Wednesday, April 13, 2011


'Topping', the John H. Eden II estate designed by Greville Rickard c. 1927 in Kings Point. Eden was an original incorporator and a former trustee of the Village of Kings Point. He served with the New York National Guard on the Mexican border in 1916 and was a Second Lieutenant in the Army during World War I. Click HERE to see 'Topping' on google earth and HERE on bing.


Concrete Jungle said...

What a gorgeous stair case!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Let's call this style Hollywood WASP. Totally looks like a set for the home of the businessman on his way up character and his screwball postdeb wife..

Doug Floor Plan said...

I don’t know about looking like a film set, but to me it is a good looking house that could have looked better.

My comments:
On the exterior – the tops of the second floor windows in the wings touch the eaves (at least in front) but, to me, it looks more like they measured wrong than achieved a ‘look.’

There must be a reason for the mix of casement & double-hung windows around the house; I wish I knew what it was.

Again, exterior – the small, square windows flanking the Palladian window directly on top of the small, oval windows flanking the front door – it looks like an experiment … not unsuccessful, but probably not repeated either.

The entry & staircase are beautiful. I appreciate the use of a simple light fixture here & in the dining room (although not those particular fixtures). From what we can see of the library it is a good looking room.

In the dining room – it looks like they intended a symmetrical wall with doors flanking the fireplace … but the doorways appear to be different sizes (I understand I could be wrong about this because of the angle).

There – my two cents.

Anonymous said...

I think that entrance is amazing!! I love it!! you know how many acres this sat on?

Zach L. said...

It sat on about 30 acres.

The Devoted Classicist said...

Doug Floor Plan, I agree that it is a good house that could have been better, but I would guess that it was built to the architect's design. Sometimes, more then than now, it was thought that these quirks made the house more interesting and suitable for a livable country house. Clearly the flanking wings were meant to be secondary to the main block; the second floor level appears to be dropped. But I would have preferred a dormer-like break in the eaves instead. I do not even like the head of the windows touching the frieze on the main block, but I think it was all intentional to make it more "colonial". The small windows, bow windows and dormers work better as casement sash, but I do not know why the library windows are also casements and the rest double hung. The simple light fixtures may be part of the colonial theme, but since there is so little furniture, the lights may be substitutions for the originals. I could be mistaken about the dining room, but my first thought is that the trimmed openings flanking the fireplace are the same size.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Modified-"Topping" -

You have to look under the added columned portico to see the original entrance - check photo link.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Between Topping and Hannibal Ford -

Property card has Nellie M. Houston. Can anyone add to this?

Doug Floor Plan said...

Classicist, thank you for your feedback on my comments -- at least this time I didn't see a power line running up the wall on the right-hand side of the dining room fireplace (smiley face).

Here is as close as I know how to get to ‘Topping’ on Bing:
Dock Lane splits left & right – ‘Topping’ is on the right fork of Dock Lane next door to the all white house (Bird’s eye view).

From the two rows of skylights on the large addition (behind the garage that has also been added) I’m guessing the current owners enjoy an indoor swimming pool.

The Ancient said...

I look at that dining room and I really want to know what it looked like in color.

(And when the picture was taken.)

lil' gay boy said...

Lovely ––– very Billy Haines interiors. Just as at home in Wheatley Hills as Beverly Hills. And a better-than=average sensitive remodel; a suitable portico & those rather Hugh Newell Jacobsen chimneys.

Doug, once you center your picture in Bing birdseye, click on the mail icon in the lower left corner to generate the URL for the locale ––– but beware; Bing tends to re-orient the map to the north in the resulting link, regardless of what rotation you use (often north doesn't give the best view, but we can all rotate the image).

It is good, however, to see some truly vintage scions interspersed amongst the arrivist├ęs shoehorned in between them.

Security word - updqu: a single scoop at Dairy Queen without the chocolate sprinkles.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh, so THAT'S how you do a Bing link. I've wandered through their useless help session a few times trying to figure it out. And as we know, real men don't ask directions.

Billy Haines, hun? I said it looked Hollywood Regency!

lil' gay boy said...

My friend Wendy did the first in a series of books on Tony Duquette, and I've been pushing her to do a more definitive tome on Billy Haines. For those unfamiliar with this out-before-his-time, silent-to-talkie box office success story, his biography, Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines, Hollywood's First Openly Gay Star, is an absolute must-read. Then there is Class Act: William Haines Legendary Hollywood Decorator, which covers his unusually successful post-silver-screen career as the ne plus ultra decorator to the stars. My task is to get Wendy to use her unique skills to blend both, and examine how each aspect is a manifestation of the other, a true Tale of Janus.

That he remained loyal to his husband, Jimmie Shields, for close to half a century, even giving up his film career (to an extent), is an astounding testimony.

"And as we know, real men don't ask directions."

That's why God made lil gay boys, so you can ask them.


commentator8 said...

Wow, the additions (IMO) are ugly, the 80s doctors-office looking house next door is way too close, and there is a beast of a house going up behind it. I am sure the house is longing for the days when it sat on 30 acres!

Doug Floor Plan said...

lil' gay boy, thank you for your help with Bing. I know some computer 'stuff' & I know that somehow it all makes sense once you know it ... but I've wandered through many a 'Help Menu' thinking, "I don't even know how to ask what I want to know."

Commentator8, I agree -- I don't know how they decided to subdivide the original 30 acres but that big, white house is way too close. You walk out your front door, look to the left, & fear for a moment that an iceberg is floating towards you -- I threw that comment in because today, April 14 is the anniversary of the Titanic hitting its iceberg ... I wonder if anyone from Long Island was on board?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm sure. I know there was at least one gentleman who had an estate in either Hempstead or East Meadow that went down....I read it here somewhere.

Turner Pack Rats said...

oh. come on - they could have moved that white THING at least 10 feet closer without its falling on this great house. but to really get a big vs gargantuan comparision, look at SHERREWOGUE and then look at that monster house behind it. not bad looking but really really really big. who says a 50000 sf house can't be handsome. oh jeeves - get the rolls and pick me up in the kitchen.

security word def - "ingrat" - what the rest of us are for not loving all these new outsized houses.

RD Wolff said...

I thought this house might have been the Muriel Tuttle Eden house but the photos don't match, her estate house on Horseshoe rd in King's Point was constructed of stone but very similar windows. She had a formal library and big open stairs like this one.
Her husband was John H Eden.

Muriel was some relative of mine and I used to visit her in her house. I had always referred to her as Cousin Muriel but she died when I was 7. Back then she had a cook, housekeeper, personal secretary and one other employee working for her here.