Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Palatial Summer Residence, 1870


The accompanying design is one of two originated by Mr. Dudley Newton, architect, of No. 117 Front street, this city, (New York) by order of one of our prominent bankers, and is intended for a palatial summer residence on the banks of the Hudson. The house is designed to be built of stone in coursed rubble work, with window and door lintels and sills of granite, plane ashler. The main cornices and dormer windows will be made of galvanized iron, and will be painted and sanded to imitate granite. The steep parts of the roof will be slated, and the flats and piazza roofs tinned.

The walls on the inside are to be furred off with three and four inch studs, lathed and plastered. All the wooden floors throughout the house will be deafened in the following manner. First, over the naked floor joists a rough hemlock floor is to be laid; on this floor, directly over and running with the floor joists, inch strips two inches wide are to be laid, and between these strips the deafening is to be spread; over all, narrow pine floor boards will be laid; by this method we not only save the labor of cutting and fitting the boards between the floor timbers, as done in the old manner, but we have a much more solid and substantial floor, as the whole strength of the material is employed to bind the floor timbers together. The hall and vestibule floors will be laid. In marble in the usual manner, by laying brick, resting on plank, between the floor joists, and bedding in plaster.

The house will be finished throughout with hard wood in the best and most complete manner, each room being fitted in a style suited to which it is designed. The windows will all be fitted with inside shutters to fold in pockets; windows opening on the piazzas in first story and on balconies in second story, will open to the floor, and will slide up high enough to clear the head of a tall man. All the principal doors on the first floor will be five feet six inches wide; made in two parts, and folding so that the whole lower floor may be thrown open very readily for an entertainment.
There are piazzas shown on all sides of the house, which will be made of wood, and are to be painted and sanded to imitate granite.

The plan of the interior may be explained as follows: The front entrance is protected by a carriage porch, corresponding in finish to the piazzas, the vestibule is large and well lighted, the window on the left opening to the floor; the main hall is 18 by 35 feet, and is free from stairs or any obstruction; on one side will be an open grate and mantel; on the left of the hail is a library 18 feet square, and a drawing-room 21 by 33 feet, and connected with the latter is a large conservatory, which in the winter may be used as such, and in the summer, the sash being removed, may be used as a piazza. Opening from the end of the hall is a billiard-room, 18 by 29 feet; on the right is a dining-room, 20 by 30 feet, communicating with the staircase hall, and a reception-room, 18 by 20 feet; the staircase hall runs at right angles with the main hall, and connects, through a door under the stairs, with a passage leading into the butlers pantry, from which starts a private staircase to the basement, and one to the second story, thus making direct and easy communication between the kitchen and dining- room, and the various domestic offices in the base- ment with the second story. On the second floor we have six large chambers and ample closet, bath- room, and water-closet accommodations. The third story may be arranged in nearly the same manner, and the rooms will be equally if not more desirable. The halls will be lighted by a large skylight over the well-hole of front stairs. A building like this will cost from $80,000 to $100,000, according to finish.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Iron Clad Dwelling, 1870


Iron-Clad Houses.
To the late great war we owe the origin of iron clad war-ships and steamers; the succeeding peace has originated iron-clad houses. A building of this kind has just been erected for the Hon. E. A. Moore, in New York City, on the southwest corner of One Hundred and Seventeenth street and Avenue A, (Harlem.) The house stands by itself, detached from other buildings, and is represented in our engraving. It is built on a lot 75 by 100 feet, and has a space of 20 feet on each side, which is to be used as a flower garden and court-yard. The main entrance, with brown-stone steps, Ionic portico, with heavy balustrade, and balcony above the portico, is on the avenue. It is the first instance in this city where cast-iron has been used for the front of a first-class dwelling-house. The designs and details were arranged to give it the same homelike appearance which we find in our first-class brown-stone residences. They were prepared by Mr. John Alexander, the manufacturer, of Greenpoint, L. I., and executed by Mr. S. D. Hatch, architect, of this city.

The mode of securing the plates to the walls is seen by the accompanying section. The iron was thoroughly painted before being set, and a space of two inches was left between the iron and brick. The quoins, antes, cornices, sills, etc., were all executed from full-sized details furnished by the constructor, and arranged to provide against expansion and leakage with the necessary laps, washes, drips, etc.

The iron ashlars are made with slightly beveled joints, and laid in courses 14 to 15 inches high, with 12 and 8-inch brick walls carried up on the inside, to which each of the plates is anchored as shown in the section. The antes have sunk and moulded faces, 8- inch reveals with ornamental trusses, and handsomely-moulded cornices with dentil courses. The quoins on the angles project two inches with beveled edges, and raised panels on the faces ; the basement ashlar plates were made with a channeled rustic instead of beveled, as in the first and second stories; the sill courses to the basement were of brown-stone, as well as the door-sills, steps to the first story, ashlar under the ends of steps, area facings, copings, etc. The front court-yard was excavated to the depth of the basement floor, which gives a well-lighted basement and cellar.

