Monday, December 5, 2011

The Henry Seligman Residence

The Henry Seligman residence designed by C.P.H. Gilbert between 1899-1901 on West 56th Street in New York City. Seligman was a senior partner in the family banking firm of J. & W. Seligman & Company. Click HERE to read the Landmarks Commission's designation report on the Seligman residence, HERE for Christopher Gray's Streetscapes article and HERE to see the house on google street view.

Photos from Architectural Record, 1902.


archibuff said...

What? No CPH Gilbert comments yet posted? Did someone not get out of bed this morning? Fantastic Smoking room and Drawing room. Definitely an architect who did townhomes very well. Plus anyone who can design a country home like Pembroke in Glen Cove, NY, ain't all bad.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Archibuff darling, are we looking at the same house? The interiors are undeniably fun, lush and over the top (but 'elaborate' is NOT the same thing as 'good'). I'll grant that. But the exterior is typical CPH---stiff with slightly awkward proportions, coarse and flat in its details. (Not that I have an opinion about these things). Go take a look at the Fabbri House by Haydel & Shepard if you want to see the same thing done with real lushness dimension,and full integration of elements. No comparison. The Seligman house almost looks like a commercial building :-) (And that stair railing is just clumsy and heavy)

For the Fabbri house:

I don't deny that Gilbert was a competent architect, and clearly he was a good engineer---but, seriously for a second, I hate seeing him deified, because he definitely doesn't belong in the first tier--he was not a master of space like McKim Mead & White ir Carrere & Hastings---his rooms are merely highly ornamented boxes, nor was he a master of form, also like the above---to name just two obvious of the firms who have left behind far more beauty than Gilbert.