Friday, December 23, 2011

Cobblestone to Asphalt

Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets 1867

Looking northwest from the corner of Madison Avenue and Fifty-fifth Street in 1870. The White building at top left is Mrs. Mary Mason Jones's "Marble Row" at Fifth Avenue and Fifty-seventh.
"It was her habit to sit in the window of her sitting room on the ground floor (imprisoned by her obesity), as if watching calmly for life and fashion to flow northward to her solitary doors. She seemed in no hurry to have them come, for her patience was equaled by her confidence. She was sure that pres­ently the hoardings, the quarries, the one-story saloons, the wooden greenhouses in ragged gardens, and the rocks from which goats surveyed the scene, would vanish before the advance of residences as stately as her own-perhaps (for she was an impartial woman) even statelier; and that the cobble­stones over which the old clattering omnibuses bumped would be replaced by smooth asphalt, such as people reported having seen in Paris."

Mrs. Mary Mason Jones, whose banker father had paid fifteen hundred dollars for the site in 1825, had unshakable faith in the future of the area. She was portrayed as Mrs. Manson Mingott by her niece Edith Wharton in The Age of Innocence.

Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets 1885

Marble Row 1894 view from the southwest

Marble Row was a Fifth Avenue house built in 1869 designed in the mode of a French chateau, by definition a large house erected in the country and therefore surrounded by broad, open spaces. As an architectural form, it was transplanted, in America's Gilded Age, from a rural to an urban setting. It was a harbinger of things to come. Remembering fondly such non urban palaces as Fontainebleau, Mrs. Jones herself produced the basic design for her house before turning it over to Architect Robert Mook.
Marble Row 

It was faced with a glistening cream-colored marble that set it apart from almost all other houses of the wealthy in the years following the Civil War. In Parisian fashion, the entire block between 57th and 58th streets was treated as a single unit, although there were actually eight houses within the block. Mrs. Jones took the one at the corner of 57th and Fifth for herself and rented the other seven to wealthy socialites.
View looking south down Fifth Avenue with the Cornelius Vanderbilt II house to the right

Mary Mason Jones saw herself as New York's true aristocracy, and she resented the efforts of the new-money people to assert themselves as so­cial equals. The confrontation of the two groups was nowhere more apparent than in the clash between Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Paran Stevens, the wife of the parvenu owner of the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Mary Mason Jones's animosity toward the "climber" Mrs. Stevens was so intense that she declared openly that the latter would never set foot in Marble Row by invitation, and she did not. But Mrs. Stevens did have her tri­umph in the end, for after Mrs. Jones's death, her husband, Paran Stevens, bought the property, and in 1893 Mrs. Stevens moved into one of the units of Marble Row, where she became one of New York's presiding social queens.
1883 view looking east past the Cornelius Vanderbilt II house towards Marble Row at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue  

1 East Fifty-seventh Street(739 Fifth Avenue) became the home of Hermann Oelrichs  and wife Tessie(owners of Rosecliff in Newport). Tessie link above has Mrs. Oelrichs living at corner in 1906. 
Hermann Oelrichs Residence circa 1910
Circa 1911

Great-grandson Arthur Mason Jones inherited 741 Fifth Avenue and inserted a seven-story bachelor apartment into the block sometime after 1894 when his father died.
Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets 1912
Other residents of Marble Row were Solomon R. Guggenheim at 743 and William E Iselin(brother of  C. Oliver Iselin) at 745. Iselin was married to Alice Rogers Jones, granddaughter of Mrs. Mary Mason Jones.  By the 1890s the commercial possibilities of the row house became irresistible and the the corner pavilion at 58th Street was made into a bank. 747-751 were altered for business on the ground floors with small apartments above. In a 1912 NYTimes article William Iselin is mentioned purchasing a vacant lot at  11 and 9 East 86th Street. He later changed his mind and sold property to William Woodward. Woodward went on to build a Delano & Aldrich designed townhouse in 1916 at 9 East 86th Street

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  In 1928 the 58th Street end of Marble Row at 753(absorbing 745-751) was demolished for the Squibb Building

Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets 1928

743 was replaced by a nine-story white marble bachelor apartment designed by Hazard & Erskine in 1915. Later the New York location for Gilan.  
743 Fifth Avenue 

In 1918 the New York Trust Co. purchased and remodeled  the last remaining original section, Mrs Mary Mason Jones's, as a bank.