The interior arrangement of the house is illustrated in the accompanying plans. The main building is 35 feet front by 40 feet in depth, and has 2 stories, cellar, and basement, with extension 17 by 85 feet, the latter ro containing the dining-room and butlers pantry in the first story, kitchen and laundry in the basement, and furnace-room in the cellar. On the corner, in the basement, is located the library, with private entrance from the avenue. It also contains the servants hall, bath-room, private stairs, servants entrance, kitchen and laundry, store-rooms, etc. On the first story we pass through the portico into the vestibule and a spacious hall; from here we enter by sliding doors into the reception-room to the left 9 ½ by 19 feet, and on the right side of the hall into the parlors, one of which is 14 ½ by 16 feet, and the ether 14 ½ by 20 feet.

The front has fully the appearance of brown-stone, but costs only half as much, and it is to be expected that, as soon as a longer experience in the adaptation of iron to the construction of house-fronts is at our command, a decrease in the expense of building and an increase in the beauty and utility of dwellings will be the result.

The entire cost of the house was about $16,000, an amount much below the cost of building entirely of stone or iron. The walls may be built of common cheap brick, such as otherwise could not be used for a front, and in place of building the exterior part of the wall of the more expensive stone, the cast-iron plates are used as described. In this connection we suggest the use of plates for facing the beton buildings described in this paper on a former occasion. By this combination the cost of building is likely to be still more reduced.

Thus far, when common cheap brick was used, the fronts were often plastered with cement, and painted in imitation of brown-stone. This may look well at first, but affter a few years the plaster comes generally off in patches, and the building looks very dilapidated This may be seen in some brown-stone imitation fronts of certain very pretentious houses in Philadelphia. The lining of such buildings with the iron plates here described would cause an increase in cost, which would however be fully covered by this durability and security against the otherwise necessary replastering, not to speak of the absolute ugliness of a house thus patched.

Another advantage we must not omit to mention. This is the fact that the cost of the iron used for such fronts is not only infinitely less than that of buildings constructed entirely of iron; but the cost saved in transportation is also a large item, when the building has to be sent any considerable distance. An elegant front may now be ordered in New-York, boxed up and sent to any part of the world. Any builder can then connect it with the outside of the coarsest walls, while they are in process of erection, and in this manner a residence of metropolitan aspect may be constructed almost anywhere.

Design for a Suburban Residence, 1870


The design is of a clapboarded building, fifty-three feet front by fifty-one feet deep. The height from the ground level to the top of the first floor is four feet. This gives sufficient space for light and ventilation for the cellar, which is under the whole house. The height of the first story is eleven feet, and that of the chamber story is ten feet.
The main roof, as well as the roof of each tower, is slated, and has wooden corner strips and coving. The latter is surmounted with iron crestings, as shown in the cuts.
The interior arrangements of the house are so clearly shown in the accompanying plans that no further explanation is deemed necessary.

The design contemplates the finishing of the interior in soft and hard pine, black-walnut, cherry, oak and chestnut, in the following manner: The hall in black-walnut and cherry; the entry in chestnut, with a hard pine floor; kitchen the same; dining-room in cherry, with a cherry and chestnut floor in alternate strips, three inches wide. It is estimated that the design, finished in this manner, will cost not far from $15,000. If the interior be finished plainly in pine alone, the cost could be reduced to the neighborhood of $10,000.

We are indebted for this design to Mr. James V.
Taylor, architect, No. 17 Joys Building, Boston, Mass.

Sometimes I'll look to see if I an find anything about the architects. I found an interesting little article about the nasty divorce of a Boston architect named James V. Taylor. This same man was mentioned elsewhere online, and I didn't come across another Boston architect of the same name in the same era. Could this be the designer of the above home?
New York Times ,1878

Saturday, October 6, 2007

An Italian Villa With Cupola, 1869


There is no style of domestic architecture for country villas that presents so much expression as the Italian; none that conveys ideas of more elegant comfort and picturesque effects where opportunity is given to produce a diversified outline. The style admits of much greater comfort to the interior of the second floors of country dwellings, as in almost every instance it requires that the ceilings shall be level, while the Gothic style, with its high pitch roof; gables, etc., almost invariably has the second floor ceiling a part of and cut off by the roof, a fault that is avoided in the example of which we give an illustration. This villa was erected at Portchester, on the
New Haven Railroad, is built of wood in the best manner, and at a cost of $13,000 for every thing complete,except mantels and furnace.

The dwelling is forty feet front and thirty feet deep, with a wing twenty-two feet deep in rear of main building

The hall is 8 feet wide;
the parlor, 15 x 30;
15 x 13;
dining-room, 15 x 10; with pantry and pas-
sage to kitchen.
The back-stairs are placed in the
rear hall.
The kitchen is 17 x 15, with pantry.

Off the rear hall is store-room, and from the rear hall is a door leading out on to rear piazza. It will be seen that the hall extends from front to rear, with the rear end shut off from rear hall by a sash-door with side lights, to prevent cold draughts and unpleasant smells from the kitchen. The laundry is in the basement, and is provided with tubs complete. On the second floor are six bedrooms and one bath-room, and on the third floor three servants rooms.