Dedicated to the preservation of Long Island's 'gold coast' estates and other things old.
RT Someone playing with photoshop?Not much has changed except what total neglect and apathy has brought to this Glen Cove mansion.Would be interesting to observe the changes in many other properties where the buildings have suffered from modifications over time.
Those monogrammed window shades really caught my eye. a classy touch that air conditioning has made obsolete
Ah good old Winfield Hall still has one of the best if not the best eclectic collection of ornate period interiors left on LI. Would certainly welcome a change of ownership.Archibuff
The emotions this house inspires are surprising. And there's more than a whiff of "I don't know much about architecture but I know what I like" about its partisans. Further, it seems the partisanship is in direct proportion to dislike of the current owner: if Carey is guilty of neglecting an irreplaceable masterpiece, how much more justifiable is all the righteous outrage, as opposed to if Winfield Hall were (as educated consensus has it) a mere middling example of less-than-coherent eclectic design?
As a former North Shore transplant I take great pride in the rich architectural legacy of Long Island. Carey is GUILTY of neglecting a landmarked building whether it is a masterpiece or not and frankly 95% of landmarks are not simply individual architectural masterpieces themselves but represent an era, style, notable occupant or an event of historical significance. Winfield more than meets the mark. The travesty is there appears to be little if any authority to intervene or consequence to worry about for such an owner. That alone is a sad reflection of this countries state of preservation. To quote Ada Louise Huxtable:''Not that Penn Station is the Parthenon, but it might as well be because we can never again afford a nine-acre structure of superbly detailed travertine, any more than we could build one of solid gold. It is a monument to the lost art of magnificent construction, other values aside.''No one today on LI is capable of building a marble stairhall of such quality again as found in Winfield nor a panelled, plastered and gilded Music Room of such granduer. Winfield IMO celebrates the lost art of craftsmanship.In addition: ''What preservation is really all about is the retention and active relationship of the buildings of the past to the community's functioning present''.Glen Cove without the Pratt and Woolworth mansions would just be a pleasant community typical of suburbia USA. Pride of place and in one's heritage should be enough to secure the preservation of the remaining GC mansions from this era, unfortunately too few seem to care or debate degrees and merits while missing the greater picture.NYarch:Zach, as a Manhattanite, a similar issue now surrounds the Grand Central business district where upzoning will certainly spell doom to many early 20th century mid-rise masonry structures, like the Roosevelt Hotel, only to be replaced by full block glass encased high rises. Are all 50 or 60 buildings individual landmarks? Probably not. Will their loss destroy the essence and fabric of GCT? Absolutely. Sorry for going off topic.
Point well taken about context, and the rich contribution the survival of even a house of questionable merit like Winfield makes to the whole. I'm reminded, though, of an old joke about trying to say nice things about a plain individual's looks - "such a nice nose", and "ears like shells", etc. Thank goodness nobody's tabulating votes on whether Winfield should survive - of course it should - but there's no place for the kind of ridicule of dispassionate stylistic analysis to which a frequent and valued contributor to the comment section of this blog has been subjected. Not that DED requires defending. The point is more that the opposite view has been defended (until your post) rather lamely, yet also stridently. The repetition of the word "home" in one recent post in particular set my teeth on edge. I will say that while I accept the Penn analogy as apt in context, the two buildings are not close to being in the same league.
This probably wont be accepted, way too late but I've been but once to Winfield Hall and found it a rather beautiful if very ornate home? house? residence? don't know if the word home is also being debated, but I do read OLI weekly and find the passionate debate on Winfield to be endearing akin to a mother hen protecting her chick from ever present dangers. You may not like the design but as a local resident, its mine to take pride in and I take offense to those who come to throw stones. Criticism can be thorough and factual without being mean spirited or hurtful. I'm an equally ardent proponent of my village, North Hills, yet I often think I'm living on the wrong side of the tracks when it's mentioned here, as in the recent Inisfada brokerage listing. This generated partcularly disparaging remarks on the quality of the housing stock, the level of elegance the village possesses and even the sort of people who would choose to live there. My teeth are set on edge when non-resident contributers come to my backyard to ridicule. I therefore have a kinship with the Winfield supporters.Whether you love or hate Winfield or North Hills, just two polarizing subjects on OLI, I'll defend the passionate over the analytical anyday. I would equally welcome the opportunity to throw my own stones back at my fellow contributers abodes since I have collected a large pile from the last post on Norths Hills.Superb Blog Zack yet I cringe with every North Hills post I see.
I've reviewed the record and I think only a person with a firmly parochial view could find anything mean-spirited or hurtful in remarks about North Hills or Winfield House. I don't think there's any arguing with the point Zach made, for instance, that North Hills is not Mill Neck. And his is a Long Island view if ever there was one! Often outsiders can see things more clearly for the very fact of lacking the knee-jerk tendency to protect local favorites from attack. I wrote a review of one of those 'Images of America' picture books once, taking exception to inaccurate identifications, evidence of sloppy research, etc. & was criticized by someone who suggested that the authors had 'done their best' & that reviews should be reserved for praise, not criticism. (!) Forgive me if I think there's still a place for high standards in architectural history and criticism. A blog whose purpose is to raise awareness and interest in a particular region's architecture ought to be able to absorb comments that allude to the spectrum of quality in the surviving stock, and differences in how various communities on the Island have responded to development pressures, without raising hackles in this way. I'm sure DED would be the first to admit, for instance, that one of the reasons prices and taxes are still comparatively low in his area is that there's very little zoning there, resulting in some very odd, value-lowering juxtapositions. (Also there's practically no design review up his way, even in historic districts). If someone were to point out these or any other oddities in his beloved Maine, I suspect he'd provide links to blog entries in which he has already discussed the matters in detail, far from being provoked into displays of defensive petulance.
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