Monday, December 19, 2011

'Maxwelton'

'Maxwelton', the John Rogers Maxwell estate designed by William B. Tubby c. 1898 in Glen Cove. Maxwell was president of the Atlas Portland Cement Company. Click HERE for more on 'Maxwelton' (be sure to scroll past today's post). Though much of 'Maxwelton' was razed c. 1950 click HERE to see what's left on google earth and HERE on bing.





Photos from Architects' & Builders' Magazine, 1900.

16 comments:

Doug Floor Plan said...

The interiors seem nicely restrained, although dark, compared to the exterior where the porticos & cupola (which was later removed) only clutter up the look (my opinion). But what's there now is way worse (not opinion -- fact).

magnus said...

Zach: Great photos of a house that has always intrigued me. Not the prettiest thing that i've ever seen, and the interior photos look like they come from a different house altogether, but fascinating nonetheless. It appears that the house was substantially revamped over the years. Do you know anything about the alterations?

magnus said...

look at the Dining Romm ceiling: Are those electric light fixtures afixed to the center of every panel in the ceiling? Did a love affair with a new fangled invention completely trump aesthetic consideration? Can you imagine a less flattering way to light a room?

The Devoted Classicist said...

Zach, is the view that you posted in 2009 a renovation that removed a columned portico or porte cochere?

Zach said...

Well...here's the odd thing..

Neither the SPLIA or Spinzia books mention alterations (which obviously took place). The chapter in SPLIA, which was written by Andrew Dolkart no less, says the house was demolished in 1920. That's obviously incorrect as you can clearly see the original house within the more recent alterations pictures on here. But as to who did them...I've no idea. Will try and find something.

The Down East Dilettante said...

What time are the students expected back at class?

No wonder this house was remodelled several times. No wonder at all. Did they ever get it right?

Magnus, in "Houses of the Berkshires" (Acanthus Press), there is a photo of the George Westinghouse Dining Room---the entire interior of the first floor is quilted satin, and on the ceiling is a veritable forest of bare light bulbs. (Needless to say, when Margaret Emerson McKim Vanderbilt Baker bought the joint, she tore it down and had Delano & Aldrich build a new house)

The Ancient said...

Anyone have a guess as to which part of the original house is still standing?

BTW, I like that little farmhouse. The entrance deserves restoration.

Zach said...

The more I think of it...nothing?

The Down East Dilettante said...

Those renovations are good enough to have been designed by CPH (hahahha oh, I crack myself up sometimes)

archibuff said...

It doesnt take a week to go by before some people take a swipe at CPH. He could have designed a masterpiece on this site if only he was given the commission. That entry portico is woefully ungainly, but the house has good proportions, just terribly boxy. The house needed some flair, style and fun alla CPH's Pembroke. Also regarding showing off the new fangled light bulb, one should take a look at Coindre Hall in Huntington, where bare electric bulbs once lined the entire length of the cornice, about 3 feet apart, placed around the entire perimeter of the home. While I like Coindre Hall, that display of harsh glaring bare lights had to look awful.

Glen said...

Here is my attempt to identify the portion of the house that still stands (and I spent way too much time trying the last time Zach posted on this house). Look at Zach's post dated Tuesday, May 5, 2009. There is a wing off the back of the house, the end of which is rounded with a chimney at the end flanked by windows on either side. This matches the south end/wing of the current house when viewed from the back. This appears to be a later addition and not part of the original house which sat in what is the front yard of the current house. If I am correct, then nothing of the original house is extant. Only the later addition.

archibuff said...

Glen it appears you are correct especially since the roof of the addition had the stepped down ridge line near the chimney and so does the wing of the remaining house. Looks like they kept the newer addition, added to it and tore down the old front portion. Good detective work.

magnus said...

I wonder if a surfeit of Atlas Portland Cement is the reason for the blocky look of the original structure? It's an odd house in which nascent classism on the exterior seems to be fighting a battle with the very Edwardian summer house interiors. The interior decoration is very reminiscent to me of Elsie De Wolfe's Irving Place house in the "before" photographs.

Glen said...

There appear to be three versions of this house/site.
1. The first and original posted today. I like the large windows and classical detailing including the porticoes on either end. I even favor the rear two-story portico. But the front porte-cochere doesn't have the same grace. I think it would have been more successful (though not as imposingly grand) if it was lowered to the height of the side porches. The "box" effect could have been softened by setting the third floor back from the perimeter and behind a parapet as was more common of houses of this style, thereby visually lowering the height. The cupola was just wrong, wrong, wrong. As said earlier, the interiors are pleasant and invoke a less formal flair.
2. The post of April 11, 2009 shows a view of what I initially thought to be the rear, but now beleive to be the front (based on the placement of the middle chimneys and height of the column bases) with the addition of arches at the porte-cochere level and enclosed second floor. I wonder how they dealt with the original palladian style window at the interior stair landing visible on the original front facade. Either the whitewash has been removed from the original brick or a two-tone paint scheme has been applied. I assume the still extant wing was also added to the rear to coincide with the revision to the front. I like this version less than the original although the two-tone color/materials adds some much needed scale and somewhat reduces the box effect.
3. The current house partially incorporating the rear wing, but at the expense of the entire original house. It has no redeeming features. I do wonder if the two-story columns on the front of the current house were salvaged from the original house. Perhaps something is still extant from the original after all.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Girls' reformatory.

Anonymous said...

Great photos of the original house. The "front" view faces the Sound, the "rear" view faces the gate house in a straight line. Nothing remains of the house in these photos. In Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects, MacKay shows the first photograph and writes a short history of the buildings. William Tubby lived in Brooklyn and had a residence within walking distance of Maxwelton. Maxwell and Tubby were best buds. J. Colby bricktower@aol.com