The History Main Page New York City Directory The World Of Society Main Directory    

Newport's Villas 1878

  Mr. Lorillard's New Villa

The improvements since last year have been many and costly. The most important is the magnificent new residence just finished for Pierre Lorillard, and occupied by his family for the first time on Monday evening. It is eligibly situated on Ochre Point, and is 181, feet long, 84 feet wide, and three stories high. The underpinning is of Cape Ann granite, and the body is of selected Philadelphia brick, laid in red mortar, with trimmings of Nova Scotia and North River blue-stone. The roof is Gothic, and is indented with high peaks, gables, and dormer windows. At the side of the front entrance is a large octagonal brick tower, rising high above the roof, and surmounted by a gilded vane. The lookout at the top is reached by a spiral staircase.

On nearly all sides are broad piazzas with flooridelphia brick and tiles bordered with blue-stone. The interior fittings are exceptionally rich and tasteful. There is a library, 19 by 28 feet, with a large square bay. The flooring is of white oak parquetries, and the bookcases, paneling, and mantels of butternut artistically carved. The drawing-room is the same size as the library. Its flooring and paneling are of red brick laid in fancy designs. The morning-room is also of similar dimensions. It is finished in butternut and oak. These three rooms are to the right of the front entrance. The dining room, on the opposite side, is 19 by 35 feet. The flooring, mantel, and wainscoting are of oak, laid in fancy patterns. It is provided with two large carved sideboards to match, and has a French window on one side and a bay on the other. The billiard-room, on the same side, is octagonal in shape, with platformed recesses for those who desire to witness the games. There are two tables. The room has paneled arches and flooring of oak, with butternut trimmings. Behind this is the china closet or butler's pantry, 16 by 24 feet, and finished in butternut. A large refrigerator has been built into it. All these rooms have heavy plaster cornices, with pearl drops or dentils, and are unusually well lighted. In the rear are the kitchen, housekeeper's and servants' rooms. Below these are the laundry and drying rooms, and underneath the main building is the wine-cellar and heaters. The front entrance is on the west. It is protected by a large porte-cochere, inclosing a vestibule 10 by 14 feet, with brick sides and a tile floor.

The inner vestibule, reached by folding doors, is 12 by 15 feet. It is wainscored to a height of eight feet, with butternut, and has a ceiling with raised panels and heavy moldings. On one side of it there is a small dressing-room. The main hall is 54 feet long and 36 feet wide, and is lighted by 480 burners. It is intended to be used as a lounging room and ball-room. It extends upward to the roof. A gallery for spectators, six feet wide, runs around three sides of the second floor, leaving an opening in the centre. The fourth side, over the front entrance, is taken up with a music gallery. The walls are wainscoted in butternut to the height of six feet. Above that to the cornice under the gallery they are covered with stamped and painted leather. The upper portions are frescoed. The ceiling is paneled in butternut with stucco cornices. The hall ends in a circular bay flanked by five large French windows. Leading to the first floor are three flights of stairs, one of which is for the exclusive use of the family. The newel post at the bottom is a work of art. Near it is a room for storing guns, fishing tackle, and other sporting apparatus. On the second floor are the family chamber, over-looking the breakers; five guest chambers, eight sleeping-rooms, and three bath-rooms. On the third floor are 18 chambers. All these rooms are elegantly finished in various kinds of rare native woods, and all are provided with high mantels, after the old English style, richly carved.

There are, besides, numerous dressing-rooms, clothes-presses, pantries, and retiring-rooms on each floor, and every room is provided with electric bells, and all other modern conveniences. The furniture is of the richest and most luxurious description. The outbuildings are a porter's lodge, a stable, 79 by 50 feet, with 16 single and three box stalls, and a carriage-house 31 by 50 feet, with six rooms on the second floor for the coachmen, footmen, and other attendants. These correspond in design with the house. On the top of the stable is a large wind-mill, which will serve as a ventilator and will be used to pump salt water from the ocean into the house, and also to pump fresh water from the two cisterns, each 24 by 30 feet and 12 feet deep. A large reservoir is now being constructed near the stable. The site cost $65,000, the house $80,000, the furniture $60,000, the stable and carriage-house $11,000, and the porter's lodge $4,000. Thirteen thousand dollars additional have been expended in laying out the grounds, which comprise 12 acres. The surrounding fence is of iron, with brick, gate-posts, surmounted by vases filled with tropical plants.

Other New Villas.

A new villa has been erected for Mr. Thomas Dunn, the well-known china merchant, near Coasters' Harbor. it is in the Queen Anne Style 86 by 48 feet, of native stone, with trimmings of Danvers brick. The main house is three stories high, with a one-story octagon on the west side 22 by 24 feet, a two-story octagon on the south, and a two-story bay on the same side. A large porte-cochere extends out over the front entrance, its roof resting upon a cluster of columns, which in turn are supported on large brick piers with, granite bases and caps. The ridges of the roof are made in imitation of terra-cotta work, and the flats have crest railings. The numerous gables, peaks, and dormers have ornaments, with finials of various designs, which are gilded. One gable is constructed to represent a dovecote; others are fitted with carved pomegranate blossoms. There are entrances at the side and rear in addition to that at the front. The main hall is 18 by 20 feet; the parlor is 22 by 23 feet, with a square bay, a mullion window, and two French windows; the library is 18 by 22 feet, with a bay and a French window looking south; the dining-room is 28 by 25 feet. Leading from this is the "Den," Mr. Dunn's sanctum, 13 by 18 feet, and lighted by two bays and a French window. The butler's pantry is 16 by 20 feet, and is connected directly with the kitchen. At each landing is a window filled with colored glass. On one side of the hall is a hat closet. On the second floor are two chambers, 22 feet square, with dressing-rooms, bath-room, &c., a nursery, 19 by 22 feet, and a nurse's room looking out on the roof of the porte-cochere, which, being provided with a railing, may be used as a balcony. On the third floor are two guests' chambers, five other chambers, and one complete suite of rooms. The servants' apartments, bath-rooms, linen closets, &C., are all in the wing. There is also an elevator worked by an endless chain and running to all the floors. The interior is finished in oak, maple, black walnut, ash, butternut, and other hard woods, richly carved and paneled. All the principal rooms have great fireplaces after the old English style. The mantels are massive, and have been artistically carved from original designs. The stable is in keeping with the house. it is 31 by 50 feet, with five stalls, carriage and harness rooms on the first floor, and five living rooms in the second story.

