Monday, December 31, 2012
Sunday, December 30, 2012
FOR ENTERTAINING AT OYSTER BAY The Playhouse of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. F. McCann at their Long Island home
|- THE SUNKEN ORCHARD -|
|"SUNKEN ORCHARD" - 1936|
|"Sunken Orchard" - 2005|
Mr. McCann was also lawyer and a partner in the brokerage firm of Douglas, Armitage & McCann. Mrs. McCann, the former Helena Woolworth, reportedly spent $3.5 million for "Sunken Orchard" and subsequent architectural improvements and the twelve gardens designed by Flanders.
During the McCann ownership "Sunken Orchard" totaled more than 192 acres. Outside the French gardens were a path flanked by perennial beds, another large perennial garden, a house terrace, a swimming pool next to the outdoor tennis court, and a boxwood garden. The grounds included a woodland carpeted with wild flowers, a pond bordered with iris and azaleas, the sunken orchard(hence the name for the estate) was planted with a carpet of violets, a bridle path, a pond made in the woodland, and a dogwood allee surrounding the outdoor tennis court. In spring, a brilliant display of Darwin tulips, edged with tiarella, creeping white and lavender phlox, viola, candytuft, and forget-me-nots filled the beds. In early summer views of the perennial beds along the path show delphiniums, phlox, Japanese iris, and Oriental poppies are blooming.
|ANOTHER VIEW THE THE SUNKEN ORCHARD|
|A VIEW OF THE MEADOWS FROM THE HOUSE|
|TERRACE OFF HOUSE|
|TERRACED GARDENS AND LAWN OFF HOUSE|
|GARDEN VISTA FROM HOUSE|
|ENTRANCE INTO A EVERGREEN ENCLOSED GARDEN|
|EVERGREEN ENCLOSED GARDEN|
|GARDEN FACADE WITH TERRACED TURF PANELS|
|VISTA FROM THE OUTDOOR TENNIS COURT|
|DOGWOOD ALLEE NEAR OUTDOOR TENNIS COURT|
|LANDSCAPE PLAN - CLICK HERE TO SEE A 1966 AERIAL|
The Playhouse and French gardens were a Versailles-like oasis designed for twentieth-century recreation and entertainment. Flanders wrote the playhouse and its gardens were "used for informal entertainment as well as for large formal affairs. Gardens designed in the manner of the formal French gardens best met the client's requirements for two types of entertainment, as they afford spaces for large numbers of people and more intimate places for small gatherings." The playhouse contained the indoor tennis court, a music room, a ballroom, and other smaller rooms for more casual gatherings.
|GARDEN PATH FLANKED BY PERENNIALS OUTSIDE THE FRENCH GARDEN|
|WOODLAND WALK BETWEEN RESIDENCE AND PLAYHOUSE|
FOR ENTERTAINING AT OYSTER BAY
The Playhouse of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. F. McCann at their Long Island home.
|THE ENTRANCE PORTICO EXPRESSES A CHARMING BIT OF OLD-WORLD ATMOSPHERE|
James W. O'Connor, architect Annette Hoyt Flanders, landscape architect
Against the light beige stucco walls, the ironwork, painted white, and the white trim afford pleasing contrast. Other ironwork, above the portico, makes an agreeable break in the parapet wall. As one enters, there are dressing rooms to the left and right and beyond is the lounge, opening on the enclosed tennis court. The Louis XIV terra cotta figures are especially interesting notes of the low wall, on which are salmon pink and vermilion geraniums. On both sides of the portico is box and climbing up the walls are Dr. W. Van Fleet roses.
|IN SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER THE FRENCH GARDENS OF THE McCANN PLAYHOUSE ARE A TRIUMPH OF SHADES OF PINK AND GREEN|
|ALL THE OLD COBBLESTONES FOR THE ENTRANCE COURT AND PARKING SPACE WERE BROUGHT FROM FRANCE|
|FROM THE MCCANN LOUNGE ACCESS IS HAD TO THIS DELIGHTFUL TERRACE LEADING TO THE FRENCH GARDEN|
Here the roses, en espalier on the walls, the euonymus, the oleanders in tubs and the Japanese cherry trees create a most engaging background for the French blue-green iron furniture. The wing at the right houses the large music room, below the level of the other rooms.
|LAWN OFF ENTRANCE DRIVE - THE TENNIS HOUSE WOULD BE TO THE RIGHT|
|ENTRANCE INTO THE FRENCH GARDEN FROM THE FORECOURT|
|CENTRAL AXIS OF THE FRENCH GARDEN|
|PLAYHOUSE GARDEN LOOKING BACK TO MUSIC ROOM|
|DETAIL OF STEPS AND IVY|
|VISTA FROM PLAYHOUSE TO TEMPLE|
|LOOKING NORTH FROM THE CENTRAL AXIS - ENTRANCE TO GARDEN FROM FORECOURT ON THE FAR RIGHT|
|LOOKING SOUTH TOWARDS THE CENTRAL AXIS - NOTE THE BLOOMING PHOLX|
|AXIAL VIEW TO FOUNTAIN|
|VISTA SHOWING MUSIC ROOM ON THE LEFT|
|FOUNTAIN TERMINUS OFF CROSS AXIS|
|ANOTHER VIEW OF THE TEMPLE|
|LOOKING BACK TO TENNIS HOUSE|
|INDOOR TENNIS COURT|
|TENNIS HOUSE TODAY|
|THE TAP ROOM IN THE McCANN PLAYHOUSE FINELY SUGGESTS THE QUALITIES OF AN ANCIENT ENGLISH INN|
Decorations by Elsie Sloan Farley
Old oak is used for the panels and beams as well as for the furniture, which is of characteristic rural English style. Against the gold-tinted walls the collection of hunting prints and stirrup cups, some the traditional fox heads and others the rarer fish heads, gives what color is needed. The floor is tile and the windows have thin curtains of
gold to match the walls.
