Dedicated to the preservation of Long Island's 'gold coast' estates and other things old.
I don't think the landscaping, shown here and in the first link, did a very good job in complimenting the grand scale of the main house. Both the garage and superintendent's cottage were better presented.
I agree with Classicist about the landscaping & even though I think the main house has a good floor plan I also think the exterior is a not-that-attractive combination of Georgian with some Victorian thrown in & the interiors, except the dining room, look as if someone lost their train of thought while decorating. In short, I think Mr. Ormond G. Smith should have gotten a lot more bang for the buck(s) he spent. But I hope he was happy with his house since it was his opinion that mattered.
Early landscaping not so impressive, but the house is very regal. I think the floor plan is well organized and I love the great open stairhall and the dining room is quite beautiful. I think the exterior has great proportions, even the 3rd story fits very well on this home and I definitely like both columned porticos. Also had a spectacular dairy/carriage house until a few yers ago when it was consumed by a major renovation. The remaining garden features are very extensive and would love to see what the gardens looked like in their prime. A great looking house on a superb waterfront site.
Hoppin & Koen houses, in my humble opinion, are always interesting, with many beautiful details, but would always have benefited from one more trip to the drafting board for a little more editing and smoothing before construction began---they always have a lot of good ideas, but they crowd them all in. However, they do always have a few lovely moments, and I rather enjoy this one for its baroque aspirations
Well, it's my turn to be the skunk at the garden party, and I don't like it at all.It's charmless, pompous and clumsy -- and the bad landscaping is the least of what's wrong.This is a house built to display wealth to the world. Not to be a home, or a world apart, or to allow some talented person to create an exciting landscape extending in all directions.It could be twice as big as it is and it would still be pinched.I agree with TDC that the super's cottage was well done. I'm not quite sure what DFP means about whose opinion matters. (Because if the client was a fool, does that justify the result?) And Dilettante knows, I'm sure, that even train wrecks are "interesting."[Exeunt, through the shrubberies, garden left]
LOL Ancient, I'd never call you the skunk at a garden party ... to me you’re more like the inquisitive raccoon living in the attic who can’t be caught & can’t be stopped. I agree that sometimes the owner is a fool … or just has no taste ... but I also remember Richard Morris Hunt said if clients “want you to build a house upside down, standing on its chimney it’s up to you [the architect] to do it.” At least a good architect can try to minimize the horror show.I mostly agree this house was built to impress, more than anything other reason.
Actually Ancient, kind sir, if you re-read my comments, you'll find that I'm damning with faint praise myself. But I do stand that I rather enjoy its Hampton Court aspirations, pompous indeed---but like a pompous old uncle who is endearing despite the monocle. The great hall interests me as an idea, because its a very English style of hall, that one rarely sees copied in this country (unlike the Olde Tudorbethan great halls that pepper the land)Incidentally, I was long ago acquainted with a grandson of this house, who could also be described as pompous and showy. Very.
Maybe I need to wear my monocle? I see a crisp, cool & sophisticated exterior. The quoining & front pediment are particularly well executed & sized. The brick/stone contrasting details are fine & perfectly scaled. The elegant interiors are precisely what I would assume I would find in such a home. I definitely want to see more of this home.
I agree with LValley, I see nothing wrong at all with this house.
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