Monday, February 28, 2011

'Chateau O'Brien'

'Chateau O'Brien', the Kenneth O'Brien estate designed by Polhemus & Coffin c. 1925 in Southampton. O'Brien was a partner with the law firm of O'Brien, Boardman, Conboy, Memhard & Early (A.B. Boardman resided at 'Villa Mille Fiori'). He was married to Charles and Katherine Mackay's daughter Katherine (of 'Harbor Hill' in Roslyn). The house along with over 8 acres and waterfront on Lake Agawam is currently for sale for $39,000,000, click HERE to see the listing on Corcoran. Click HERE to see 'Chateau O'Brien' on google earth and HERE on bing.




Listing photos from Corcoran.

17 comments:

The Devoted Classicist said...

How charming! But I would settle for either the Guest House or the Pool House.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to see that many of these Hampton homes still stand. I assume their zoning laws are stricter than areas closer to the city.

And I agree with Devoted Classicist, I'd take the guest house.

The Down East Dilettante said...

I'll take the guest house for 100, zach.

I'm confused. Albert Boardman sold Villa Mille Fiore to Judge Morgan O'Brien, and then himself built a new house designed by Polhemus & Coffin, also. Where is that house and does it still exist? Or are there some crossed wires anywhere in the two stories. One can see some related influences to Champs Soleil, the more formal Dahlgren house in Newport on the entrance front. By coincidence I happen to have in front of me an original copy of Polhemus's & Coffins's 'Small French Houses which I found deep in the stacks of the library--absolutely gorgeous book, and terribly interesting to see the direct design influences from the book translated to this house. The book is also available online, though the beauty of the printing is lost in the scans: http://books.google.com/books?id=mXhJAAAAMAAJ&dq=small%20french%20buildings&pg=PR3#v=onepage&q&f=false

(This is also where I point out for the hundredth time one of my pet peeves, that contrary to popular perception, Champs Soleil is NOT a copy of La Lanterne--although a copy does exist in Newport, the Fahnestock cottage--but rather only has a couple of central details borrowed from La Lanterne in a composition otherwise inspired by the sorts of houses in their book. http://thedowneastdilettante.blogspot.com/2010/08/intermission-will-real-la-lanterne.html

There, that's all. Lovely house indeed.

The Down East Dilettante said...

verification word, herio--kid's breakfast cereal shaped like superman, batman, et al.

Zach said...

According to the Spinzia book on Southampton, the Polhemus & Coffin designed A.B. Boardman house, 'Windswept', is no longer extant, but was on First Neck Lane.

'Villa Mille Fiori' was sold by Boardman to his law partner Morgan J. O'Brien, Kenneth O'Brien's father.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh, how the ties that bind...

Mansions of the Gilded Age said...

Both houses still exist. The Boardman House called Windswept is right next to the O'Brien house and can be seen south of it on the google and bing maps. The estate that both houses sit upon was once one house that burned down. if you notice a long driveway, that is the shared driveway for both houses.Windswept has just been recently restored and has a wonderful little french guest house near First Neck Lane. I would have loved to have put both of these houses in the " Houses of the Hamptons,1880-1930 ", but there were not too many old photos on them out there. Both are a wonderful small livable scale.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Is Normandy House a name the Realtor made up?

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh duh. I'd wondered for years about the two lovely French manor houses that looked as if designed together for one family---they sort of were. A joint effort at unity---and a lovely one

But tell me, how did houses that were worth five million not that many years ago become 39 million dollar houses? Is the income tax perhaps not high enough?

Mansions of the Gilded Age said...

It was named Normandy House by a later owner.

Mansions of the Gilded Age said...

There is a story about the houses being built for sisters, but they were built for two different families related through business.As for the price, the Hamptons has still retained a lot of the value, even though it has come down. Its amazing that there aren't any Gold Coast mansions, which are bigger and have more land, that don't even get close to some of the prices still being asked in the Hamptons. Just look at any of the real estate listings in the Hamptons and see what you get for 5 million compared to the Gold Coast.Also the above house is on the water front of Lake Agawam, and after the ocean, it's the most expensive location.

The Ancient said...

But tell me, how did houses that were worth five million not that many years ago become 39 million dollar houses? Is the income tax perhaps not high enough?

The income tax is probably higher than it ought to be, if the goal is to raise revenue without depressing economic growth. OTOH, the estate (and gift) tax is radically below where it needs to be, if ones goal is to avoid the construction of some new plutocracy.

(I'm a little over-committed to the old plutocracy, so everyone should discount accordingly.)

Turner Pack Rats said...

and based on Southhamptons lust for development,and it seems, you can build a house on 1/4 of an acre (how do you do that?)- the back lots of these two houses will be eligible for about 10 or 12 mini-mcmansions. won't that be grand?
this house not only has lake frontage but if you walk out front, you must be able to see the ocean or can't you see by the public baths (or whatever that huge structure is right on the beach)?
i think they both have nice guest and pool houses altho i have to disagree with DED DC and Anon. I'd live in the big house and my boot scraper, rowboat chauffeur, and ivy scraper would live in the little houses.

security word def - "zessiv" - how edgar allen felt about his girlfriends.

Anonymous said...

Does all that land in front of the O'Brien house belong to it as well?

Anonymous said...

The house next the the O'Brien house (AKA Normandy House) is called Les Pommiers.

Anonymous said...

FYI, in contract right now after years on the market.

Barclay Leib said...

I only wish I lived in the era these were built. Architect Lewis Coffin was my grandfather. He died when I was 6, but I still remember him well. Now I can only stare from afar at his houses that I can't come close to affording.
Barclay Leib
Morristown, NJ