February 24, 1954

   Who Denise Dolfin was and how she became a Countess are unknown to me.

   The only other bit of information I've found relates to a friendship between the Countess and a Miss Maria Lawrence-Wetherill. "They formerly resided here for several years(Palm Beach), and now live in Southampton. L. I."