Marble Row, 1925
Along with 741 the home of Mrs. Mary Mason Jones was demolished in 1929. It was replaced in 1931 with the New York Trust Co., building by Cross & CrossCorner is now the location for Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton has since purchased  743 and will expand into the building.  
North-east corner Fifth Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street

Mary Mason Jones's patience was rewarded in 1879, when the Vanderbilt family began a lavish building program that soon gave the ten blocks of Fifth Avenue below Central park the popular name of Vanderbilt Row.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Four Corners; Madison Avenue and Forty First Street

Residence of Chas. Sneff, ESQ  (1900)
41st St. and Madison Ave., New York City

In the same vicinity of the Carrere & Hastings workshop  Charles H. Sneff's four-story house, designed by Carrere and Hastings,  stood at the northwest corner, 300 Madison. Built of brick and granite it required two years to build. The interior was trimmed in expensive woods, mainly mahogany. The masterpiece was the Great Hall in black mahogany beautifully carved. The main stairs had treads of white marble and the dining room was burnished with real gold.

Residence of Mrs. Thompson
(Indiana Limestone)
Madison Avenue and 41st Street, New York City                     Montrose W. Morris, Architect

On the southeast corner was this limestone clad house designed by Architect Montrose M. Morris, circa 1900 for the Thompson family. In 1891 Frederick Ferris Thompson succeeded his father John Thompson(mentor to George Fisher Baker) as president of Chase National Bank. 

 The Sneff and the Thompson house at 297 Madison Avenue reflected the bad timing of building in the expanding commercialization of the Murray Hill area. 

In the 1850s this area was considered "Uptown" and the well-to-do moved into the neighborhood. Where the NYPublic Library stands today was a reservoir for the city. Numerous brownstones lined the streets.  When J. P. Morgan built his mansion in 1882 on Madison Avenue at 36th Street it was considered a fashionable but slightly old-fashioned address.(J.P. Morgan actually purchased property from Isaac Newton Phelps, who had built three garden-surrounded brownstones in 1853 for himself and family members.) Instead stylish merchandising was changing the neighborhood. 300 and 297 Madison Avenue, built at the turn of the century lasted just ten years. 

The family of Thomas Adams, inventor of modern chewing gum lived at 295 Madison. Frederick A. Adams was married to Eudora Thompson, sister of Frederick Thompson. No dates or architect. Its conceivable the Adams had Montrose Morris or C. P. H. Gilbert design their home because of their work in Brooklyn's Park Slope area where Thomas Adams Jr. lived.  

At the northeast corner, 299 Madison,  was the home of Oakleigh Thorne, a capitalist involved in banking, railroads and mining.  His home was described as Modern Renaissance, which was a combination of 18th-century French and Italian styles. 
Looking north on Madison Avenue from Forty-first street, about 1900

The southwest corner was the first to be torn down for  commercial use with the twelve-story John Mansville Building in 1912. For some time that side of the street had dilapidated and vacant houses. 

The Charles H. Sneff corner house was leased in 1914 to the Lady Baltimore Cake Shop after being vacant and for sale since the death of Mr Sneff in 1911(estate valued at 12million) Mrs. Sneff had moved to 16 79th Street. I don't have the complete time line on when house was torn down.

