Tuesday, June 26, 2012

'Armsea Hall'

 'Armsea Hall', originally the General Francis Vinton Greene estate designed by Frances Laurens Vinton Hoppin of Hoppin & Koen c. 1901 on Ocean Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island but pictured here under the ownership of Charles Frederick Hoffman.  Hoffman was President of the Union Club and Treasurer of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  He died at 'Armsea Hall' at the age of 63 in 1919 and the estate was passed on to his wife.  The following decades saw a series of owners and the estate was eventually purchased for development.  'Armsea Hall' was demolished c. 1969.  Click HERE for an early 1930s aerial photo.

Photos from American Homes and Gardens, 1906.


The Ancient said...

A couple links --


(Hoffman's obituary.)


(CFH, Jr. was the nephew of Eugene Augustus Hoffman, who -- with his brother -- was one of the five largest property owners in 19th c. Manhattan.)

The Ancient said...

From newportmansions.org:

A large porticoed Palladian villa dominating the lower East Passage of Narragansett Bay, Armsea Hall was New York architect Francis Laurens Vinton Hoppin's Beaux-Arts masterpiece in Newport. Designed for General Francis Vinton Greene, the villa's Neoclassical central corps was flanked by two lower projecting wings with Doric colonnades. The estate, with its noted rose gardens, passed within two years to Charles Frederick Hoffman then to Zelia K. Hoffman. Subsequently acquired in 1945 by Mrs. Aymar Johnson for $14,000, the palatial estate, which abutted the Auchincloss family's Hammersmith Farm, the childhood summer home of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, was proposed as the official summer White House in 1962. President Kennedy privately leased the estate for his planned 1964 summer season. His assassination precluded the rental and Armsea Hall was sold in 1965 for $150,000 for a planned resort. In 1967, the property was purchased at a mortgagee sale for $195,000 and in 1968 was sold a final time for $212,000 for a residential subdivision. The villa was demolished in 1969 and modern homes subsequently built on the site.

Photos of rose garden:






archibuff said...

The elaborate screen wall hiding the service yard is very attractive even though it is there to catch your eye and divert it from the unfortunate asymmetrical front facade arrangement, but why quibble. That gleaming white palatial waterfront facade with open loggias, iron balconies and high columns is spectacular.

While Newport has been marred by too many poorly planned condo developments, I would have preferred to see the exterior of this home extant, even if it was sitting amid a sea of bland 1970's townhouses, than not having this beautiful structure at all.

Anonymous said...

I know the location of this estate very well and recently explored it in person. I'm fascinated that, though it has been subdivided, the bulk of the site (mainly where the main house stood) has not been developed. Standing on what would have been the water-side terrace offers one of the most spectacular views on that whole beautiful island! Also found a door knob left behind from the hastily demolished cottage.

Check it out: 41°28'5"N 71°21'7"W