Wednesday, February 1, 2012

'Rumpus House'

'Rumpus House', the Carl Jacob Schmidlapp estate, a 18th century farm house enlarged by Peabody, Wilson & Brown c. 1920 in Mill Neck with landscaping by Ellen Shipman and Ferruccio Vitale. Schmidlapp was vice chairman of the executive board of Chase National Bank and a director at numerous other companies. The estate along with 28 acres is for sale for $9,950,000, click HERE to see the listing via Daniel Gale Sotheby's. Click HERE to see 'Rumpus House' on google earth and HERE on bing.


Listing photos from Daniel Gale Sotheby's.

17 comments:

The Devoted Classicist said...

I am wondering what is causing shadows at the corners of the main block. Is that blocking for trellises?

magnus said...

Looking at the photograph of the pantry in the brochure brings to mind a topic about which I am mildly curious: What has become of that most useful of kitchen devices, the plate warmer, without which no pantry of yore was worth its name? It seems to have gone the way of the Dodo bird. Am I the only living person who still likes warmed plates? My guess is the next owner will have not the slightest idea what the thing is and toss it out in the dumpster with the rest of the kitchen fittings.

magnus said...

And I'll give away my age again: The pantry is indicative of precisely the sort of "renovation" that people of my parent's generation did to service rooms when they bought these old houses in the 1960's: A fresh coat of paint, (sadly the color sense seemed always to be "off"- why pay a decorator to choose something when M'lady's insticts were just fine for these secondary rooms), some new linoleum (ditto) and maybe new lighting fixtures (invariably inexpensive- and they looked it, WASP good sense rebelling against unnecessary expenditure). This is a variation of the kitchen and pantry I grew up with. Now, the whole thing would be stripped to the studs to create a "great room", filled with enough equipment for a restaurant and fitted out with a quarry full of limestone. Which is better? I am really not sure.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Interiors from this house, back in the day, are pictured in 'The Finest Interiors' (The original from the 60's, not the new version by Thomas Jayne).

The Schmidlapps New York apartment is now owned by the Gutfreunds, and has had many renovations and redecorations. I mention this because as originally built, it contained an 18th century oval room in the Adam style that the Schmidlapps (or more accurately, their decorator or architect), had imported from England. Though Mrs. Gutfreund's apt. has been much published, that room (also pictured in Finest Rooms) has never shown up. I wonder what happened to it?

As to this house, it looks gloriously kept--looking 'right'. I suppose, if it escapes teardown, that as Magnus says, the wreckers will come in and the gutting begins, the out of scale media room gets added, and the drive gets replaced with the ubiquitous cheap pavers and concrete fountain. Enjoy the view while it lasts...This place is too subtle and elegant for the sensibilities of those shopping for real estate these days. Everybody wants a sheetrock Pembroke with two story 'Palladium' windows. I'll also take bets that a new swimming pool gets placed closer to the house (off axis with anything to do with the existing landscape design or architecture, as also seems almost 100% to be the case now. Nobody seems to want to actually walk to their pool anymore.

Devoted, indeed those shadows appear to be blocking for trellis.

archibuff said...

"Everybody wants a sheetrock Pembroke"......well if only they truly did things wouldnt be so bad, but what they do want is high style but the capabilities of the majority of todays architects, designers, landscapers and builders doesnt even come close to the classically trained professionals available when Pembroke was rising. Unfortunately todays taste makers are sadly lacking in talent. This appears to be a very fine property and since it is Mill Neck, the chances are a little better that a buyer will be found who appreciates an older home and who is not building an over-the-top personal statement to display their newly minted money, the likes of which are more inclined to build in Old Westbury where their ponderous homes are visible from the street. No point building your pile of excess in Mill Neck where the zoning requires larger lot sizes, if nobody can see it.

Zach said...

I can't find the source at the moment but if memory serves me right I recall reading that part of the house was a tavern at some point in the 19th century.

Anonymous said...

I thought I read here somewhere that Mill Neck has no preservation laws at all.
This home and all it's out-buildings have loads of charm and comfort, but I highly doubt that anyone today with the cash not only to lay out for this home, but to cover the taxes, will see that. I fear the fate of this home will be a tear-down.

lil' gay boy said...

I think I spotted some water damage to that stunning mural ––– not a good sign. With 28 acres & multiple dwellings, I smell developer from a mile off.

Anonymous said...

The property should have 5 acre zoning restrictions so the outbuildings can easily be partitioned off, as well as the house which is fairly close to the road attesting to its early 19th century construction. The stable complex is in fact very very quaint.

Mill Neck as most LI villages has no landmarks law but that does not mean you cant nominate a building if warranted to the Town or to the State Historic Register. Just because its old doesnt make it a landmark and I think this would be a tough sell for landmarking. It needs a sympathetic owner on 28 acres or 5.

Bill in Michigan said...

This magnificent home is sited so wonderfully you simply cannot gain a sense of the beauty from the photos. I grew up very close by and spent many hours marveling and wandering its fringes. It was "on the way" to exploring Shu Swamp. It would be heartbreaking to see it demolished and subdivided. There are many farmhouse style homes in the area - what sets this apart is the property itself. Let's all hope for a sympathetic buyer.