A magnificent villa is in course of erection for Commodore C.H. Baldwin, United States Navy, on Bellevue-avenue, a short distance from the Ocean House. It is of pine wood and Philadelphia brick, 95 by 56, and is broken up into a series of picturesque bays, towers, peaks, and gables. It has the usual porte-cochere, with marble steps leading to the vestibule. The latter opens into a large hall similar to that in Mr. Lorillard's house, and devoted to similar uses. The gable windows are of colored glass. On the first floor are a parlor 23 by 30 feet, a reception-room 11 feet square, a billiard-room 18 by 26 feet, a dining-room 23 by 24 feet, a butler's pantry, scullery, kitchen, &C. These rooms are all floored in ash and black walnut, with paneling and ceilings of the latter wood trimmed with butternut, and are provided with marble mantles with fancy tile and terra-cotta facings. On the second floor are seven sleeping apartments, and on the third floor five, with connecting dressing, bath, and retiring rooms, and all the other latest modern conveniences. The ridges on the peaks, corners, and gables are fitted with a combing of pretty design, with wooden finials which are surmounted with iron vanes. There are spacious piazzas on all sides, their roofs supported on groups of carved columns, resting on brick piers two feet above the flooring. A stable to correspond is also being built, and the grounds are being artistically laid out at great expense.

Minor Improvements

A pretty Swiss cottage, 43 by 37 feet, and two and a half stories high, has been built on Gibbes avenue for Prof. Walcott Gibbs, of Harvard College. It has terraces, bay windows, peaks, and piazzas on all sides. Inside it is finished in ash, walnut, butternut, and pine. Near the above a cottage of the modern Swiss style has been constructed for Miss Sarah Gibbes, of New York. The main building is 35 by 45 feet, and the addition 25 by 30 feet. There are a porte-cochere, bay windows, piazzas on three sides, and the roof is broken up into peaks, gables, &C. Mr. G.M. Rose has erected a new cottage, 25 by 30 feet and one and a half stories, with Mansard roof, bay windows, &c. Mr. S. Whitney Phoenix has built two additions to his villa on Hallidon Hill. One is three stories, with a billiard-room on the first floor, and sleeping rooms above. The other is one story in height, and octagonal in shape, and will be used as a music-room. The floors are prettily inlaid in cherry and ash, and the ceilings are paneled with carved and molded butternut. In the main building the hall and many of the principal rooms have been refinished in hard wood. The hall has been wainscoted in black walnut, with panels of mahogany. The library has been refurnished and wainscoted in oak, and a frame-work, supported by richly-carved black walnut columns, has been substituted for the partition between that room and the hall. The parlor has been floored and paneled in oak and cherry, the drawing-room in oak, and the billiard-room in chestnut, and all have been provided with expensive new mantels and magnificently refurnished.

 Prof. Alexander Agassiz, of Harvard, has added to his cottage on Castle Hill a large two-story laboratory, a three-story wing, 14 by 18 feet, at the right of the front door, with a Gothic roof to correspond with the main house; a porte-cochere over the front entrance, and a servants' dining-room on the east, 14 by 16 feet. The parlor has been beautified by the addition of a bay, and an oaken floor has been laid, with paneling about the room of black walnut. The Professor will instruct a class of young men during the Summer months on the plan of the Pekinese island School. The basement of the laboratory will be used as a store-room for boats, fishing tackle, and hunting paraphernalia. Mr. George Peabody Wetmore has refitted two of the principal chambers of his splendid mansion in hard wood, including walls and ceilings, and has put in large fireplaces of fancy brick. The stone villa on Bellevue avenue formerly owned by the Sumner family, and now the property of Mrs. D.W. Holmes, of Boston, has been improved by the addition of three dormer windows. A three story wing has been built to Mr. John B. Newton's villa at Bull and Mount Vernon streets. Mr. Edward Mayer has put a Mansard roof upon his Washington street villa. Mr. W.W. Tucker, of Boston, has built on his premises on Bellevue avenue a neat cottage of the use of his gardener. The villa of ex-Gov. Swann, of Maryland, has been completely refurnished in superb style. Improvements of a minor character have been made to the villas of H.B. Tompkins, A.L. Whiting, Mrs. W. H. Russell, F.S.G. D'Hauteville, F.W. Stevens, August Belmont, A.A. Low, E.D. Morgan, Alexander Van Rensselaer, Hamilton Hoppin, J.M. Drake, G.R. Fearing, S.H. Witherbee, H.S. Fearing, Edward T. Potter, and Judge Blatchford, of New York; Mrs. Sydney Brooks and E.D. Bolt, of Boston; Harry Ingersoll, of Philadelphia, and the heirs of the late Robert H. Ives, of Providence. Bierstadt, the artist is about to erect a fine house on Conanicut Island, opposite.


Website: The History
Article Name: Newport's Villas 1878
Researcher/Transcriber: Miriam Medina


New York Times Jun 24, 1878.
Time & Date Stamp:  


  Privacy statement | Terms of use