Thursday, April 6, 2017

RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT


RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT

Calif.. Burlingame—C. H. Bennett Building Company awarded contract for the erection of a new home to cost $100,000 at Menlo Park for Robert S. Moore, head of the Moore Shipbuilding Company. Engineering & Contracting, 1920


Albert L. Farr
When Albert Farr created the home of Robert S. Moore in Menlo Park, a dream came true. With an author's privilege, let us translate his thoughts and visions into speech.


"It is Mexico, the golden; Mexico, land of sunshine, of fruit and flowers; Mexico, the 'New Spain' of the West. The traditions of the early colonists from the mother country have become a settled heritage in language, customs, buildings, modified sufficiently to meet local conditions of climate and soil.

"In my veins flows the blood of the conquerors.   The home I build must recall the land of my forebears; in it I wish reflected the pride and pomp of a noble race, softened by the charm and romance of its devotion to family ties.

"The spirit of hospitality must be evident—that traditional hospitality of the Orient which has become also a tradition of Spain, revered and handed down to Spain's children.

"And, indeed, there must be more than a suggestion of the Orient itself. For Moorish art and imagery are entwined in the life of Spain. Let there be felt, then, subtle influences of Grenada, of the Alhambra; the cool tinkle of water in a thirsty land, a tiled fountain in a courtyard, delicate arabesques and arches, interlacing grilles, recessed balconies. 

"But there must be no discord between the old world and the new. Our actual conditions are to be considered ; our climate and countryside, the wealth of verdure, the spread of branch, and the riots of color that succeeding seasons bring. And all the accessories and devices that add to the comfort and convenience of modern life are to be provided. To weld together all these varying elements of the past and the present into a harmonious ensemble—this is the ideal for which I will strive."


ENTRANCE DRIVEWAY - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
Accepting the differences between Californian and Mexican vegetation, this is the ideal which Mr. Farr has accomplished. An alluring picture greets you as you turn from the highway into this broad avenue with its sentinel guard of tall, straight poplars. 


MAIN FACADE - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
Straight through the outer court gate goes your eye, to the focal point of the picture—the richly modeled Churrigueresque doorway "chiseled like a jewel," as Ibanez says of the Toledo porch. The charm of this bit of fanciful ornament is emphasized by its axial importance, the surrounding simplicity of wall surface, and its sentimental significance.


DETAIL OF MAIN ENTRANCE - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
The branches of a magnificent oak cast delicate tracery of light and shade upon the near corner of the house, still further enriching the setting of the door ; and the mass outline, above and around, frames a background with a well-defined "informal balance".


THE MIRROR POOL - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR. ARCHITECT
While all these elements of the picture do not consciously register at once, it is certain that the mellowness of color causes an instant stir of pleasure.  Walls of a soft salmon pink; tile of varying shades from tan to reddish brown, with occasionally one of warm blue; woodwork and grilles of that tone which is the borderland between blue and green; the emerald base of lawn and the sapphire crown of sky—here is a luscious combination which would disarm the severest critic.


CARRIAGE COURT GATEWAY - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT

Passing around the house, each side has its own special interest.


THE LAWN - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
The living rooms and living porch lead to a broad open terrace overlooking lawn and rose garden. 


OAKS AND LAWN - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT

This lawn, with its splendid surrounding oaks, is obviously intended by nature and art for an open air annex to the living quarters of the house ; and the walled rose garden for similar use when greater seclusion or shelter is desirable. 


ROSE GARDEN FROM TERRACE - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR. ARCHITECT
There is a fascinating atmosphere of the Old World in the rose garden; long, curving, tile-capped walls, with high arched gates, posts crowned with urns, silhouetted against the background of feathery pepper trees and trembling poplars—one might well be in the "Forbidden Garden" of some Andalusian convent.


THE HOUSE FROM SOUTH GARDEN
RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT

On the opposite side of the house, the guest chambers look out over a bright garden border to an oblong lawn in which lies a long, narrow pool surrounded by stepping stones. This will in time be shielded by a high hedge, so that it will form a little retreat of absolute privacy.


THE HOUSE FROM WEST GARDEN
RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE  - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
The service court is surrounded by flower beds and orchards, and from this side the house presents a picturesque grouping of roofs and chimneys far removed from the usual utilitarian aspect.


MAIN FLOOR PLAN
RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE  - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
A square, high-vaulted hall connects the entrance directly with the patio, which is the heart of the house. 


FOUNTAIN IN PATIO - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
It is practically impossible to describe any patio; there is an elusive charm that must be experienced in person. 

PATIO - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
 This one, indeed, is not just an enclosed court; it has a romantic air; one expects something to happen, but nothing except what is peaceful and joyful.


PATIO TOWARD LIVING PORCH - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT

Only the growth of vine and shrub is needed to perfect it, especially in the case of the urns cropping out of the roof along the sides, and the balcony at the rear. 


