Monday, September 12, 2011

'Meadowcroft'

'Meadowcroft', the Theodore E. Conklin estate designed by Wilson Eyre c. 1904 in Quogue. Conklin was president of T.E. Conklin Brass & Copper Co., NYC and a noted yachtsman. Click HERE to see 'Meadowcroft' on google earth and HERE on bing.

14 comments:

Doug Floor Plan said...

I used Bing to look around briefly to see if the house would pop up for me; but it didn't. There's not much to go on since that breezeway would be difficult to spot in Bing & is very likely closed in now anyway.

In this photograph there is a person sitting in that breezeway looking out over an open expanse at a small hill in the distance -- which makes me think this house fronted the water on one of the channels. Anyone familiar enough with the topography there to ID the location?

I like what I can see of the house, especially that breezeway.

Zach said...

DFP...the house sat on the water side and had additional property on the other side of MH. There is a floor plan in the SPLIA book btw.

magnus said...

The house was used as a designer showhouse about 20 years ago which I attended. It was then purchased by some sort of self described mogul or other who comissioned a book about the place that was jaw droppingly bad. Although the book's obsequious and toadying comments about the "mogul's" terrible taste grated, the accompanying photographs made it apparent that he had done little structural harm to the house. I remember reading somewhere that he had put it up for sale at an enormous price, but this was probably 5 or 6 years ago. If memory serves me, it sat close to a bay or inlet and had gorgeous views.

Mansions of the Gilded Age said...

Here is the location. There is a chapter on Meadowcroft in, Houses of the Hamptons, 1880-1930, by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin.

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=qt3bds8yfccj&lvl=19.1657334904039&dir=350.59387893818285&sty=b&form=LMLTCC

The Down East Dilettante said...

Well, the aerial view brings out my inner curmudgeon in about ten different ways. Let's start with the badly placed pool, which is about ten feet from the house, and doesn't relate to any architectural feature or axis of the house---WTF? Can't people walk 40 feet for a swim, or 100? And are the basic principles of landscape architecture just forgotten? And then, there are those modern shingle style houses on either side, sooo bad. All those warts and accretions tacked on everywhere, with almost no design coherence or integration, as the older examples they copy would have---just future roof leaks waiting to happen---the older house two houses over sits in sharp rebuke, with good clean lines.

On the other hand, the Conklin House itself is mostly okay---although the painted stucco---one is supposed to stain stucco or just let it weather---deadens the surface and removes some of the original picturesque intent of the place.

Odd property division too, with the current boundary to the east slicing across the front lawn and sight lines of the house.

Harumph. Sometimes there's just no pleasing me---people have such pedestrian taste. In other news, a similar house near here, designed by Eyre for William Russell Grace's sister Nathalie and her girlfriend, is currently for sale and can be seen here: http://thegraceestate.landvest.com/photogallery/

The Down East Dilettante said...

Addendum: Miss Grace's girl friend was Miss Lucile Alger, who commissioned this house, also by Eyre, at Great Neck, where both also lived (upper right) http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/3798341332/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Doug Floor Plan said...

The reservoir of knowledge here never ceases to impress.

The only exterior structural change I see is the addition of a small roof to create a porch when entering the breezeway from the north. I especially agree with DED about the neighbor’s property slicing into the view line – I’m sure the original property included that whole spit of land (I think that’s the correct term for it), plus whatever is now north of Montauk Highway. It must have been very nice.

DED, nice link to the August 18, 1907, ‘New York Tribune’ article. Zach, the Paul D. Cravath house – Veraton I?

Zach said...

Indeed.

http://www.oldlongisland.com/2009/07/veraton-i.html

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Breezeways are heavenly, though obviously quite odd up in these parts, given the awful winters. Then again, one would presumably be in NYC, Palm Beach (or another warm spot), or perhaps at a smaller cottage on the property that could be more economically heated during cold spells. That being said, I like the breezeway very much, though it's a trifle squat.

Mansions of the Gilded Age said...

The Breezeway has been enclosed. Follow this link to see it when the house was for sale.

http://www.luxist.com/2006/07/09/meadowcroft-estate-of-the-day/

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

I added HistoricAerial link showing property pre-development and link to Houses of the Hamptons. Color photo aimed at the now enclosed breezeway -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.822018&lon=-72.621839&z=16&l=0&m=b&show=/21405583/Meadowcroft

Doug Floor Plan said...

You are sadly correct Mansions, it's been enclosed; & the porch they added seems squeezed up against the projection (I'm sure there's a correct term for it) built for the stairs. & I agree with DED -- that swimming pool needs to come to a violent end.

But Magnus is correct that not much other structural harm has been done -- the dutch door opening into the stair hall is still there & the stairs themselves look good.

Deidre Woolard at the Luxist site commented that the kitchen appears too modern to mesh with the house; but to me the kitchen is too blah to mesh with anything. I am far from being a decorator but even to me those interiors look like someone had a family member who said, "Oh, here, let me decorate that for you ... I'm good with colors."

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh my. I just went to the Luxist link. The pool is even worse viewed from the ground. WTF were they thinking? However, what heavenly details in the house---the tile bedroom fireplace, the hooded bench in the hall, the arts and crafts/tudor staircase. Eyre was so good at this sort of picturesque stuff. Interesting to see how much stiffer the same basic design was given the dozen years that separate this from the Grace cottage at Islesboro---the trend toward a more 'correct' style of architecture sort of hardened the arteries. Pity about the pool, pity about the pergola on the water side, and pity about the entrance porch, and most of all that the breezeway had to be enclosed. But, mostly, no lasting harm has been done to the basic structure---a statement that I can increasingly rarely make

Anonymous said...

I was dating a former Pro boxer and we looked at the house to buy it in 1988....the Designer Showcase had just had their way with it and it was HORRIBLE. The breezeway was still open at the time and the price, I believe, was 1.5M....The kitchen was original, which was horrible. But the view and the rear veranda is what would sell most people on the house.