Ochre Court, one of the grandest mansions in America was built in 1892 for New York banker and real estate developer Ogden Goelet (1846-1897) and his wife, Mary Wilson (1855-1929). In 1879, Ogden and his brother, Robert, inherited a real estate empire in Manhattan of 259 houses then worth a combined $40 million which was second only to the Astors. In 1892, Goelet and his wife Mary were included in Ward McAllister‘s “Four Hundred“, purported to be an index of New York’s best families, published in The New York Times, a position only solidified after his summer “cottage” was completed that year in Newport, Rhode Island. Named Ochre Court, the 50-room chateau overlooks the Cliff Walk and Atlantic Ocean and is the second-largest mansion in Newport (after The Breakers). Ochre Court was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, who also designed The Breakers, and summered in town himself. Shockingly, the Goelet’s only occupied the home during an eight-week summer season, and they spent the rest of the year in their homes in New York City, France, or London. The operation of Ochre Court usually required twenty-seven house servants, eight coachmen and grooms for horses and their carriages, and twelve gardeners for the grounds. In 1947 the Goelets’ son, railroad, hotel, and real estate developer Robert Goelet IV (1880-1966), gave ‘Ochre Court’ to the Religious Sisters of Mercy to establish Salve Regina College after it became too expensive to maintain. ‘Ochre Court’, which housed the entire college during its first years, is still in use and remains the heart of the greatly expanded Salve Regina University.
Inchiquin // 1887
Built in 1887 for John O’Brien, a direct descendant of Brian Boru, the High King Of Ireland, “Inchiquin” in Newport stands out for its bold stone exterior and proper siting. The mansion was named after Inchiquin, a barony (or state) in Ireland, likely where O’Brien’s ancestors were from. The cottage was designed by John Dixon Johnston, a well-known Newport architect, who designed the stone mansion in a sort of hodge-podge of styles, which actually work well together somehow! In 1901, Inchiquin was acquired by The Baroness Seilliere, the adopted daughter of John O’Brien. She was a daughter of Mrs. O’Brien by a former husband. After her first husband died she married the Baron de Seilliere, brother of the Princess de Sagan. Like some other massive, expensive mansions in Newport, this home was converted to condos.
Langwater // 1859
The country estate of Frederick Lothrop Ames (1835-1893), “Langwater” sits in North Easton amongst a collection of some of America’s greatest architectural treasures, all thanks to the Ames Family. The Ames family was a wealthy family which had lived in Easton for many generations. Frederick’s grandfather Oliver Ames Sr. founded the Ames Shovel Works in Easton, Massachusetts. The Shovel Works earned the family a huge fortune, during a time when aggressive canal and railroad expansion was built by the hands of thousands of men using shovels. Frederick’s father Oliver Jr. was president of the Union Pacific Railroad during the building of the transcontinental railroad. Frederick’s cousin Oliver Ames was governor of Massachusetts 1887–1890. Frederick himself was Vice President of the Old Colony Railroad and director of the Union Pacific railroad. At the time of his death, Ames was reported to be the wealthiest person in Massachusetts. With this immense wealth, Frederick built a castle where he would spend most of the year, overseeing his various businesses, in his hometown of Easton, Massachusetts. The mansion was designed by architect George Snell and built around 1860, with a couple additions and updates until Frederick’s death. A few years before his death, Frederick hired famed architect Henry Hobson Richardson, who he already worked with in designing the Oakes Ames Memorial Hall(Easton’s Town Hall), to design a gate house leading to Langwater (more on that later).
Richardson Building // 1895
Located across from the Federal style Unitarian Church and Romanesque style Masonic Temple and rounding out the nicest intersection of Burlington Vermont, I present, the Richardson Building. The Richardson Building was constructed in 1895 by developer Albert Richmond, and can be classified as Chateauesque with its rounded bays surmounted by conical roofs and finials, showing the complexity of a French Chateau. The building was likely constructed for a commercial interest as an income property with retail at the ground floor and professional offices above. In 1911, the famous building was purchased by Frank D. Abernethy, who purchased his partner’s share of their business and created the Abernethy’s Department Store, soon the largest department store in town. Despite being a prominent, long-term fixture on Church Street, Abernethy’s went out of business in November 1982. The building was later renovated and new tenants moved in.