PATIO - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
Incidentally, the corresponding pinnacles along the outer terrace side of the living porch do not quite justify themselves.  A clear sweep of roof would have been somewhat more pleasing there.


PATIO AT NIGHT - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
                 THE INTERIORS



LIVING PORCH - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
The living porch itself, with its walls of sliding glass between patio and terrace, is a long room in pleasant tones of tan with an extremely interesting Moorish tile wainscot of blue and grayish white with touches of yellow. The wooden ceiling is noteworthy, stained a soft dove gray. 


FOUNTAIN IN LIVING PORCH
RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT

Living and dining rooms are treated with plain plaster walls painted a creamy white, and with rich honeycomb ceilings. They are dignified, restful rooms, and furnish a good foil for the more brilliant portions of the house.


STAIR HALL TO PRIVATE SUITES - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
The stair hall opening from the patio and leading to the private suites in the upper story has quite the flavor of Grenada with its tiled wainscot and floor, its curving stairs with delicate metal railing, and its fountain under the broad Moorish arch.

When these rooms are completely and consistently furnished the interior of the house will acquire the distinctive character which the exterior already possesses; for, although barely finished, this house and its setting have already acquired individuality and harmony.

                 THE GARDENS


PLOT PLAN
RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
Probably the feature that has caused the greatest comment in the gardens recently developed at the R. S. Moore home at Menlo Park is the rapidity with which these new gardens have taken on an old and mature effect. Only three months after the gardens were completed attention was called to the fact that they looked to be at least five years of age. Most new places look new, and do not take on the time-worn feeling for several seasons and only after nature has been given time to do her work. In this case, however, time was "taken by the forelock" and nature by the "ears" and given a premature push into early maturity. As in business Mr. Moore demands maximum results in a minimum of time, so in this work maximum results were sought for in the shortest possible period.

Two big factors enter into the element of quick results in garden construction: First, broad sweeps of lawn, and second, the purchase of large-sized nursery stock. By largest size nursery stock, we do not mean a full grown tree, but simply the largest size of stock that a nursery can handle with practical results. Thus in our selection of the nursery stock for this place only the very finest and largest specimens were purchased. It is a peculiar fact that there are no single nurseries in this State that contain the best stock of all varieties. The immense number of ornamentals which thrive successfully in California make it impossible for nurseries to specialize in everything, and we have found after much experience that it usually takes at least a dozen nurseries to supply every variety in a large plan if the best stock is desired. In this garden seventeen nurseries were patronized to obtain the stock necessary. Incidentally this is one of the big reasons why it does not pay to place the development of a garden plan in the hands of any one nursery.


John William Gregg
The main landscape plan in this garden was first conceived and designed by Professor John W. Gregg, of the University of California, and the excellence of the scheme as worked out has more than demonstrated Professor Gregg's ability in landscape design. The general scheme was of a two-fold nature: First, the carrying out of axes and lines of the house into the garden, thus tying in the garden with the house and making of the two a closely bound and harmonious unit, and second, to divide the garden into a number of separate and distinct compartments, as out-of-door rooms, each with its own function to perform. Only a visit on the ground can show how perfectly these effects have been worked out.

 SUMMER HOUSE - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT
As the work progressed the writer had the privilege of developing some parts more in detail than the original plans indicated. Such an area was originally devoted to a gardener's plotting shed and hot beds, but was later redesigned to contain a garden house, a rockery with tree ferns and a naturalistic pool and waterfall, with an open-air fireplace for summer evening entertainment. A number of these details are shown in the illustrations. 


OPEN-AIR FIREPLACE - RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT

This compact little group of attractions exemplify the out-of-door living-room idea, and will be used continually in good seasons of the year.


GARAGE
RESIDENCE OF ROBERT S. MOORE - ALBERT FARR, ARCHITECT


The property in 1941 showing the long driveway of poplars.
The property today, now in the town of Atherton.
Across the street is Moore Acres with a Robert S Drive.

The house today minus its Churrigueresque.
Moore Dry Dock Company

The Stanford Daily, Volume 77, Issue 19, 27 February 1930

ROBERT MOORE WILLS $30,000 TO UNIVERSITY

Bequest Giving Memorial Scholarship Is Probated In Redwood City Court

University of California Receives Like Gift From San Francisco Financier

By the terms of the will of Robert S. Moore of San Francisco and Menlo Park, filed for probate yesterday in the superior court in Redwood City, Stanford is to receive a gift of $110,000 for a scholarship fund to he Known as the Robert S. Moore scholarship. The University of California received a similar bequest to establish a Florence Moore scholarship. According to Acting President Swain, the University authorities have not been informed of the exact nature of the scholarship or its purpose. Dr. Swain declared that the gift had come out of a clear sky. Moore, a prominent San Francisco capitalist, was president of the Pacific Securities Company, chairman of the hoard of directors of the Paraffine Companies Ltd., and associated with the Risdon Iron Works and Moore Shipbuilding Company, he left an estate of over a million dollars, the greater part of which will go to his wife, Mrs. Florence Moore. One bequest of $50,000 goes to the San Francisco Community Chest. Another gift is one of $5,000 to the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Besides the two universities and Mrs. Moore, there are a number of smaller beneficiaries of the will. The well-known Menlo Park resident died February 16 in San Francisco. Moore was 73 years of age at the time of his death.


