Friday, November 12, 2010

'Knollwood' Aerial

An aerial of 'Knollwood', the Charles Hudson estate designed by Hiss & Weekes between 1906 and 1920. Click HERE to see the brochure from when 'Knollwood' was for sale and click HERE to see the ruins of 'Knollwood' as they look today.


Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that these grand homes fell to ruin in such a short time without the help of vandals and large insurance policies.Many times I read a post and someone states how the house was "crumbling around them."

These homes were built far more superior then any structure built following WWII. Also the materials used were of top quailty. I worked in construction when I was younger and saw the crap used to build houses and apartments these days. Also pre-WWII concrete was a million times stronger and more durable then the concrete mixes we use today. I just don't understand the abuse that must have happened to have most of these homes deemed to far-gone to save??!!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Actually, the issue was more with wooden houses---and letting a few leaks in the roof go untended can wreak havoc with even the most finely built house---and there seems to be a very uneven degree of quality---look at Lynnewood Hall in Phila. which still has surfaces in good condition, compare with the Woolworth House in Glen Cove, which looks as if all the parts are going to fly off in a strong wind. Untended, masonry develops weaknesses.\

But, all that aside, the reasons that most of these houses went had more to do with changing tastes and economics than poor repair. People didn't want, or couldn't afford, them any more. And it's hard to save a building when no one has the will and/or the means to do so, sadly.

Now on to my question. 'Between 1906 and 1920'? The house was under design and construction that long, or there were changes made?

Zach said...

I don't think that 14 year span necessarily means the main house but the estate as a whole. Extensive formal gardens, 140 head of cattle, a huge vegetable garden and numerous outbuildings for all of the staff and farm animals...and it's probably a safe bet that the Hudsons were a picky lot.

The Down East Dilettante said...

LOL, the evidence does indicate that they were, doesn't it? And, duh, of course it meant the whole estate. I just wasn't thinking big enough.

Anonymous said...

These homes when built went without inspectors so one fatal flaw could easily bring the home into quick disreapair...along with the fact that when left alone no one cared about these behomoths...Thank goodness for the preservation society in Newport RI.