Friday, November 6, 2009

'Jericho House'

'Jericho House', the George Edward Kent estate designed by William Welles Bosworth c. 1906 in Jericho. The estate had Olmsted landscaping. Not much is known on this place, it was demolished years ago. Kent's wife Lilias Juanita Grace was the sister of William Russell Grace Jr. who resided at 'Crossroads' in Old Westbury. Picture from American Homes of Today.

19 comments:

An Aesthete's Lament said...

FYI: The wife's name was spelt LILIAS (one L in the middle). She and her husband died within one month of each other in 1954. He was 95 and she was 80. They died at Jericho House, which was apparently designed for them by Wilson Eyre of Philadelphia (see Wilson Eyre papers online, which state the drawings were completed in 1906 and that Olmsted Brothers began designing the property in 1917). Eyre designed several houses for Grace-family members. When was the place demolished? The property was the former Munson Morris place, according to The New York Times, and seems to have been completed in 1913. Philip Livermore leased the house in April 1915 and lived there for a while (a season?). I find the leasing of these estates interesting; for money presumably. Quite lovely is the curved wall and garden behind the house, no?

BWE said...

Is it possible that Eyre's design was only a proposal? I'm completely unfamiliar with Eyre having every worked in such a formal French beaux arts idiom as this. Backing up this guess is this snippet of text from Long Island Country Houses....

"A 1906 site plan for the development of property at Jericho for attorney George Edward Kent shows an irregular house on line with stable and gardens" The house shown here is anything but irregular.

BWE said...

Since my previous post, I looked up the referenced drawing online (www.philadelphiabuildings.org), and the house as built is definitely not the house as proposed on Eyre's sketch. Looking at the aerial photograph, one would sooner think late Carrere and Hastings or Horace Trumbauer...the mystery continues

Anonymous said...

very beautiful home / property layout, and very thoughtful comments in regard to the history of the design

Anonymous said...

does anyone have an idea about the home to the upper right?

An Aesthete's Lament said...

I'd go with Carrere over Trumbauer.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

A 1913 article in the New York Times only mentions the house but not the architect. However, the paragraph in which mention of the house is made has a mention of Charles Platt in regards to another house in the area. Possibility? (The article also shows a pretty glamorous house, or so it seems, designed by Hoppin & Koen for J Stuart Blackton.)

Zach said...

The SPLIA book states the house is not the Eyre design. After that... I duno.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Legal papers filed in New York State Supreme Court against George Edward Kent in 1918 state Jericho House was built by contractors Jacobs & Youngs Inc ... Jacobs & Youngs was suing Kent "to recover the balance due upon a building contract made May 5, 1913, whereby the plaintiff agreed to provide all the materials and perform all the work for the erection, building, and finishing of a private residence for the defendant at Jericho, Long Island, in accordance with certain specification at the agree price of $70,500." (Eventual costs, plus extras, was $77,000.) The case further states that the house was beun in May 1913 and was "completed, turned over to the owner, and occupied by him about June, 1914." The suit only mentions "defendant's architect" without a name. Does anyone have a copy of Augusta Owen Patterson's "American Home of To-Day" (1924)? The house is shown in it. The architect might also be mentioned in Richard Danzig's "The Capability Problem in Contract Law" (1978), pp 109+, in which Jacobs & Youngs versus George Edward Kent is discussed; the case was a famous one, argued before Judge Cardozo and is still taught today.

Zach said...

More from SPLIA:

"Several other Eyre design projects on Long Island apparently failed to materialize.... The Kent house, as built, did not reflect Eyre's hand or this plan and is now demolished."

Zach said...

So you'd think I'd have thought to look in the place where I took the picture from no? (I was in a hurry this morning, had to catch the 9am employee shuttle to Ellis Island)

Pulled the volume off my shelf, the house is filed under 'architects not given'.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

We're almost there! Surely somebody has a copy of Augusta Owen Patterson's book!!!!

Zach said...

Perhaps I phrased it poorly... I have the book and the only picture of the place in the book is the one above, and in the table of contents it is under the "Architects Not Given" section. So...that is unfortunately a dead end.

BWE said...

First, to Anonymous re: the house in the upper right. I think it's the Middleton Burrill House?

Second: Isn't this frustrating? I keep thinking in the back of my aging head that I remember coming across something about the Kent House years ago---in an old architectural magazine, perhaps? It's frustrating. I've diverted my self several times today, trying to come up with an architect, as clearly has Aesthete, also, to no avail----although I am pleasantly amused to see that we've been to several of the same sources in our search.

Zach said...

Well I found the house on a 1966 aerial shot. Copy and paste this link to view (http://www.historicaerials.com/?poi=7991). I verified the location with a 1914 E. Belcher Hyde map. So it isn't the Burrill house in the background. Copy and paste this link to see the area on google maps as it looks today (http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8006698&lon=-73.5345197&z=16&l=0&m=b)

bcd said...

the house in the upper corner must be "ivy hall" the R.J. preston residence (demolished)

Anonymous said...

Yes, Ivy Hall. mynassauproperty shows current house built around 1948. Looks like the "bones" of the original terrace/garden still exists. Property to the west of Jericho House at HistoricAerials - mynassauproperty has name Knott, Lilas M acquiring property from Lilias J. Kent Jan 5 1940. Mentioning "size increased by 346 acres." Daughter maybe?

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

http://firstyearcontracts.blogspot.com/2010/03/estate-of-mr-george-edward-kent-man-who.html

Unknown said...

The house in the upper right is Ivy Hall and the old Quaker farmhouse on the upper left is what would become the Walls of Jericho, the Charles R. Leonard estate. That house and the wall along Rte. 106 are still standing.