Monday, March 21, 2011

'The Chimneys'

'The Chimneys', the Howard Crosby Brokaw estate designed by Horace Trumbauer c. 1916 in Brookville. Brokaw inherited Brokaw Brothers, a clothing company, upon his father Isaac V. Brokaw's death. During World War I Brokaw served as the head of the American Red Cross in New York. His brother Irving lived at 'Frost Mill Lodge' in Mill Neck. Brokaw died in 1960 and the same year the estate was purchased by the Muttontown Golf and Country Club. Click HERE to see 'The Chimneys' on google earth and HERE on bing. Click HERE to see the brochure from when 'The Chimneys' was for sale.



Photos from the Library of Congress.

11 comments:

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Stately. Appropriately pompous but neoclassical. I'd train masses of ivy or Virginia creeper up all that unyielding masonry though ...

Flo said...

"butterfly pegged floors"

Mmnh, just imagine.

Doug Floor Plan said...

If you look at the “when ‘The Chimneys’ was for sale” brochure (very nicely enlarged, thanks Zach) you can see what appears to be a power line running out from the left directly over the front door & then straight up over the door & into the wall under the small balcony (where the stair landing is). It makes me wonder what was added later that could not have been placed more discretely … I’d be surprised if Mr. Brokaw said, “No, let’s show that off.”

A very nice house; I’m sure the club members enjoy it.

The Devoted Classicist said...

Doug Floor Plan, I think you are mistaking a shadow line for a power conduit. The stonework over the entrance doors forms a baroque interpretation of a keystone in that space below the balcony. I am looking at this on my iPhone, but that is what it appears to be to me.

Doug Floor Plan said...

Classicist, I’ll digress to you because what you say makes a lot more sense than what I said; but I still don’t see the right-hand side of a keystone pattern over the front door. Sad to say it’s not the first time I haven’t seen something that was right in front of me. Thanks for the correction.

lil' gay boy said...

DFP, I too see the cable you were speaking of; it appears on page four of the sales brochure next to, oddly enough, the floor plan...

;-)

It snakes its way to the left after emerging from underneath the balcony over the front door. Given the possible time of sale or taking of the picture, which Zach previously mentioned was anywhere from late '30s to '50s for these brochures, my guess would be that it might be either a security system (which would be a dumb location), or perhaps the phone system for the estate.

Am I the only one who finds the design and name just a little too precious? Thirteen chimneys seems excessive, especially when you consider that the two massive ones over the sun room seem to support little more than a single fireplace (out of eighteen!) on the second floor (eight on the first, ten on the second), in what appears to be the master (the chimney for the heating plant is apparently in the service wing, between the laundry & servant's hall). This would make the left-hand chimney (pictured on page three of the brochure), a faux chimney, placed there for symmetry and...?

Security word - flogedi: what you get after the massah catches you spending too much time on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Are there about 3 estates that calls themselves "The Chimneys"?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any thoughts on the naturalist style of landscape design used in Forecourts for the majority houses of this whole period? While our appreciation for period architecture increased all through this time our attitude toward forecourt landscape remained in the 19th century-all the way through the 30s. Any true formal landscape design was relegated mostly to the gardens. One can site scads of examples of great neo classical houses with woodsy, park like naturalistic forecourts. Yet all the American, English or French precedents for these houses had tailored nearly plant-less fronts.

Anonymous said...

No, Lil' Gay, that is definitely not a cable but the design of the door surround if you click to enlarge the page with floor plans.

ChipSF said...

It could also have been called "The Windows".

lil' gay boy said...

Oh my sweet Jesus, Anon; do I need to get to the oculist for a new scrip! It's just a shadow...

As far as I know, in addition to this house there are the one for sale in Mill Neck, and the old Fleishmann house in Sands Point that were also, at one point, named The Chimneys.