Newspaper accounts have Frederick Thompson living abroad. The house was rented to Richard Hudnut the "perfumer" for a number of years before 297 Madison first put up a lease sign in 1910. Charles M. Warner of Syracuse, another capitalist with sugar, railroad and mining interests,  had acquired property along with the Adams property at 295.  He had just finished the 12-story Physicians Building at 40 East 41st Street adjoining the Thompson house and the Chemists Club to the east.  For a short time property served as the headquarters for the Aero Club of America who represented the $25,000 Orteig Prize. With the success of the Physicians Building Warner planned  a 25-story annex at the corner of Madison and 41st. At some point Abraham Lefcourta prominent real estate developer  purchased Warner's holdings, tore down the the Physicians Building and built the 45-story Lefcourt Colonial Building in 1929. The rest of the block fronting Madison Avenue was leveled around 1925 for the Murray Hill Building

Oakleigh Thorne's 299 Madison survived a fire in 1902 -    "Rare Furnishings Burned". In 1911 he built at the northeast corner of Park Avenue and 73rd Street, now occupied by a mid-size apartment building. In 1912  a 12-story office building designed by Hill & Stout was erected on the corner. Now location of the Library Hotel.

The Sneff's had a country estate somewhere in Flushing called "Whitestone" described as one of the finest residence on Long Island Sound. I have yet to find any further information on this property.  In the 1920s Mrs. Sneff purchased "Knollwood"  the Charles Hudson estate in Muttontown, L. I. The Sneff's also owned  Curl Neck Farms along the James River in Virginia. Later owned by C.K. Billings. During Mr. Billings ownership Curles Neck was the home of “Harvester", one of the most famous race horses of a generation.

The Thompson family had a summer home in Highland, NY. Frederick built "Sonnenberg" in Canandaigua, NY. 

Oakleigh Thornes' family had a  South Shore estate called "Thorneham". Thorne had his own place in Millbrook, NY.

A further spin - The stepdaughter of Richard Hudnut was the second wife of Rudolf Valentino.

All this from four corners!

The view today.

For more on "Knollwood" visit oldlongisland.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Carrere & Hastings Workshop Madison Avenue and Forty-First Street New York City, N. Y.

Carrere & Hastings Office Corner of Madison Avenue and Forty-First Street

Before moving to 225 Fifth Ave. the architectural firm of Carrere & Hastings set up a workshop at the corner of Madison Avenue and Forty-First Street in a elegant townhouse near the site of the New York Public Library, which they designed. The reception room maintained the air of a French hotel salon, but the drafting rooms were jerry-built into the upstairs domestic spaces.
Reception Room
Second Floor Drafting Room

Third floor Drafting Room

Fourth Floor Drafting Room

Fourth Floor Drafting Room Annex
The building no longer stands.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Manhattan Townhouse of John M. Carrere

Townhouse of Architect John Merven Carrere

Entrance Hall
Library, View Toward Entrance Hall
Library, View Toward Dining Room
Dining Room
Gallery Floor, Reception Room
Gallery Floor, View From Billiard Room
Entrance Floor Plan
Gallery  Floor Plan
Townhouse no longer stands. It stood at 101 East 65TH Street, corner of Park Avenue  and 65TH. Have not found exterior photo. The building originally was an old-style, high stooped, twenty-foot brownstone. It was changed to a private carriage house. It was bought by Mr. Carrere and remodeled into his city residence.  Architects were Carrere and partner Thomas Hastings. By the look of the floor plans facade projected a elegant front with its curved indent to the 1903 neighborhood.   Carrere's summer home "Red Oaks".

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Before Bagatelle"

Before building "Bagatelle" in Old Westbury Architect Thomas Hastings leased and altered this Port Washington, L. I. house.
The Colonial spirit preserved with remarkable success

"The house at Port Washington belongs to Congressman William Bourke Cockran("The Cedars"). It was leased for a term of years by Mr. Hastings who altered and added to it to suit his own ideas. This alteration cost about $10,000 - nearly as much as the cost of a new house. But Mr. Hastings has something which he could never get in any new house. It possesses that atmosphere of settled quiet that gathers about old things, while in fact it is hale, hearty and strong. There are charms in the Colonial porch, the broad dormers and the curve of the roof line which are matters of skillful design, but the house owes most to the splendid way in which the new has been added to the old."

