Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Coachman's Cottage on the Whitney Estate

 The coachman's cottage on the late William C. Whitney estate designed by Freeman & Hasselman c. 1907 in Old Westbury.  It's likely this functioned alongside the stable to 'Applegreen'.  Click HERE to see the cottage on google earth and HERE on bing.

 The cottage as it looks today.

Black and white photos from The New York Architect, 1908.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sick at heart over what you're going through, Zach and readers and commenters in the NE. If there weren't so much widespread misery, a cottage like this would ordinarily make my heart sing, as it is of a piece in time/style with my recently demolished growing-up house, indeed the last one out of the house before the wrecking ball was me screwdriver in pocket and that same pair of attic quarter-round [mine are mullioned] windows. Perhaps they have a proper name, I don't know what they're called.

With an aching heart and so much sympathy for the devastation and for you who're suffering so severely,

-Flo
Amelia Island FL

Kellsboro Jack said...

Sorry to hear of the devastation to life, property and historical character.

On a positive note this coachman's cottage is lovely. The connecting breezeway is a lovely feature. It begs the question - were there two separate families at one time occupying the residence?

Anonymous said...

As a kid, this house always baffled me..2 houses in one..thanks for answering my childhood imagination.

Anonymous said...

Surprising that it hasn't been remodeled with that breezeway enclosed to form one cohesive home. The house today is almost as large as the greatly reduced original mansion which is just a stub of its former self.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Let's give kudos to the owners who have resisted the often futile temptation to over-embellish their houses and have let them retain their character.

Zach said...

As soon as I have Internet access and power for my computer I will upload some photos of the damage at Spring Hill. Doesn't seem as though I will have electricity anytime soon however.

Anonymous said...

It's a wonderful place, ideal in fact, just as it is. My new dream house, long may it/they live. The KT Oslin tune comes to mind, "Live close by, visit often." Four fireplaces, ahhhh.

-F

The Down East Dilettante said...

Indeed Flo, the coachman was clearly a highly valued member of the Whitney staff---this is servant housing at the higher level.

Zach, we all wish you electricity. I've talked to several friends in Manhattan over the last couple of days---and the stories from the Village and downtown are certainly different from the stories on the upper west and east. Wow.

The Ancient said...

Off-topic --

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/nov/08/smash-it-who-cares/?pagination=false

An interesting article on the history and current state of the historic preservation movement.

Kellsboro Jack said...

The Ancient - thanks for that link with the article on preservation. It's true that art, architecture, fashion you name it is in the eye of the beholder. One remark in particular:

"Does it mean we get rid of the Guggenheim because it looks like a toilet bowl?"

Some with the means to acquire this coachman's cottage with the breezeway between two homes is too quirky for life in 2012. Yet it begs the question - why buy such a home in that case just to raze it? [Thankfully not the situation.] Is the plot of land in those cases just so perfect for their dream home?

Far too frequently we see people with tremendous means buying, razing, building a massive 'residence' as their dream home, only to market it several years later with the cry of "we're looking to downsize".

We can only hope more gems like this cottage continue to survive such perils by man - and the risks from Mother Nature like Sandy.

p.s. Hopefully Zach isn't driving around looking for an open gas station. It looks like a nightmare to procure basic staples of life and of course for others they've lost everything.

Zach said...

Looks like it should only be another day before I will be able to return to the city and have power and hot water again. It's really starting to get cold in this house.

Thankfully I went in search of gas very early Wednesday morning, and while I did have to fight my way into one of only two open stations I found on Jericho Turnpike it had not gotten to the point of chaos. That seemed to take hold Wednesday evening and yesterday.

3 days out and I have still not seen a single LIPA truck. There are still very large trees entangled in power lines blocking main roads in Old Westbury. Wheatley Road is still a total disaster area... Probably 150-200 large trees either toppled or smashed with maybe 25% of those entangled in power lines.

People seem to have given up on following the traffic laws around here too. In the short drive I took earlier I saw people blow right through stop signs and not even slow down when they got to an intersection with a non-functioning traffic light.

Sitting here writing this with a dwindling iPad battery I don't even hear chainsaws in the distance. Still mostly in a state of paralysis around here.

Zach said...