Florence Moore Hall
Designed by Milton Pflueger, head of California’s oldest architectural firm, Florence Moore Hall was deliberately built to be asymmetrical. The often-recounted story is that Florence Moore, who donated $1 million for the residence, provided the money on the condition that ice cream be served each day in the dining halls. She also specified that closets in each room accommodate a woman’s formal gown. Florence Moore’s husband, Robert S. Moore, joined her in having a residence named after him - the Row house called Robert S. Moore South or, more commonly, BOB.

Friday, January 20, 2017

THE FUTURE OF THE WHITE HOUSE


As the new While House would look from Pennsylvania Avenue.   The centre is the present building, the columned wing on each side being the proposed additions

THE FUTURE OF THE WHITE HOUSE
By    COLONEL   THEODORE    A.    BINGHAM,    U. S. A.
Engineer in Charge of the Executive Mansion and Grounds With the Plans Made by 


Elizabeth K. Monroe
Louisa Catherine Adams

Frederick D. Owen, Under the Direction of the Late Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, and Portraits of the Ladies of the White House, Collected by Julius F. Sachse from the Most Authentic Sources


SOME day the present White House will have to
 be enlarged, and that day cannot be far distant. 
Sarah Yorke Jackson
Emily Donelson
It should not have been 
postponed as long as it has been. But there is some consolation in the fact that the question has recently come in such a way that it is sure to command the attention of the country within a very few months.




The awakening of interest in the enlargement of the White House was brought about by the action of a Centennial Committee composed of Senators, Governors and other prominent and representative citizens from all parts of the country. A meeting was held in Washington last February, and plans for celebrating the end of one century and the beginning of another at the National Capital were discussed. It was the general sentiment that there should be some permanent mark established in Washington to commemorate this epoch in our history. Several suggestions were made and discussed, and in the final report the Committee on Permanent Memorial suggested the extension of the White House to meet the demands of the present time.
Mrs. Robert Tyler
This subject has been growing more and more prominent each year as the necessity for it has become more apparent to those whose business or pleasure brings them in contact with the Executive Mansion.


During her occupancy of the White House the late Mrs. Benjamin Harrison took a great interest in this subject and studied it carefully, being assisted by the advice of competent persons, and especially of the Engineer Officer then in charge of Public Buildings and Grounds, and by the talented architect elsewhere referred to.  As a result, plans were drawn which, while susceptible of some improvements, may confidently meet honest criticism in all respects.   These plans are herewith presented.

WHITE MARBLE SHOULD BE USED FOR EXTENSION

THE material used for the extension should be white marble, as this will preserve the historic color and will match the original building, which must always be kept painted in order to preserve it. The extensions should be as nearly fireproof as possible, and all points of construction should be the best taught by modern science.

At the same time care should be taken that, while the home of the American President should comport with the dignity and greatness of his high office and the wealth and power of our nation, its elegance should yet be simple and enduring. Nothing demands that this house should exceed in richness of detail or wealth of decoration the homes of all other citizens of the Republic. On the contrary, it should just meet that middle line between dignified elegance and unnecessary display which will excite the respect (even if unexpressed) of the foreigner and satisfy the common-sense of the mass of the American people.



THE PRESENT BUILDING SHOULD BE KEPT INTACT

IN THE plan for building a new house for the President elsewhere than on the present site it has been proposed to utilize the present mansion for offices. One plea therefor has been that the historic building should be left as it is. This is certainly to be insisted on. But it is said the mansion is too pure a piece of architecture to be marred by additions. This, however, is a specious argument, since the original design contemplated side additions, and if the building in its present state were used as offices it would be wrecked in five or six years. Those who have no experience with public buildings, or with this building in


Martha Johnson Patterson
particular, have no conception of the wear and tear on a President's office. It surpasses that on any other office in the country. The present Executive Mansion was lightly built, and is already expensive to keep in proper repair. Its floor beams are not strong enough to endure office use. Great difficulty has arisen in the past with the few rooms now used as the President's executive offices, and great watchfulness has to be constantly exercised. Several times the floors have threatened to break through. The stairs have already broken down, one flight being now supported by a chain. Still, to remodel for office use only, 
the whole interior of our historic Executive Mansion would be not only a very expensive matter, but would fail to meet the requirements of the case, and also, it is believed, the approval of the country at large. 

