Monday, December 16, 2013

The Charles Steele Estate

The Charles Steele estate originally built for J.F.D. Lanier by James Brown Lord c. 1891 in Old Westbury.  Click HERE to see what the Lanier place looked like and HERE for more on Steele's alterations.  The house has since been demolished.


The Down East Dilettante said...

such an endearingly strange, huge and awkward house. One gathers that the wing to the left, much more 'correct' in proportion and detail, is a Steele addition?

Doug Floor Plan said...

DED calls it a wing but, to me it looks like two different houses have been grafted together.

I’m confused about the order of changes to this house.
• On March 20, 2010 Zach posted a sketch of what I think is the original house.
• On May 18, 2010 he posted a photograph which looks like the house in today’s postcard.

• But on June 1, 2010 the post for this house & a subsequent renovation have a totally different portico. If this was the last look the house had then the big wing on the left was built only to be torn down & replaced with a wing jutting out in front of the house, which I find unlikely.

Could these be two different houses?

Anonymous said...

The Hotel Steele! The elaborate columned portico faced the gardens and projecting wings are on the entry front facade, two different sides of the renovated house, but love the original towers which were lost in the multi-renovations over the years. RT Love it!

The Down East Dilettante said...

RT beat me to it. In the June 1, 2010 photo, one can see the big new wing to the left through the trees. And the service wing to the right can also be seen in the architect's rendering of the columned garden front. Steele clipped the towers, raised the servant's wing a story, and balanced it with the new wing. The only mystery is why he didn't put a bslustrade around the main house, which would have tied it better to the new wings

The Down East Dilettante said...

DFP, This link, which isn't linked from any of this other Lanier/Steele posts, makes clear the metamorphosis of the garden front. As you point out, not an entirely successful merger.

Doug Floor Plan said...

Thanks DED & RT. You'd think I could tell the front of a house from the rear by now.

So, even after extensive alteration by Steele he ended up with a house that looked like a hotel on one side & a huge awkward hybrid on the other? No wonder the grandkids tore it down.