And I just need to add how utterly outraged I am we are still having the marathon. I understand how important it is to the city's economy but there is a legitimate crisis going on in lower manhattan. I live on the 17th floor of a building that lost power Monday evening with the east river flooded the con ed station on east 14th. Many of you know my 50lb dog has had many knee surgeries and is still not permitted to climb or descend stairs. Tuesday morning I carried him down and back up again...and it was brutal. My building has a significant number of elderly folk who live on high floors. The building has no emergency lighting either in the hallways or the stairwells so as soon as you leave your apartment you are in total darkness. There is also no hot water and no heat. Many of these people are too frail to descend 10+ stories in pitch black corridors. Efforts in NYC should be focused on getting these people the help they need...not on some out of towners here to take a jog through the streets for an afternoon.

Where is FEMA? Why are people on Staten Island and in Long Beach saying they think they are going to die if they don't get help soon...this is NY...what the hell is going on?

Anonymous said...

So good to hear from you Zach, and have been concerned about you taking care of that beloved "50 pound dog" companion of yours, knowing full well you'd see after him long before you'd think of yourself.

I'm geographically light years away from NY/NJ, even so I too am royally pi**ed about the insanity/insensitivity of carrying on with the Marathon. I resent seeing politicians take victory laps this early, press corps standing by, with so much widespread misery nowhere near alleviation.

It's been a pleasant diversion to have this coachman's cottage to view. My husband and I think this is as close to a dreamhouse we two introverts could ever imagine, he with his own fort and me with mine. Two magnificent porches looking in opposite directions, four fireplaces, imagine the courting rituals we could devise.

My ancestors' names were Coachman, believe it or not. From England to Barbados to South Carolina came the Coachman clan. So until you return, this coachman's cottage will be my very own Coachman's Cottage, ah the heavy responsibilities that fall to family...

Thinking of you,

-Flo

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately we, the U.S. send millions in relief efforts to those in need around the world, often to hostile countries and usually get minimal thanks, but when it comes to taking care of our own, we fall to pieces. Usually local groups, religious organizations and volunteers tend to bridge the gap between incompetent govenment agencies and those in need. New Yorkers, despite our undeserved reputation for being aloof and uncaring actually are survivors, very resilient and no city anywhere could run as well as this city runs under crisis conditions.

We love to think of ourselves as a benevolent country and willing to take care of the entire world, but the day has come when we can no longer afford to police and supply the entire world. However, I am in full support of NYC holding the marathon, it not only shows that the city can get back on its feet, but it can lift our spirits when we all need some relief from the gloom and doom around us. Con Ed is saying that service in lower Manhattan will be back on Saturday, some of it is already back on today. They have held off on putting substations back online until the entire system could be verified as operational.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

I have to wonder what the people of New Orleans think of the response the east is getting compared to what they received.

Zach said...

Success... the marathon has been cancelled and electricity is slowly beginning to return to lower Manhattan.

Moppy and friend said...

Thanks for keeping us informed about youself, and Pup, and please continue to do so !

Anonymous said...

I have found that most, not all, but most people have been very civil and respectful during all this. 90% of my village was without power, water and heat, yet most seemed to take it all in stride. Many homes with power took in friends and relatives without and turned this week into a sort of communal party. Many took to walking around town, checking in on neighbors, relations and heading to town which mostly had power to eat and drink. It has been a somewhat festive atmosphere considering what has happened.

Anonymous said...

If the mayor hadn't endorsed Mr. Obama just yesterday [BREAKING!!!! Fiery Independant Bloomberg endorses Obama!], his fierce independence would surely have pushed the event through to completion on his authority/defiance alone. Pressure from New Yorkers would be nothing compared to pressure exerted from official/national Dem base.

Overjoyed to hear from you, Zach. So great.

-F

ChipSF said...

Zach -
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected on the east coast. Thanks for the updates & nervously waiting for shots of the destruction in OW.

Anonymous said...

Zach, I just found this site and actually lived one of the houses of "the coachman's cottage on the late William C. Whitney estate." The house on the left in the blueprints is split into two units that are rented out and the owner of the property lives in the main house (right side of diagram). Much of the original house remains, including huge cast iron radiators and beautiful hardwood floors. I haven't seen it since the storm, I'm in Jericho now and didn't have power until November 12th.