Sunday, February 8, 2009

Erchless in 1936

'Erchless', the estate of Howard Phipps, built in 1935 by Adams and Prentice in Old Westbury. It is pictured here a year after it was completed in 1936.

Photos from the Library of Congress.


J. Shearron said...

This house is still standing on a great deal of property, right? Is it still in the Phipps family?

Zach said...

Oh yes it is still owned by Howard Phipps Jr and family. I have pretty extensive pictures of the house and grounds on here.

Zach said...

I haven't been inside. But it is certainly different than his two brothers houses (Westbury House and Spring Hill) and for that matter his two sisters houses (Knole and Templeton). Though those 4 houses were built prior to WWI while this was built in the middle of the Depression.

I know Howard Phipps was a serious horticulturist, and I kind of get the feeling that the grounds took precedence over the house. The landscaping is absolutely amazing, one of the most spectacular private homes I have ever been to. You could spend a whole weekend exploring all the different nooks and crannies around the grounds. I had read somewhere that Phipps planted a variety of trees on the estate before he built the home to give them a chance to take hold. And that he would purchase extra specimen trees and plants he wanted for himself to give to his brothers for their properties.

J. Shearron said...

It must be really great looking on the inside with all those years in one family. Have you been inside?

Architecturally it’s a surprising layout, having the garages face into the forecourt. Certainly a more casual and modern approach to a country house layout of this period; a desire for convenience must have ruled the design.