Tuesday, August 14, 2012

'Haut Bois' Aerial

'Haut Bois', the Walter E. Maynard estate designed by Ogden Codman Jr. c. 1916 in Brookville.  Click HERE to see the brochure from when 'Haut Bois' was for sale and HERE to see another aerial.  Photo from American Country Homes of Today, 1928.


The Down East Dilettante said...

One of Codman's most interesting houses

Kellsboro Jack said...

This homes quickly reminds me of the David Adler designed home for Ralph Pool (1913) in Lake Bluff, Illinois which has gone unsold - and in need of considerable restoration - for eons. The price just keeps dropping on it although taxes remain a healthy $55k+.


Codman certainly was venturing into a different side of his architectural portfolio with Haut Bois. I'm still a sucker for his collaborative effort with Edith Wharton and The Mount in Lenox, MA

The Down East Dilettante said...

Hoppin & Koen were architects of record for The Mount---Wharton and Codman having had differences---although the basic concept remained Codman.

I see this as not so much a different side of Codman, who did many French houses with forecourts---but rather as one of the fullest and best realized of his ongoing infatuation with French houses adapted to American country life.

The Down East Dilettante said...

And indeed, the Poole house is one of the saddest stories of unsold mansions around at the moment. Such an exquisite house.

It's tragic to watch it slowly disappear even as vast sums are being spent to build vastly inferior Louis Louie mcMansions

BCD said...

Another magnificent home trashed by "improvements" of previous owners.

In the mid 90's a couple bought the property and proceeded to "restore" the house from the outside in and the bottom up.

They ripped out the entrance gates (no more forecourt), removed all the shutters form the windows and doors

Pulled out the wall fountain in the entry, sheet rocked over the rusticated walls, and put 12x12 white marble tiles over the terrazzo, and added a home gym to the ground floor by dividing up the entry.

On the first floor, they had the library paneling "restored" by painting over the original designs to refresh them - it looked like they used regular house paint, giving the effect that it was done by a five year old. They also removed the one pair of doors in the living room that had concealed a sort of "secret" passage into the service areas of the house, leaving it as an open doorway into the kitchen; they also ripped out the dining room fireplace and reduced the size of the room.

On the second floor, they removed all of the fireplaces, and redid the bathrooms in "jungle" themes.

The only good thing they did was to restore the exterior of the house to its original color scheme of buff with exposed brick quoins.

But... As they say Karma is a Bi**h... they lost all of their money and had to move into a split level ranch about 5 years later...

The Down East Dilettante said...


It's not that I have such exquisitely finely calibrated taste myself (oh alright, maybe I do), but I am constantly left agape by the 'improvements' people make to make exceptional things---like the rusticated walls and terrazo floors into very ordinary things (dry wall and cheap carrara marble). It sounds as if the ranch house is where they belonged all along anyway. Go Karma!