Friday, April 2, 2010

'Woodside'

'Woodside', the James Abercrombie Burden estate designed by Delano & Aldrich c. 1916 in Muttontown. Burden was the president of Burden Iron Works and vice president of Eastern Steel. Burden was a grandson of Henry Burden, founder of Burden Iron Works which was the world's largest producer of nails and horseshoes. Click HERE to see the brochure from when 'Woodside' was for sale and HERE to see 'Woodside' on google earth. The 107 acre estate had been operating as the Woodcrest Country Club but they recently filed for bankruptcy and the place is set to be auctioned off on May 6th with a starting bid of $10 million.






Pictures from Architectural Review, 1919.

16 comments:

The Down East Dilettante said...

One of the most admired houses of its era---Delano and Aldrich won all sorts of awards and medals for this one. It is beautifully balanced and detailed---and boy, what a floor plan. Every needed service at hand.

When Turner Pack Rats asks where the kitchen is, the answer is the basement, the basement, the basement.

However, that split window over the front door (for two bathrooms) has always driven me crazy---a poorly resolved detail for such a symmetry driven house..

Turner Pack Rats said...

the biggest loss in the conversion has to be that hedge lining the gardens.(and the gardens altho it looked like, at the time of the sale that things needed some pruning) that is immense.
and who thought a dormer would improve the back roof. this place is a really well proportioned handsome house but that dormer - OMG!! the round windows on the loggia are a nice touch too.
i hope someone continues the golf course cause i don't think developers have gotten any smarter.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Actually, that's a big ass old mess of a wing the country club added.

I forgot to mention how interesting it is to compare this uber-restrained and disciplined design to Mrs. Burden's town house on E. 91st Street, one of the most florid Beaux Arts houses in all Manhattan.

Or for that matter, to her mother's wild shingled country house, Elm Court, in Lenox, where discipline of design is not the first thought that comes to mind.

Turner Pack Rats said...

and i forgot to mention the farm group. very nice. a great little sup cottage and lots of same style outbuildings (esp. that brick garage) which i assume are under the fairways. boring cars tho.

magnus said...

Didn't Ailsa Mellon Bruce (sister of Paul, daughter of Andrew and by repute the richest woman in the world during her life) own this after the Burden's?

An Aesthete's Lament said...

I visited this once and was offended by the alterations made by the country club. I do hope some sensible millionaire buys it and brings it back to its glory rather than "improves" it. It is a lovely house, with that strangely beautiful but oddly barren main fa├žade. The place looks almost Russian in a way, at least to me, for some reason.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Magnus, the Ailsa Bruce house, also by Delano & Aldrich, nearby, was built for Victor Morawetz. I think Zach posted it just a few weeks ago?

Zach said...

Indeed...'Three Ponds':

http://www.oldlongisland.com/2009/12/three-ponds.html

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've ever seen the floor plans, and elevations published together. You've made it very easy to see that the Chicago architect David Adler saw this AR article in 1919, then 12 years later heavily referenced the entire concept in his more Hammond Harwood-esque Georgian 1932 version for the Armours in Lake Bluff Illinois. All this is explained by Salny in his book on Adler, not my detective work. Each of course has its merits and I tend to lean toward the Adler version but what a great example of the interesting results that come from inspired reinterpretation.

I wonder if the Burdens ever met the Armours (whose house was never published) and if so what would they think of their version of their Woodside. Or for that matter what did Delano & Aldrich think of DA?

The Down East Dilettante said...

I have to respectfully disagree with Anonymous about the respective elevations. I personally think the Armour house looks just a little stuffed, its interiors are not my favorite Adler either), and just doesn't have the grace or originality of the Burden House. But indeed fascinating to compare the two----and I wouldn't actually turn down the Armour house if someone gave it to me...though one would have to pursuade Miles Redd to give the bathroom back....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:48 - I think you are right about Adler co-opting this house. He liked to get ideas from all the Burdens apparently. His beautiful stairway for Mrs. Kersey Coates Read was directly copied from Pope's stairway for Mrs. Arthur Burden.

Down East - can't believe you are not an Adler fan. Armour interiors are not the best but the exterior seems to even improve on this house.
Doug

Anonymous said...

DED- I too must respectfully disagree. Your comment on the lack of originality in the Armour house, could only come from your lack of knowledge of the house or maybe Adlers work on the whole. Even if Adler takes a hit for his obvious rip-off the Burden house his version was filled to the gills with inventive if not highly original ideas on all levels. Dry it was not....Delano & Aldrich were the very essence of dry, rather mental so this maybe where we part ways on D&A vs DA.

When Adler was original he was daring and chic and when he was academic he was a respectful scholar. The Armour house is a great example of both these strengths.

In truth Ive always liked the Burden house for its odd flat Waspy appeal and its strict "old school" interiors. I have not seen this house as it is today and I wonder how some of its rather anemic millwork and plaster work has held up.

Sadly , it seems that no good is going to come of an auction in this economy and the fate of any big house on Long Island is just not good.

Turner Pack Rats said...

altho i think big houses have a better chance in the 21st than in the mid 20th when everyone was into moderne. now the trend in mcmansions is to recreate victorian so maybe the remaining ones have a better chance. those sand traps are going to be a landscaping challenge.

Anonymous said...

That this property is up for auction is so unfortunate..I can just see it now driving down Muttontown road.They are going to build quite a few vulgarities on that piece of land. No doubt.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Anonymous 10:41,

You didn't read my remark carefully enough. I did not say that ADLER was not a favorite. I said that the ARMOUR HOUSE, with which I am very familiar, was not my favorite Adler. And it isn't. However, ADLER himself is god, as far as I'm concerned. All Adler is not automatically superior, and all Delano and Aldrich is not automatically inferior---think of their masterful Oak Knoll, or the Burden House. Without doubt, David Adler, whom I have revered since adolescence, is one of, if not THE, finest of the eclectists of the first half of the 20th century. But I still find the Armour house not up to some of his others, inside or out, and still think the Burden House the superior and more inventive of the two. That does not translate into 'Not knowing about Adler', and does not translate into a blanket statement about his work or that of D&A. It is an opinion about the comparison of two buildings. Okay?

And I'll match you any day on a DAvid Adler trivia test. :-)

The Down East Dilettante said...

Although I do agree that the Burden house interiors are for the most part predictable, the mirrored bathroom of the Armour house is the best room of that house, and in fact is no longer there, being now famously in Miles Redd's New York house. I actually prefer the restraint of the Burden Hall to the 'Federal' woodwork of the Armour Hall. But, as I say, this a critique and opinion between two buildings. Just because I don't think the Armour house is best doesn't mean I hate Adler (quite the contrary)