Monday, November 26, 2012

The Charles A. Peabody Estate

 The Charles Augustus Peabody estate designed by Grosvenor Atterbury between 1910-1912 in Cold Spring Harbor.  Peabody, an attorney and partner in the firm of Peabody, Baker & Peabody, was president of the Mutual Life Insurance Co.  His son Julian Peabody resided at 'Pond Hollow Farm' in Old Westbury and was a partner in the architecture firm of Peabody, Wilson & Brown.  The residence suffered a fire and was demolished c. 1978.  Click HERE to see the Peabody estate intact in a 1953 aerial.

Photos from The Brickbuilder, 1913.


montana channing said...

of course they tore it down. its design is far too unique and interesting and it has way too many unusual elelments like that little arch and all those different dormers.

security def - "iBusho" - a recent statement by a former head of state showing his command of the language hasn't deteriorated since he was in office.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Wonderful building---one's own private Forest Hills Gardens, as it were. But it raises the obvious question: Why does one suppose that Peabody went to Atterbury and not his own son, in the time-honored tradition of architect's parents throughout history, to design this house?

Zach said...

If I may venture a guess... I believe Pond Hollow Farm, Julian Peabody's house, was PWB's first major commission. The firm didn't really get off the ground until 1911 and this one was 1910.

My guess is as much as C.A. loved Julian he didn't want his new house to be some sort of experiment simply to give his son a commission.

l'il gay boy said...

Do we know where in CSH this was located?

Such a waste -- a picturesque & livable design.

Anonymous said...

The site was roughly East and South of Uplands Farm Sanctuary Nature Conservancy. Lawrence Hill, Saw Mill, and Peabody Roads were approximate perimeters. A few indirect relatives of his live in the general area.

Kellsboro Jack said...

A damn fine work but a highly under appreciated but tremendously talented architect. He was one of a relative small clutch of architects who truly brought out some sensation labor from his contractors. The level of detail that exists with texture is wonderful to this day.

As noted by so many others the shame here is that the house was livable for today's baron wannabe. Even in the energy crisis 1970's the house likely was perfectly fine to heat/cool and still spoke volumes to the owner's status and good taste even if they did nothing more than buy it for a song.

Progress, right?

An off topic aside: Friday's edition of the Wall Street Journal 'Mansion' section cited inisfada a/k/a St. Ignatius Jesuit Retreat House as one with it's own chapel and for sale

Anonymous said...

Was this home demolished or did it not suffer a serious fire and was torn down soon afterward? The carriage house still exists on Saw Mill Lane as well as the small pergola enclosed garden shown in the third B&W photo which is now located off to the side of a newer home built on Saw Mill Lane. I believe the Atterbury home was demolished after the devastating fire in the 70's.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...


If the house stood into the 70,s then its well hidden. The distinctive footprint can't be found in the 1953 or 1966 overhead.

The closest I could find for the carriage house is here -

- brown shingled structure?

archibuff said...

LOL, HH anon is correct. The house was located closer to the harbor. The entrance drive was off of Harbor Road and the brick gate posts are still there. Follow a long winding drive up the hill and the X layout of the house is clearly visible. I remember that fire, it was a prominent story back then. So it wasnt demolished intentionally but severely damaged in a fire. The carriage house is on Saw Mill Lane and is quite beautiful. All brick and timbers. Anon is correct about the house, the fire and where it stood. Someone needs to update the wikimapia site!

Zach said... sat here:

According to the 1917 map Saw Mill used to run all the way through to Harbor Road...though it appears it was a private thoroughfare.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful architect with a very distinctive style and special use of materials. The siting of the house must have been impressive with a great views of the harbor and sunsets!

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Oh... WAy over there ... and the gate too -

Anonymous said...

I found this thread of comments very interesting. I am blessed to be able to live in the Carriage House with my family. When we moved in 10 years ago, it was in a state of disrepair, and my husband and father-in-law, both talented architectural designers, worked hard over several years to restore it and rennovate it, doing much of the work themselves. My mother-in-law, who is a talented artist and gardener created the beautiful rose garden now behind our home. I believe they all succeeded in modernizing our home while maintaining the beautiful original architecture of the Peabody estate.