Monday, May 24, 2010

The Italian Blue Pool Garden at 'Planting Fields'

The Italian Blue Pool Garden and tea house, designed by Guy Lowell and Andrew Sargent between 1915-18 at William R. Coe's 'Planting Fields' in Oyster Bay, now complete after undergoing a few years of restoration. While the general public is not allowed inside you can still walk around the perimeter and get a good look. Click HERE for more on 'Planting Fields'.




16 comments:

The Down East Dilettante said...

Looks lovely---very dream-like---but 'a few years' to restore? I know it's true, but why did it take so long?

Zach said...

I don't know specifics just that it had been undergoing the restoration since at least 2008, but Planting Fields is owned by the State of New York...which might explain it.

Zach said...

Copy and paste this link to see a before and after shot of the Italian Blue Pool Garden, 2008 and 2010...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4065/4634865637_84848ef859_o.jpg

Zach said...

Here's how it looked in 2009, not all that different from 2008...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4001/4634905005_6a13f2902d_b.jpg

magnus said...

And not a moment too soon-

The garden was first "restored" by New York State about 20 years ago, I think and it was abysmal- cheap and charmless. As a small example, they lined the center pool with the same sky blue tiles you would find in a tract house bathroom circa 1973. This iteration has been years in the making, but at least the end result makes it worth it. By the way, and I've posted this before, for you Elsie De Wolfe afficianado's, the tea house at the end of the garden contains one of the last de Wolfe interiors extant- a wonderful, whimsical collaboration with the artist Everett Shinn. The ever thoughtful conservators of New York State have naturally placed a cheap, fake flower arrangement smack in the center of the wonderful room where it slowly moulders.

The Down East Dilettante said...

ah, thank you gentlemen. State ownership pretty much explains it all. The state of New York tends to be a particularly bad steward of public properties in my casual observation---let it decay, then make a bad restoration, then do a better one, etc etc. Their stewardship of the Mills estate on the Hudson has been appalling--and yes, I realize the huge financial and bureaucratic hurdles, but even so....

The Ancient said...

I think the planters around the pool are a big mistake; also the plants at either end.

(Is this an effort to conform to some old picture?)

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

I liked the black and white version you sent. It looked like it came out of the archives of a British garden magazine.

Trivia answer -
Armstrong Dairy apparently had a operation at the Meudon farm complex for a number of years. How well it did, where they sold the product, what the neighbors thought etc???? I've said this before - those must have been happy cows! Whats the current status/condition of the place? Or am I wrong re: from what Magnus said about Peacock Point????

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8903203&lon=-73.6132908&z=15&l=0&m=b&show=/2374996/
I'm adding the bing link at wikimapia as I go forward. The barn is a piece of work - birds eye view - in a good way.

Playhouse List
Has anyone been inside the Pembroke court to say definitively its not worthy?

Add - Arthur Vining Davis

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8879398&lon=-73.5571951&z=18&l=0&m=b&show=/14167728/&search=pine%20terrace

Did "Indian Neck Hall" have something?

http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/?org=aj#/q4cvpy2ozj0j2gqv

Here's the Payson Place. I assume the court is the "shiny" reflection just north of the house c. 1966???

http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/?org=aj#/c2wjjct5sml1g5md

Kiluna Farm, I didn't
know it had a Playhouse?
Is that confirmed?

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.7820687&lon=-73.6815691&z=15&l=0&m=b&show=/4122064/Kiluna-Farm&search=Kiluna%20Farm

re: G and Flora Whitney place. Between Zach and I we concluded that house WAS the Walker/Gillette place.

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.7999023&lon=-73.6037904&z=18&l=0&m=b&search=%20whitney

ChipSF said...

HPHS -
A.V. Davis is possible - is there a playhouse building visible there?

Bourne place seems likely based on lavishness and the spot you highlighted looks like one.

Payson maybe, but could have just used mom's across the field.

Kiluna not sure where the playhouse stood but included it based on SPLIA book (p.314).

Zach -
New question - any history on the place called Sassafrass in Lloyd Harbor? It was much in the news last year when it was leased to Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt. Have never seen any info on it.

ChipSF said...

In regard to this reflecting pool, I am surprised that the terrace walls are not in the same stone as the house. What's up with that?

Gary Lawrance, AIA said...

I think many of the Outbuildings and garden walls were retained from the Atterbury designed first house which burned down and was made out of that same brick.

Ann Flower said...

Wow...this garden looks awesome.Wish If I could create garden like this.

Zach said...

I agree with Gary. Here's a shot of the laundry and you can get a good idea of the brick:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3331/4638192013_7269410269_b.jpg

If you get a chance to visit Planting Fields, go to the Hibiscus House entrance where the offices are and in the hallway there is a photo of the Coe family on horseback in front of the old Atterbury house. One of the only shots of the old house I've come across.

magnus said...

HPHS:

I was inside the Loew/Pembroke court and confirm its utter unworthiness (is that a word?).

I was also inside the Kiluna Court and confirm that it was indeed worthy of Playhouse status.

And when I was a youngster, our milk was delivered by Armstrong Dairy- in glass bottles in a metal box by the back door.

Jess said...

Hi all! I volunteer at Coe Hall as a docent. The arboretum was sold for $1 upon Mr. Coe's death in 1955. The mansion was occupied by 3 incarnations of SUNY. Stonybrook was there, Farmingdale and an experimental school that failed, but the remaining students were tranferred to Old Westbury. Currently, the Planting Fields Foundation operates out of Coe Hall and also holds a lease from the parks department. For several years, the Foundation held fundraisers to aid in the restoration of the gardens and to relieve some of the burden from NYS. The planters were found as a replacement for the time period but needed to be mobile to be taken into the greenhouses for the winter.

Jess said...

And the retaining walls are left over from the Byrne mansion that predated Coe Hall. Any outbuilding made of brick is an Atterbury building. Coe Hall was constructed of Indiana limestone.