Wednesday, February 15, 2012


'Villasera', the Reverend Joseph Hutcheson estate designed by Charles A. Platt c. 1904 in Warren, Rhode Island. The residence was demolished c. 1970.

Photos from Architectural Record, 1906.


Old Grey Dog said...

Villasera was demolished circa 1970, and was replaced by a development of large New England-style homes and the property is now known as Hanley Farms. The high wall along Main Street ( Route 114 ) remains, minus the original pillars, and the estate's coach house-stable was converted into a residence. The marble lions, on their pedestals were acquired by the adjacent property known as Jacobs Point estates, and
flank the entrance on Main Street immediately to the north. I took a picture of the house in the mid-1960s, in color slide-form, and will search for it and email Zach a color print in the near future. I pass the site on my frequent visits to nearby Newport.

The Devoted Classicist said...

Charles A. Platt was one of my favorite architects whose work has been a great influence on my own development of taste, especially in the relationship of the house to the garden.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank Old Grey Dog for identifying the location of this estate. Living in south eastern New England I drive this road often. I did suspect Hanley Farms was the replacement I am glad for the confirmation. Thanks.

Old Grey Dog said...

Yes, Anon., Villasera's southern boundary wall was right on the Warren-Bristol line. Charles Platt designed the place for the widow of John Waterman, native of Warren and owner of the Warren Manufacturing Company cotton mills, besides being director of three Warren banks. He was descended from one of the founders, along with Roger Williams, of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
After John Waterman died in the year 1900, age 48, his now quite wealthy widow, Sarah Adams Waterman, took up with the Rev. Joseph Hutchinson of Columbus, Ohio, and before she remarried in 1904, comissioned architect Platt to build on the site overlooking Narragansett Bay. Villasera was the model for the John Jay Chapman house, Sylvania, at Barrytown-on-Hudson, which still survives in altered form.

The Down East Dilettante said...

LOL, nothing left for me to add---when friends bought in Hanley Farms a decade ago, I noticed the various surviving estate bits and was saddened to discover that it had been Villasera---a very great favorite of mine---the formal garden set in the orchard is just brilliance.

Old Grey Dog said...

To discover that I silenced, even for a moment, The Down East Dilettante, to me is SCANDALOUS !!! I offer beaucoup apologies and am off to do sincere penance.
As an afterthought ~ I did find that color slide of Villasera, taken back in November, 1965. At present I am searching for another that I took, looking down the drive, after the house had been demolished. I did walk to the site and looked at the rubble finding one perfect piece of the slate roof amid all the broken pieces . . . I incorporated it on the top of a low retaining wall that I constructed here on my property. When I step down to the lower level, or step upwards to the lawn, I always put my foot on it apologizing to the Hutchesons every time I do so ( tongue-in-cheek ). Regreting that I spelled the Hutcheson name incorrectly in the above posting !