Text from Country Life, 1906.

Two gatehouses(the sauce) survive  from the Cockran estate but I've yet to find this house.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Red Oaks" the Summer Home of John M. Carrere

By Bart Ferree, 1909
THE homes of architects are quite apt to have an interest to the inquisitive public somewhat beyond their individual merits. The basis of this belief is obvious: architects, whose lives are devoted to the building of houses and other structures, are popularly supposed to devote the best fruits of their abilities to their personal use. Moreover, in their own homes, the architect may be allowed a freedom in arrangement and design that he rarely has when working for a client. These, and other reasons, doubtless account for the interest such homes excite, although, after all, the simple fact that it is an architect's own house is the most important reason of all.
"Red Oak": the entrance drive and porches.

However curious one may be concerning the homes of architects, criticism is immediately disarmed before the very lovely and altogether delightful house that Mr. Carrere has built for his summer's use in Westchester County. There are few houses anywhere more simple or more delightful than this. Built scarce more than three years ago, its low stone walls seem always to have nestled behind the ancient apple orchard that screens it from the roadway. It is a house that, as will presently be disclosed, combines many successes and advantages; but in no way is it more successful than in presenting an old-time flavor in a modern way. It is, in short, a house that produces the old-time spirit, rather than the old-time forms, and it shows an application of this spirit to modern conditions and necessities in a thoroughly charming way. The success of this designing is much greater than is apparent; for, while the old forms and methods are everywhere abundant and have often been most copiously used, the revivifying of the old spirit is a much rarer art, the rarest, indeed, of modern architectural performances. Mr. Carrere has certainly accomplished this with extraordinary facility and perfect charm in his delightful country home, and this is at once its most penetrating and obvious quality.
Most observers of buildings will doubtless approach this house with sundry preconceptions as to what kind of a dwelling this very successful architect might have built for himself. Whatever these may be they will be quickly dissipated. Mr. Carrere would doubtless vigorously deny the suggestion that this is scarcely the kind of a house he would have built when he returned from Paris—was it twentyfive years ago?—and began the erection of the splendid and stately structures that have made his firm famous and brought him the fine rewards of a brilliantly successful professional career. The point is academic and need not be discussed; it is more pertinent to remark that the creation of a simple old-time American country house in the midst of the matured career of the foremost apostle of the French school in America is a splendid triumph of catholicity in design and a really superb demonstration of the designer's masterful resourcefulness. And to live in this house, and to delight in it shows that, after all, it is pure beauty that is the fascinating aspect of architecture, not the arrangement of grandiose forms or the solving of complicated problems. Of both of these Mr. Carrere's work yields the amplest testimony, yet while these matters are completely absent from his own house it is easy to see that the multitudinous experience of one of the most extensive and most varied architectural careers in this country have been but the preliminaries to the creation of this very beautiful house.
View today with terrace ballroom addition

In other words, Mr. Carrere not only knew what he wanted, but he knew how to secure it. It is a fact that should lift the home of every architect from the world of the commonplace and put it in a class by itself. Often enough it does, but I hazard the suggestion that it is seldom so delightfully done as here. The property consists of about thirty-five acres and comprises both open fields and woodlands. It was practically devoid of buildings and there were, therefore, no encumbrances to interfere with the creation of a country estate of moderate size. The house stands back some distance from the public highway, so that little more than its roofs and chimneys are visible above its screen of apple trees. The gardener's cottage is almost directly on the road; to one side is the garage; beyond it is the barn; on the other side, a spacious strawberry field, enclosed behind a picket fence; farther in is the tennis court. The entrance driveway is pleasantly bordered, right and left, with thick growths of rugosa and other roses.
Steps to the entrance drive
The house is a low spreading structure built in three wings. The first of these, which is nearest the public road, contains the hall, staircase and living-room; beyond it, toward the wood, is the kitchen wing; at the back, and at right angles to the other two, is the third wing containing the dining-room. Of land there was a plenty, and of compact building there was no need; so the house was spaced out upon the land with great ampleness of area, and yet with a keen eye to convenience. The chief rooms are thus not only spacious, but amply lighted by windows of generous size, and they are so related to each other that while each part is convenient of access there is quite a marked sense of isolation that is as rare as it is agreeable.

