Sunday, March 8, 2009

'Home Acres'

'Home Acres' was built for George Whitney Sr. by Delano & Aldrich c. 1915 in Old Westbury. Whitney built the house on the estate of his father-in-law Robert Bacon (whose estate was named 'Old Acres'). Whitney was chairman of the board of J.P. Morgan and Co. as well as a founder and partner in the firm of Markoe, Morgan & Whitney. Click HERE to see 'Home Acres' on google earth.


J. L. Sibley Jennings, Jr. said...

Re the Robert Low Bacon estate at Old Westbury, there were three houses on the larger body of land, which, if memory serves me correctly, was about a hundred acres. The third residence on the site was the "wedding" home of congressman Robert Low Bacon (Jr.) and Virginia Murray, which was given them as their first home. It was designed by John Russell Pope, as was the earlier residence of R. L. Bacon, Sr. In her later years I accompanied Virginia to the Old Westbury house on weekends when we could get away from Washington, just the two of us and some of her personal staff from the Washington house (usually three staff) to flesh out the permanent staff at OW. I occasionally took photos inside and out, some of which were later used in advertising the place for sale about two years before Virginia's death. The large Drawing Room's walls were covered, floor to ceiling, in a hand-painted Chinese wallpaper apparently executed specifically for that room. On either side of the door to the grounds, centered on the exterior wall of the Drawing Room, were a pair of George II or George III console tables the bases of which were large, spread-wing gilded eagles. The light fixtures throughout were quite extraordinary and unique; the one in the entrance / "flying" circular-stair hall, was, as I recall, a fully rigged frigate suspended in space in the middle of the stair opening. The bedroom in which I stayed was referred to as the "Eisenhower Bedroom" because it was earlier used by him and decorated in custom fabrics (curtains, bed covers, sheets, pillow cases etc.) that celebrated his life's activities; they were created specifically to both honor him and celebrate his own usage of them when visiting her. Her favorite room, however, was the Library, crammed to overflowing with floor to ceiling bookcases, hardly any exposed wall space, no more than four chairs, and every horizontal surface, including some of the floor, stacked with books, books, and more books. As the weather became cooler in the Fall, Virginia would settle all day in the Library, next to the fireplace with its crackling heat, and read from the books stacked handily next to her chair. The place really was quite marvelous, a low key, quiet and intensely private world hidden in the forest.

Zach L. said...

Thanks for the comment! I am planning a post on Robert Low Bacon's J.R. Pope designed estate soon.