Monday, March 19, 2012

'Pond Meadow'

'Pond Meadow', the Earle Perry Charlton estate designed by Parker Morse Hooper and Frank C. Farley c. 1918 in Westport Harbor, Massachusetts. Charlton owned E.P. Charlton & Co., five and dime stores, and in 1912 merged with F.W. Woolworth Co., becoming a director and senior vice-president of the company. Click HERE to see 'Pond Meadow' on google earth and HERE on bing.

Photos from Architecture, 1919.


The Ancient said...

In Charlton's bio, linked above, there's a discussion of his merger with F.W. Woolworth. I thought this part was particularly striking:

"The negotiations revealed two of Charlton's great strengths as an entrepreneur. Firstly, his decision to focus openings to the West of the Rock Mountains proved inspired. The Charlton stores were essential if Frank Woolworth was to market the new corporation as truly national. This helped to secure a generous price for the sale. Secondly, Charlton showed deep care for his people and their wellbeing, even when they had crossed him. This distinguished him from most businessmen. In the talks he secured guarantees for all of his Managers and staff in the enlarged F. W. Woolworth Co." (Emphasis added.)

The Ancient said...

Department of Amplification and Clarification:

As the comments to Zach's posts are just a gratutious extra, I think I should add:

Charlton built this house for himself -- in addition to whatever other houses he might have had -- without funds he acquired by buying and breaking up a company, or laying off workers. He made this place for himself without putting anybody else -- so far as we know -- out of their own houses.

So plaudits to the man, who was obviously very different from so many of the people who are now tearing down houses on the North Shore or the Hamptons to build monuments to their "success."

The Down East Dilettante said...

And he built a house that was deeper and more contemplative---yet more assertive than Woolworth's wildly vulgar, straining house.

By coincidence, I spent half of yesterday in a very handsome Parker Morse Hooper building.

The Down East Dilettante said...

And the bad news is:

I wonder:

a) Was Charlton's bio an authorized paid for job, or a free lance?

b) What the intriguing stone building with tower was used for---was this the bowling alley?

The Down East Dilettante said...

Never mind about B. I googled onward and was rewarded with this:

The whole Charlton place is a really lovely property, even in condominiumization---we know from the examples of Newport and Long Island how very, very much worse it could have been.

(And a look at the condominiumization (spell check hates that word) of Col. Edward Green's giant house nearby in Dartmouth shows how much worse it could have been here.

The Ancient said...

As you say, it could be much, much worse.

If the price to be paid for keeping the house, The Keep, and the grounds in good shape is letting Laverne and Shirely run a B&B upstairs, well, fine.

chauncy primm said...

So glad i ran into your blog. Love all the posts. Im a lover of Gilded Age architecture and i can name the architects from A to Z. Have you done a post of Harbor Hill yet? or the Woolworth Mansion that sat on Fifth Ave?

Anonymous said... can find Harbor Hill on Zachs other site Old Long Island. You can follow the link on the top of this page.

vmlincoln said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
outdoor75 said...

Beautiful home..but really run least one side of the condos..the main house. One condo is being updated and looks beautiful. The main house is run as a suite rental. I hear..constant water leaks, electrical problems galore, power outages frequent..and not very clean. I don't think anyone is minding the store! A shame!

vmlincoln said...

Down East Dillitante: The stone building was the carriage house, home to the cars and chauffeur. The bowling alley was in the basement.