It is built of stone, rough cut and laid in thick mortar. It is "Red Oaks" stone, since it was blasted out of the ground, and much of it was obtained from the space now occupied by the cellar. It is two stories in height, with a pointed roof containing the attic; in the dining-room wing this is elaborated into "dormitories," a couple of great open rooms in which the beds are separated by curtains and which are delightful camping grounds for the young people of the house and their guests. The roof is thus higher here and is broken by a row of large dormers on either side which do not appear in the other parts. And the house is all house; that is to say, it is simply walls and openings. There are no architectural features; no emphasizing of parts; no ornamental fronts; no notes of emphasis. Everything is plain and straightforward, directly simple and charming in its simplicity. It is true there is, at the end of the living-room, and hence on the first part of the house as it is approached, a great square porch, enclosed within a wrought-iron railing, with wrought-iron supports, a floor of Welsh tile, and a ceiling of wood painted blue with white beams; a similar porch serves for the carriage entrance, but, save these, there are no external features of any sort.
The living-room porch and its floral treatment
The windows have sills and lintels of gray stone that so approximate the general character of the walls as to be scarce discernible. The outer woodwork is painted white, the shutters of the first story being solid, with heart-shaped light openings above, while those of the second story have small solid lower panels, and movable upper blinds. All these upper windows everywhere have low iron grilles inserted in their lower parts. There is no cornice, but the eaves project somewhat and are sheathed below with boards painted white. There is a lambrequin-like finish to the gable ends, which give the old-time character to the house. And it stands here, on rising ground, beneath the shade of the great old oak from which the name of the place is derived, as though it had always been here; yet it is a thoroughly modern house designed by on of the most modern of living architects.
Great oak overshadowing the garden

The walls are all trellised with wood painted white, and will in time, no doubt, be lusciously covered with vines. Already there has been a fine growing of rhododendrons at the base of the house by the entrance roadway, a veritable thicket broken only for in-planting of two rare old box trees of most unusual form and growth.  The drawing-room porch has its own little outer steps by which it may be reached from the roadway. The steps are of flagstones, the platform of red brick laid in herring-bone pattern, and a lion lies asleep on the right-hand pedestal. The house is entered by a glazed vestibule exterior to the house and beneath the carriage porch. The hall is a square room, the walls of which are completely lined with wood in small panels painted white. The plain ceiling has an ornamental centerpiece in plaster, from which depends a bronze hanging-lamp. The fireplace has a mantel of black and yellow marble; with a hearth of the same beautiful stone inlaid with slabs of white marble; the andirons are wrought-iron. The floor is of oak, as are all the other floors of this story, on which are laid handsome Oriental rugs.
The hall is square, with paneled walls of wood painted white
The living-room opens on the right. It is a long, low apartment, lighted by windows on three sides. The walls are paneled throughout to the ceiling in a double series of panels, small below, large above, all painted French gray. The ceiling is white and without ornamentation. The mantel is of polished mottled gray marble, with black marble facings and black and gray marble hearth; the andirons are brass and the screen is wrought-iron. The window curtains are of thin white Swiss, with shades in two tones of buff, a treatment that prevails elsewhere on this floor. Bronze candle lights are applied to the walls, and the furniture coverings are green and red velour and tapestry.
The living-room is lighted on three sides and is finished in French gray

On the left of the hall a small room on the entrance front serves as a library and writing-room. It has a low paneled wainscot of wood painted white, above which the walls are covered with a beautiful tapestry paper in tones of green. There is a molded plaster cornice and a plain white ceiling The whole of one side is completely shelved in wood painted white. Behind this room is a corridor that leads to the service wing. Before these important parts are reached space is found for the stairs to the second story, and a "dust" room, fitted with built-in lockers, where there may be a preliminary cleaning up after a game of tennis.