To live in the White House has been held up to the ambition of every schoolboy for a hundred years, and our people would hardly, if ever, entertain the idea of having the President live elsewhere. Let a summer house be built somewhere else, perhaps, but there is really no good reason why the home of the President should, for another Century, if ever, be removed from the house and the site so close to the hearts of the people.


      Conversation with hundreds of visitors from all parts of the country has revealed an overwhelming preponderance of sentiment in favor, under all circumstances, of preserving intact the present structure, no matter what plan may finally be adopted for the greater accommodation of the President's private life and official work.

SPECIAL ADVANTAGES OF MRS. HARRISON'S PLANS

Mrs. Harrison's plans would involve a minimum of disturbance of the present conservatories now attached to the mansion — only one section requiring to be moved until the final completion of the entire plans, when all the conservatories are finally removed to their location in the general plans.

It is certain that the carrying out of Mrs. Harrison's plans would give America perhaps the most delightful house for private and official life of any Chief Executive in the civilized world.

Some may ask, what are the special advantages of Mrs. Harrison's plans? They are, to my mind, briefly these : The official and private ends of the mansion are kept separate, as now, avoiding all confusion of moving and of refitting and modernizing the present private apartments — a very expensive matter owing to the peculiar construction of the present building.

 As the rear would appear overlooking the Presidents garden toward the Washington Monument.   The centre, over which the flag is flying, is the present building, the wing on each side and the conservatory in front being the proposed additions and changes

 Mrs. Harrison's Plan

    By 1889, Mrs. Caroline Scott Harrison had decided that the White House should be expanded in a grand manner to include an executive wing and a museum wing. 

Mrs. Harrisons most ambitious conception would have extended the original house southward by adding a historical art wing facing the Treasury Department to the east, and an official wing facing the State, War and Navy Building to the west. Glass-enclosed palm gardens, plant conservatories and a lily pond would complete the southern portion of the quadrangle, which would be linked by two-story connectors, colonnaded cross halls and large glass domes to enclose a private inner courtyard.
 
   Mrs. Harrison worked with architect Frederick D. Owen to create a plan to expand the White House on the east and west sides and build a new conservatory on the south side, creating a large courtyard in the middle. The plan was rejected by Congress, and the Harrisons instead renovated the mansion with electricity and other modern conveniences.


The model revealed plans to replace the crowded working spaces with new offices, public and entertaining spaces and press rooms by constructing massive, flanking two-story cylindrical wings with domes and lanterns patterned after those at the Library of Congress. 
   
   On December 12, 1900, the City of Washington celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary as the seat of the federal government and the home of the president. The centennial of the first occupancy of the White House by President John Adams was observed with a great reception at the White House, a parade to the Capitol and observances by both houses of Congress. A centerpiece of the White House reception was a large plaster model of the plan.






George Inslee's proposal for a private residence in 1881 for President Chester Arthur
   
   Throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century, several major proposals were made to alleviate crowding at the White House by erecting a new residence for the president and converting the old building to office and ceremonial use. 

Colored glass screen by Tiffany that was located in the Entrance Hall
Peter Waddell, The Grand Illumination
   
   President Chester Arthur pressed for a new house in 1881, but had to settle for a refurbishment of the staterooms by Louis Comfort Tiffany


The lobby of the White House after renovations
Hand-tinted photo, circa 1904
    Congressional approval in 1902 of what was called the Roosevelt Restoration witnessed implementation of several concepts of the Harrison and Bingham plans, if not their details. President Theodore Roosevelt selected the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White to complete a renovation of the house that led to major changes in the interior and in the functioning of the building. 


The 19th-century conservatories were razed, and a new temporary executive office building, later called the West Wing, was erected

White House, Office Building, and tennis court, where the Roosevelt tennis cabinet met
   
   With a few exceptions, much of the complex we know today reflect the design of 1902 that preserved the White House as the home of the president.

Colored glass screen by Tiffany that was located in the Entrance Hall
   
   One of the most legendary objects in The White House’s history was the colored glass screen by Tiffany that was located in the Entrance Hall. It was removed on the orders of new President Teddy Roosevelt in 1902, who supposedly wanted it smashed into little pieces. 



   Rumor has it that the tremendous lost screen was instead removed, auctioned off for $275, and eventually installed into the Belvedere Hotel in Maryland, which burnt to the ground in 1923. Some historians speculate President Roosevelt’s motivations in removing a national treasure might date back to his personal animosity to Tiffany, possibly inspired by the bitter litigation and dispute with the town of Oyster Bay during Tiffany’s acquisition of the property of "Laurelton Hall", originally public picnic grounds and an old hotel of the same name.

The Expansion that Never Was: 1889-1901

Truman Reconstruction : 1948-1952

Kennedy Renovation: 1961-1963