Patricia said...

Like Bill, I spent so many happy hours in Shu Swamp as a child. It was simply a magical place with the stream and the various paths. We would just spend days wading and exploring and following the paths. I am glad that it's now a nature preserve, but I know how lucky I am to have had it as my own personal playground (or so it felt).

It was always one of the first signs of spring, even earlier than the forsythia, when the aptly-named skunk cabbage started sprouting.

I remember one time my two friends and I discovered someone's stash of a few pages of porn, torn from a magazine. The pages were black and white, and we innocent Mill Neck/Locust Valley girls had never seen anything like it. We didn't know porn even existed in reality. As I recall, we very self-righteously re-hid it, got matches from home (of course, in those days everyone's parents smoked), returned to Shu Swamp and burned the pages.

Anonymous said...

"I think I spotted some water damage to that stunning mural ––– not a good sign."

Nononooonoo, any place named Rumpus House indicates unruly children, tolerant adults, water guns, water balloons, water rifles, yeahhh, that's it, just the after effects from some good natured, high horseplay in the dining room, that's all that is. [smile]

-Flo

The Ancient said...

I think there's a less than even chance the house will survive.

For any number of reasons (most of them good), the people who were raised to admire places such as this no longer care to live on Long Island. There's the preposterous property taxes, the "dreadful new people," the Monday/Friday higera to and from the city (because even "rich people" now put in brutal hours), and not least the general despoilage of the old LI world over the past fifty years. It's no longer true that your friends are nearby for drinks, lunch or dinner. (God, you could find yourself alone with your spouse!)

Looking at things realistically, it's just a bad investment.

(BTW, I would be very surprised if a partner at Cravath could afford to buy, restore and maintain a country house like this on a partner's income alone.)

((Also, I have an emerging concept for analyzing such properties. One of my favorite places in the world is the Hotel Hassler in Rome. They have three penthouse suites which are ruinously expensive. When I think about a house on Long Island, I now consider it in terms of HPSEs -- Hassler Penthouse Suite Equivalents. First-class airfare included. Some of the houses we look at could keep me comfortably tucked-in at the Hassler for many, many decades.))

Anonymous said...

NSP (never have been able to figure out how to have my user name appear in the fancy menner you regulars have)

The most endangered of endangered Long Island species seems to be the low ceilinged farmhouse, beautifully adapted to "modern living" usually in the 1920's and often by the likes of Bottomley. One of the things the North Shore did best. However these types of houses, often not as fine, of course, are dropping like flies everywhere. At least here the Humes' created and preserved their wonderful Stroll Garden and the North Shore Land Alliance and others helped ensure some protection via an easement along Shu Swamp. Also, having lived on the North Shore (in conjunction with NYC) all of my life, I have to disagree with Ancient (except regarding taxes). Much as Long Island has been ruined, there is a remarkable amount left and when you really compare what has taken place recently amongst the alternatives within the same distance of NYC, the NS has actually fared quite well.You can still (assuming one thinks this is a good thing), go to Piping, the Creek,Seawanhaka or Meadowbrook and have cocktails with the same families as in days of yore as well as some damn nice new ones. Greenwich has become almost a parody of money and most of Westchester tears down houses even faster than LI. Objectively I will concede that the horsey part of Bedford, Salem, Pound Ridge ,etc has done a decent job via a few large landowners, but there is a "new" gentry attitude that is somewhat silly and...no real waterfront (some nice lakes/reservoirs thanks to the brilliance of NYC's foresight and planning). I still find that the best way to appreciate the North Shore is to leave for a while and go somewhere comparable.

And I agree on the Hassler but ......

The Ancient said...

NSP --

The blue lettering comes from registering the name at Blogger.

P.S. My second cup of coffee tells me I put things a little harshly up above.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Anonymous NSP ,

Terrific comment, much to chew on.

One of my chief concerns is the utter contempt with which houses like this one, and their simpler counterparts are treated with, even up here, where they are iconic parts of the built New England landscape. They are dropping like flies, or being altered insensitively within an inch of their lives. There are no Bottomleys (well perhaps Gil Schaefer) doing the renovations anywhere anymore---simple classic houses, rather than having their charm expanded and built upon, are sprouting gables and Marvin 'Palladium' (misspelling deliberate) windows and granite chimneys that alter and dwarf the original, and pay no heed to the excellent earlier design clues. Pottery Barn rules at all levels.

When a friend built a spectacular estate up here on the 'wrong' side of Somes Sound from Northeast Harbor, with spectacular views overlooking said enclave, a (medium)old money billionaire's wife, upon learning where he built, expressed surprise, saying that she didn't realize that there were any 'nice' people living there. Bring on those damn nice new people, I say.

The Down East Dilettante said...

And I forgot (as usual), to complete my first thought, which is that it also perplexes me, when houses like the Schmidlapp house (although let's hope we're writing its obituary prematurely) aren't desired---with their beautiful proportions, unique spaces and superb details, in favor of drywall cartoon versions of themselves.