Directly in face, beyond the hall as one enters it, is a passage which fulfills the function of a conservatory, and which obviously leads to the third wing' of the house. It is presently disclosed to be the approach to the dining-room. It is a space that has the distinct quality of a gallery. Three great windows on the right practically occupy all of that wall. There is a low wainscot of wood painted white, and the upper walls are covered with a paper, light gray in tone, of an old-time type, presenting Roman warriors in chariots, framed in small oblongs. This paper, by the way, is used for the halls and corridors everywhere, and is highly effective. The floor is paved with marble, in squares of black and white, with a border of plain white marble. The furniture is of the conservatory type, and is of iron, painted pea-green. In the midst of summer this corridor is, of course, barren of plants; and, hence, a welcome and brilliant color note is furnished by the gorgeous Japanese lantern of embroidered red and blue silk that depends from the ceiling.
The passage to the dining-room
The dining-room at the end is the final apartment in this wing. It is a square room, paneled to the ceiling in wood in two series of panels, disposed between thin pilasters that support the molded cornice. The ceiling is enriched with a central ornamentation. It is a white room, the chief note of color in which is given by the handsome mantelpiece of black and white marble which is built against a large panel in the center of the furthest wall. There are windows on three sides, which approach quite near the floor and are provided with wide sills. There is a central bronze chandelier and side lights, and the furniture is antique, with seat covers of two-toned red velvet.
The dining-room is wood-paneled and has a handsome mantel of black and white marble
The windows at the far end open on to the breakfast-room, which is actually an open porch, with square piers of stone, without enclosing parapets at the further end, with but low stone enclosures on the sides with a free opening in the center. It is floored with Welsh tile. All around it are high slim trees, and just beyond is a wall of old stone that separates Mr. Carrere's property from the open fields adjoining it.
The breakfast room beside the garden

From the breakfast-room one may conveniently enter the sunken garden that has been developed in the angle formed by the living-room and dining-room wings. In the center is a great square of grass, with rounded box trees planted at intervals and a sun-dial at one end. All around this is a narrow path, then a wide border of flowers, mostly of the old-fashioned type, and brilliantly gay at all seasons, and then a wider path. Another gay border completes the floral embellishment. The paths are lined with narrow pieces of flagstones set upright, and the whole is enclosed within a stone wall, capped with flagstone. At the head of the garden—opposite the house—is the magnificent oak tree that gives its name to the place, and which is one of choicest possessions.
Formal garden
While all the parts of the first story are very convenient and direct, it is only on the second floor that the really great size of the house is readily apparent. This is due chiefly to the fact that the lower rooms are articulated with the hall, while in the second floor they open on to lengthy corridors, the chief of which are arranged at right angles to each other. There is a longer, freer vista above than there is below, and the house that seemed modest enough in size below develops into a mansion of the first rank in the second story. The triple division that obtained below is preserved above. One wing serves as a guest wing; another is for the use of the family; and the third is for the servants. The bedrooms are everywhere charming, with their ample exposures and pretty wall papers, most of which have an old-time suggestiveness, but which are everywhere decorative in a very delightful way.