|Paneling by Stair & Andrew, Inc. Decorations by French & Co.|
The fireplace composition in the large music room is a keynote of the discriminating taste and judgment that have gone into the creation of it. Over the mantelpiece is a Van Dyck, flanked by Ming figures, and lower down are Eighteenth Century portraits of the English school. The curtains are of antiqued red brocatelle and the rugs are antique Fereghans. ***A connoisseur of Chinese export porcelain, her collection is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.***
|THE OLD OAK PANELED LOUNGE IS A SUPERB EXAMPLE OF A LOUIS XV COUNTRY STYLE ROOM|
Besides the cream colored flowered brocade that is used for several pieces, some of the chairs are covered with material of a prune color which matches the ground of the Aubusson rug. The architectural treatment of the windows is highly pleasing and permits of unusual arrangement. The Louis XV cabinet is pale yellow and green. The chandelier is old rock crystal.
|Decorations by Elsie Sloan Farley|
One feels that here is expressed to a marked degree the personality of the owners, who are ardent collectors and connoisseurs. The lovely wall cabinet, for instance, has rare porcelains and china and first editions. A particularly fine old piece is the Louis XVI chaise lounge covered with flowered brocade. The wing chair opposite has a dull green damask covering.
|THE McCANN MUSIC ROOM IS ADAPTED FROM ONE OF THE GREAT EARLY ENGLISH HALLS|
Paneling by Stair & Andrew, Inc. Decorations by French & Co.
In the manner of the late Fifteenth and early Sixteenth centuries, the walls are of oak, assembled from many old rooms, with the upper part of hand modeled plaster. The high pitched roof, of half-timber construction, is sustained by five great arched trusses. The north end of the room contains a minstrel gallery, with an organ console, while opposite is a large bay, the casement windows of which, like those on the east and west walls are embellished with finely colored Sixteenth Century English heraldic glass. Artistic merit and comfort are evident in the arrangement of the Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth century furniture and art objects. In general the sofas and chairs are covered with fine antique needle point tapestry and velvet: the larger easy chairs are of soft gold broeatelle. Among the magnificent tapestries this one, over a Renaissance walnut table, is early Sixteenth Century Flemish. On the other side of the same wall is a Sixteenth Century carved French walnut cabinet, one of the finest examples of its kind extant.
|THE INTERIOR FITTINGS OF THE MUSIC ROOM WERE DONATED TO POST COLLEGE(LIU) IN 1966|
|NOTE THE MINSTREL GALLERY|
|THE BONES OF THE FRENCH GARDEN SURVIVE|
Click HERE to see when "Sunken Orchard" was for sale.
The DARKSIDE of the playhouse.
Umberto Innocenti died in 1968. Richard Webel died in 2000. The firm continues to practice as Innocenti & Webel in Locust Valley, NY.
The McCann's Manhattan townhouse is being offered for sale at $90million. They also owned "Beauport" outside Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Fay Ingall's father was once known to be a candidate for President and was the organizer of the original "Big Four".
Friday, December 28, 2012
***Below are photos from the 1920 publication THE MONOGRAPH OF THE WORK OF McKIM, MEAD & WHITE, 1878-1917*** Originally attached to Gilded Age Poster Child
|Courtyard Entrance Front|
|***Key was cut from below plan - Windmill was positioned by NEW COTTAGES shown below***|
|***Wheatly's stable was lost to a fire in which 20 of Morgan's champion thoroughbreds perished***|
***Click HERE to read the New York Times article from March 14 1907 chronicling the fire.***
|GENERAL VIEW OF BUILDINGS|
***The photographer must have climbed the windmill to get this shot!***
|GENERAL VIEW OF GARDEN|
|VIEW IN GARDEN|
|Court Elevation of House|
***Below is a 1920 advertisement for THE MONOGRAPH OF THE WORK OF McKIM, MEAD & WHITE, 1878-1917***
This magnificent publication was edited and prepared for the publishers in the office and under the supervision of Messrs. McKim, Mead & White. All of the photographs were taken especially for use in these four books, and every drawing was made in their office. The publication was commenced early in 1914 and was not completed until 1920. It consists of four volumes, containing 400 plates; the photographs are reproduced in photogravure and the measured and detail drawings in line engravings. Over 50 buildings are completely illustrated. Size of plates, 14 x 20 inches. Price in portfolio, $120.00. Bound, with plates on linen hinges, $150.00
Click HERE to learn more about "Wheatly".