Wednesday, October 3, 2012

'Mille Fleurs'

'Mille Fleurs', the Florence Guggenheim estate designed by Polhemus & Coffin c. 1932 in Sands Point.  Guggenheim moved to 'Mille Fleurs' from 'Hempstead House' following the death of her husband Daniel.  The house is currently owned by Nassau County, click HERE to see 'Mille Fleurs' on google earth and HERE on bing.  This aerial is part of SMU's Robert Yarnall Richie collection and was taken between 1932-1934.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

An most unattractive house with two chicken coops extending out from the front facade. Tasteless.

Old Grey Dog said...

Anyone with a copy of "Mansions and Millionaires", a 1983 publication of Arlene Travis and Carole Aronson, showing the interiors and house at eye level as they appeared in 1935, will agree that Mille Fleurs was neither unattractive nor tasteless.

Kellsboro Jack said...

I get the simple French country estate feel and hopefully P&C's intent, but it seems a bit contrived and sadly it does seem more akin to being grooms quarters. Nothing wrong with that but its been done far better.

(On that point see the W.C. Whitney barn in Aiken, SC now a home for sale - U block shingle styled and lovely externally. It was once part of the more noted Joye Cottage.)

From the aerial view the design looks far from seamless with the two wings. So were they originally part of the design or added later as means to have a more accessible garden for Mrs. Guggenheim?

It doesn't look like the intent was ever to have this U block with a forecourt for arrivals. A bit too narrow for that with the design.

Further by creating this enclosed area the property most likely wasn't intended to be a large entertaining place. I say that as its rare that a host would expect guests to arrive, but walk a fair distance through a garden to the main entry. Or am I mistaken and arrivals expected to enter from the side court?

The pictures from the Nassau County Department of Assessment do show more detailed brickwork thank I expected.

archibuff said...

What a really nice way to down size after you give up the main house later in life. The link provides some views of the home which has a wonderful facade overlooking the water. Restrained and elegant. I think Nassau County rents this as well as Hempstead House for weddings, etc., but you cant help but notice that all the structures at the preserve have seen better days.

http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/mynassauproperty/viewphoto.jsp?txtSection=4&txtBlock=B&txtLot=273&txtSuffix=0&txtBldg=&txtCondo=&txtYear=2012&index=029

archibuff said...

A nice set of exterior and interior photos found on flickr. A lot to like about the design.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/polhemusandcoffin/sets/72157626018614828/with/5379051859/

Mitchell Owens said...

I would happily live there, though I'd simplify the walled garden and have only two rows of apple trees and little if anything else. The house is a nice downsizing after a living-large existence, as a previous individual commented. The only architectural change I would make is on the ground floor, inside the walled garden: It needs masses of French doors.

Anonymous said...

Sweet country house which still is quite large in comparison to most others. Very satisfying interiors based on the photos. I too think the courtyard could use rows and rows of glass doors.

The Down East Dilettante said...

I'm late to this party, but I have to disagree with anonymous 1, and also want to clarify to Kellsboro and others who questioned that indeed the wings are part of the original design, which is an almost line for line copy of a French manor house at Libourne published a few years earlier in Polhemus and Coffin's "Small French Buildings" (pp. 225, 227)

http://books.google.com/books?id=fVgvAAAAMAAJ&pg=PP20&lpg=PP20&dq=polhemus+and+coffin+manoir+libourne&source=bl&ots=V5AZdFzpRx&sig=CN4_J0GUHOMocaMaT5SoA2NJ9I8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cs5sULmxHeGS0QHvx4CQCw&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA

The Down East Dilettante said...

Easier to view links to the manoir at Libourne than the one I provided above, here, for comparison (live or memorex):

http://archive.org/stream/cu31924015691706#page/n245/mode/2up/search/libourne

http://archive.org/stream/cu31924015691706#page/n247/mode/2up