Friday, August 19, 2011

'Chelsea'

'Chelsea', the Benjamin Moore estate designed by Delano & Aldrich c. 1924 in Muttontown. Click HERE and HERE for more on 'Chelsea'.

14 comments:

The Devoted Classicist said...

What an enchanting house! I read that the grounds are part of the preserve, but how is the house used?

Doug Floor Plan said...

Talk about wanting to see the floor plan – a good looking, rambling Delano & Aldrich design … French country? What is the Muttontown Preserve using the house for; they installed a wheelchair ramp at the front door. Zach, will you be posting interior photos?

From what I can see the house is a mixed bag: Nassau County/Muttontown Preserve hasn’t destroyed the house, slapped on a modern addition, or let it fall to ruin (although that wrought iron gate leading to the woods should be saved); it still has its shutters, whitewash, & ponds & moat. Putting the metal caps on the chimneys is probably the correct thing to do but it looks odd on a house like this.

magnus said...

The house is rented out for weddings and other events and it really is spectacular- not the least of its wonders is a long gallery hung its full length with murals by Sert. Add a little leopard printed velvet and you half expect to see Elsie De Wolfe's blue haired head marching down its length. Alas, the gardens have been allowed to deteriorate dreadfully.

Kellsboro Jack said...

Additional pictures (including the interior) here:

http://www.thelocationcompanyny.com/mansions/9052-2929cc-sn.htm

Doug Floor Plan said...

Thanks for the information Magnus & especially the photo link Kellsboro – it took a while (the entrance from the patio threw me off) but I think I understand the layout – excellent, & excellent interiors!

Here's the house is on Bing: http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=qt5m718w4rc3&lvl=18.340213474492877&dir=359.5393850909907&sty=b&where1=Muttontown%20Preserve%2C%20NY&form=LMLTCC I understand what Magnus meant about the grounds – there’s something just east of the garage that looks like an abandoned formal garden with a greenhouse at the north end of it.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to walk around the grounds. The metal gazebo is still in pretty good shape....but it's sad to see the fountain, which looks as if it may have been a ruin from Europe and what's left of what I think may have been a rose garden (with a partial victorian wrought iron). If you walk west of the back court yard you come upon what I think at one time may have been the main entrance....the way we come in via Rt 25A I assume was at one time the service entrance. Nice to go there in Spring and Summer...with alot of very nice plantings....I keep wishing I'd run into a county worker that will offer a tour of the interior...but that has yet to happen.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when the first batch of photos on the location site were taken? The house and furnishings seem very well cared for in these photos...very much like a house museum. If Chelsea is like those photos, the county would do well to open it for house tours.

The Down East Dilettante said...

The Sert gallery is serious jazz age glamor. However, who did the curtains? Those swagged pelmets in the drawing room are riding way too low for the room...

Dept. of Vaguely Related But Slightly Irrelevant Information: I own a painting (a chalk pastel, actually) by Mr. Moore, who seems to have been a fairly accomplished Sunday painter.

Both his mother-in-law and his brother had houses at Bar Harbor, which I knew well. http://thedowneastdilettante.blogspot.com/2011/02/okay-fasten-your-seat-belts-were-off-on.html

Gary said...

This is fast becoming my favorite blog. I greatly enjoyed this post; Chelsea has always been a favorite of mine... To those who wonder about the floor plans go to the house's website:
http://www.chelseamansion.com/index.php

The floor plans are underthe Explore link.

Gary

Doug Floor Plan said...

Thanks for the link to the floor plans, Gary -- I had wondered about those round & small windows on the second floor & how the service area laid out.

Speaking of service areas: 973 Fifth Avenue (McKim, Mead, & White, 1905 for Henry H. Cook)is on the market for $49 million, see: http://www.bhsusa.com/manhattan/upper-east-side/fifth-avenue/townhouse/1264274 the listing includes a floor plan for each of the seven floors. I couldn't help but notice the house has eight servants' bedrooms but no servants' hall -- where do they eat or sit in the evening? Other than that it's a great looking house (joke).

The Down East Dilettante said...

Marvelous to see the plans for Chelsea, and be reminded once again what superb planners Delano & Aldrich were---masters of shapes and space, terrific transitions and circulation, carefully thought out hierarchies. As always, I'm impressed. Today's mansion planners could certainly take lessons.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Link to Historic Aerials showing the grounds in better days -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8385543&lon=-73.5382318&z=16&l=0&m=b&show=/1887109/Chelsea

Based on the old maps front entrance was always off 25A -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8385543&lon=-73.5382318&z=16&l=0&m=b&show=/16128974/Chelsea-Gatehouse-Front-Entrance

Chelsea director said...

Hello to all,

In 2004 i was made director of Chelsea, and I personally supervised the restoration of its interiors and exteriors.
I used family photos to restore the interior rooms using Nassau County's collection of antiques and fine art as well as reproductions pieces.

In 2010 the mansion was stripped re painted and all shutters, windows and doors were repaired and painted. For the past 3 season we have been restoring the gardens surrounding the mansion using Mrs. Moore - McKay's garden plans. In the coming year we have plans to restore the tennis court area.

This coming holiday season Chelsea will be open for tours fully decorated for the holidays! plus some wonderful holiday entertainment. please check Nassau County's website for details

I welcome Zach anytime to come to Chelsea and update his photos.

Unknown said...

I go here quite often and I have to say that little by little the place looks better and better. Last year the garden area next to the house facing the pond, where the little turret is has been really cleaned up and replanted. It looks great! I saw today, that the fountain is working - the lions are around the outside were spurting.
I noticed that the odd garden area on the west side of the house had been salvaged and the brambles completely eliminated. You can even access the steps. (I still cant figure out what the purpose of the posts was - maybe a tent-like structure?) (But the lone tiny pine tree can probably be taken out. It is clearly not part of the plan.)
The gazebo (my favorite secret place) looks to be in good shape, But I do (again) wonder what the lone arch standing in the middle of that field is about. And I do like the little pet cemetery.
I hope that someday more of Chelsea will be restored to its former glory.