Dedicated to the preservation of Long Island's 'gold coast' estates and other things old.
Up until now all the photos of the front of this house showed:1) The roof had no significant dormer windows while owned by Mrs. O.H.P Belmont, &2) The exterior wall extending up to very large dormer windows after being remodeled by W. R. Hearst.This picture shows someone punched some modest dormer windows in the roof between 1) & 2).What I find odd is that a picture of the house with those windows in transition would be used for a postcard.
The dormer windows on the third floor appear to be very amateurishly photoshoped. The ultimate Hearst alteration lined up two dormer windows per each pair of windows on the 2nd floor on the west end of the house and this is clearly not what we're seeing here. Perhaps there was an interim alteration caught in this post card, or maybe the roof was heavily under construction when the photograph was taken and the "artist" simply drew in what he surmised the final product would look like.Just a thought-
The dormer to the right appears vrai, but the left three are an odd kettle of fish indeed. But when one blows up the postcard (I must have very little to do!), one sees that they are real, and that two are apparently covered with tarred building paper, held in place by boards, and the leftmost appears to be a tarpaulin. Perhaps the dormers were a late addition by Mrs. Belmont, and this is the beginning of Hearst renovations? I don't find it odd that the building was captured while in renovation. I encounter many of these early postcards that are not styled or 'posed' as it were, but capture a candid moment. The postcard guy was more interested in turning a dime.
In a couple of the aerial photographs, one dormer appears to the left of the tower, as does the one to the right. Seems safe to speculate that they were additions as needed by Mrs. Belmont.Now, how shall I waste some time? Or will I have to actually start work/
DED and DFP- I think that you're both correct and that the postcard illustrates a late Belmont or early Hearst amendment of the house: The final Hearst iteration included a substantial redesign of the roof itself, extending it Westward to incorporate the north side of the west tower (left of the photograph). The efforts illustrated in the postcard appear, as DFP says, to be modest windows punched through the existing roof.
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