Burlington Savings Bank // 1900
The Burlington Savings Bank building, constructed in 1900, is one of the most architecturally sophisticated buildings in Downtown Burlington, Vermont. The design uses a brick and brownstone facade with prominent wall dormers and a corner tower with conical roof which harkens back to the chateaus and estates of Europe. The recessed corner entrance is framed by free-standing Ionic columns which support a brownstone segmental arch, which helps command the corner presence. The Burlington Savings Bank opened for business on January 1, 1848, and operated under that title until 1988 when it merged with the Bank of Boston to become the Bank of Vermont, which in 1995, was purchased by KeyBank. The corner building is now occupied by Citizens Bank, which continues this buildings legacy as a castle of finance in the city.
The Charlesgate // 1891
One of the most grand apartment hotels in Boston, The Charlesgate, serves as one of many architectural anchors for the Back Bay neighborhood from Kenmore Square. The apartment hotel was constructed in 1891 and so named after the Charlesgate Park which was created by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted as part of the glorious Emerald Necklace park system. The Back Bay Fens was the first park designed by Olmsted for the City of Boston. Creating the Back Bay Fens was as much a sanitary as an aesthetic project, because the water was heavily polluted and often stagnant; Olmsted envisioned Charlesgate as the meeting point of the Back Bay Fens with the Charles River. The apartment hotel was actually designed and was financed by the architect, John Pickering Putnam, and members of his family. The basement and first story are constructed of Indiana limestone with the remainder of brick, with limestone trimmings. A picturesque effect is obtained by grouping the bays in pairs, and surmounting each pair with gables in the Queen Anne style, and by relieving these features against a high roof of green slate. The building originally featured 30 apartments and has since been reconfigured into over 50. The architectural landmark is one of the best statement-pieces in the neighborhood, and shows that apartment design can be done very very well!
Larz Anderson Carriage House // 1889
This large and imposing brick and stone structure, located in Larz Anderson Park in Brookline, was once the carriage house of “Weld”, the estate owned by Larz and Isabel Weld Anderson. Constructed in 1888, it was inspired by the Chateau de Chaumont-Sur-Loire in France and designed by Edmund M. Wheelwright, the city architect of Boston. First constructed to house a working stable, it later served to house and maintain the Andersons’ growing automobile collection. After Isabel Anderson’s passing in 1948, the collection was entrusted, at Isabel’s bequest, to the Veteran Motor Car Club of America. The VMCCA then established the nonprofit organization that is now known as the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. The former mansion suffered from vandalism in the 1950s and caught fire, later demolished by the Town, who could not afford to rebuild the home.
Boston Free Hospital For Women // 1895
Boston’s Free Hospital for Women was founded in 1875 by Dr. William Henry Baker. Baker wanted a hospital dedicated to treating diseases that inflicted women, offering free medical care to poor women and serving as a teaching hospital to Harvard Medical School. In the beginning, the hospital sat on East Springfield Street in the South End and was home to one of the first cancer wards in the country. Due to increased demand, it moved to a larger facility in Brookline in 1895. It was designed by architects Shaw and Hunnewell. Trimmed in limestone, details include string coursing, arched windows, carved keystones are seen all over. The hospital campus was sited perched on a ledge overlooking the Muddy River and the Frederick Law Olmsted Emerald Necklace park system on the Brookline side. In 1980, the Boston Hospital for Women merged with Peter Bent Brigham Hospital to form Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The former site of the hospital in Brookline was converted into luxury condos in 1989, which it remains as to this day.
Mount Williams Reservoir Gatehouse // 1914
An adequate water supply for the residents and industry of North Adams was from the late 19th century, an issue of paramount importance to residents. For the next several decades the population grew at such a high rate that a reservoir was required, and in 1914, the Mount Williams Reservoir was planned and constructed. Land was selected where a small Brook passed through and a concrete core dam was designed and built that year to impound the brook. At the waters edge, a gatehouse, once perched upon the shore like a castle, is decaying. The gatehouse is a cylindrical brick structure clad in stucco, capped with a red tiled conical roof. The structure remains active to this day with a more modern structure nearby providing support to North Adams’ waterworks system.
Marguerite Terrace // 1891
Marguerite Terrace (my favorite of the Beaconsfield Terrace buildings) in Brookline was built in 1891 and exhibits the Chateauesque style, evoking French design. Designed as part of the Beaconsfield Terrace complex on the Knapp Estate of residences with private amenities, the building was designed by Carl Fehmer, showing his amazing range in design. Through the use of yellow brick and fieldstone walls, conical roof towers, and a center pavilion with a steeply pitched roof, the building stands out for its amazing detailing.