Friday, May 4, 2012

'The Elms'

 'The Elms', the Edward J. Berwind estate designed by Horace Trumbauer c. 1899 in Newport, Rhode Island.  Berwind was president of the Berwind-White Coal Mining Company and later chairman of the board.  Since 1962 'The Elms' has been open to the public and run by the Preservation Society of Newport County.  Click HERE to see 'The Elms' on google earth and HERE on bing.

Photos from Architecture, 1901.


archibuff said..., crisp, elegant with wonderful proportions and details. Probably a favorite of all the palatial Newport cottages because of the beautiful grounds and liveable scale of the rooms. Great entrance hall from the doors to the stairs.

Also has a well designed lower circular service court covered over in trellis work and vines making it practically invisible. A very nice resolution in making the mundane day-to-day working reality of such a large home simply disappear from ones mind.

Old Grey Dog said...

Schuyler Livingston Parsons, in his 1955 memoir, "Untold Friendships", recounts this ~ "Wherever I was, I tried to get back to Newport for May 27th. This was the date of Miss Julia Berwind's birthday and as mine fell on the next day we celebrated jointly for twenty years. Her brother E. J. built at Newport the superb French house known as The Elms which he filled with beautiful things. He liked to take me around and explain their fine points, their former owners and their origin. Once when he was sick he sent for me to serve as guide for Baron Maurice de Rothschild . . ."

The Devoted Classicist said...

I have not visited since the gardens have been restored. I am sure they are a wonderful compliment to the handsome architecture.

The Down East Dilettante said...

It is a wonderful house indeed---for a very different sort of life. The wisteria draped service court with the bronze urn above is an amazement.

Funny you should mention Schuyler Parsons, Old Grey Dog---just yesterday I came across an old House & Garden article about the little brick servant's cottage he renovated for himself in Newport.

Old Grey Dog said...

Down East . . . could you please give the year and date of that House and Garden issue. I would like to search for the article. As an afterthought, could you scan it and put it on your Blog !

The Ancient said...

(Housewarming party. All the usual people as guests.)

(A detailed description of the house, with many, many pictures.)

(Berwind's house in Manhattan. "Berwind and his wife, Sarah Vesta Herminie Berwin, preferred to do most of their entertaining in their grand Newport mansion The Elms; perhaps because there they were less considered 'outsiders.'”)

(Servant quarters at The Elms.)

(Berwind downsizes.)

The Down East Dilettante said...

"Berwind downsizes". Haha, drollery becomes you, Ancient.

Old Grey Dog, I'll happily copy it for you---

Anonymous said...

just discovered your blog… SO wonderful!

ChipSF said...

This is just the best of the best! A rare Petit Palais in America. So many beautifully proportioned and detailed rooms, but I think I could live happily in the cool, calm Conservatory.

I was there last year on a glorious day and I think it looks better than ever. The grounds are just lush, but crisp too.

One thing I could never figure out though - with all that property why was the house sited so close to the street?

The Down East Dilettante said...

Chip, remember that when this house was built, the automobile was barely in play. Remember also that the original lot was half the size, so they were trying to maximize the rear grounds---the rear portion with the gardens, was added a few years later. And it is true to French tradition to have the house behind a wall close to the street.

Villa Rosa, the wonderful Ogden Codman designed house immediately South was also close to the Street.