"Red Oaks" is so new a property that the ultimate development of the landscape is yet to be done. Even after three short years of growth there are many evidences of permanent improvements. The house has, as it were, so settled down that one who did not know the land before its walls were raised, can not picture to his mind the site without it. The planting near and around the house is ample and well grown. The old apple orchard has been recovered from the damage that time brings to apple orchards everywhere, and is surely as good as new, if not better; for the trees are of lusty growth, and the evidences of disease and decay have been carefully removed. The grass here, beyond the house, is beautifully kept, with a rock or two jutting up above its surface that the under world may be better kept in touch with the miracles the modern architect can create.

It still survives - as a party and wedding venue - click here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pen to Paper

          The below article from The Brickbuilder, 1912 is a time capsule of technology for how architects worked to produce the final product. In pre-computer-assisted days the focus of the office is a central  filing room. The firm Carrere & Hastings was one of the leading proponents of Beaux-Arts architecture  in America. Offices were located here.


                                                        How Architects Work                       
                                                            D Everett Ward
                                                    Offices of Noted Architects.     

The headquarters of Carrère & Hastings is an interesting study, not simply because it is one of the largest architectural offices in the world, but because, being newly planned after long experience in building up and organizing a successful professional business, the plan is an expression of the relation of the parts of the organization and the method of administration. The visitor may be surprised on being told that the filing room is the central feature around which the whole office is planned. This is true evidently because this room contains the instruments of service through which the architects accomplish their work. It is the focal point for the receiving,  distributing, and recording of designs, specifications, and orders. In theory every drawing, specification, order, and letter must pass through this room before it can leave the office. Conversely, every shop drawing, every sample submitted for approval, and every document returned must pass through this room before it reaches the architect or any department of his organization. 

Filing and Package Room
Upon effective carrying out this theory depends in large measure on the smooth working of the office administration and the prompt issuance of information upon which depends  the prompt execution of clients work. Referring to the plans  we may note first how conveniently a caller is cared for as soon as he enters the door of the general office. If he is a contractor he finds close at hand a table on which drawings may be spread  and superintendents or other executives to meet him there in conference. If he is a client he is shown into the impressively large reception room which is approached from the opposite end with equal convenience by a partner or any member of the office force; or the client can be ushered with facility to any private office for individual conference. 
Reception Room
Mr. Hastings is in immediate proximity to the reception room and the drafting room, and the work in the library is his studio. Even if he has visitors in conference a draftsman is at liberty to walk in, select a book, and return to the drafting room. The bookkeeping and financial center of office is where it should be, between the members of the firm and yet not visible from the outer office. Mr Brainerd , the business and engineering head of the firm, is in convenient touch with Mr. Hastings and the business office and is at the same time in the midst of his executive assistants. It may be remarked here that the management of the office is based on the idea that each individual should be entrusted with the charge of certain well defined work and then held responsible for results and that no automatic system can take the place of brains. When we find ourselves in the immense drafting' room we may note that the two long detail tables in the middle of the room have drawers under, containing sketches, etc., for reference, or drawing's in progress. Standing racks are ranged along between the columns, supporting drawings needed for reference by draftsmen at work.
Drafting Room
We need scarcely refer to other interesting arrangements of the office shown clearly by the plan, such as the fine sample room which is available on occasion for contractor's use. But before leaving the file room we may remark that this room is closed to all except the most efficient young lady in charge and her assistant. The latter has a mailing desk near the window and a machine for writing up records. All drawings received from the drafting room are entered on card lists, and if a drawing is handed out to any one in the drafting room its tag with a debit entry lies in a tray until that identical drawing is returned and replaced in the file. Scale drawings are kept in the metal '' clothes drier '' racks at the end of the room, and full size details are folded and filed edgewise in drawers in the manner of correspondence vertical files. Miscellaneous mounted drawings, photographs, etc., are placed in ordinary flat drawers and their location recorded by card index. The issuance and receiving of drawings, samples, etc., is recorded on thin card slips written once in duplicate and without any transcriptions, and also without requiring receipts.
For more on the lives of Carrère and Hastings click here.