Historic Structures

Kenworthy Hall - Carlisle-Martin House, Marion Alabama

In February of 1858, Edward Kenworthy Carlisle acquired 200 acres, encompassing the gentle rise between two small creeks, with a fresh natural spring at the base of the hill. Many of his relatives owned land and lived in plantation houses in the area, and since 1843 Carlisle had lived in a one-story brick dwelling on land that he purchased, located in the neighboring section of the township. After that date he slowly began to acquire lands around the present site of Kenworthy Hall, eventually amassing approximately 440 acres by the time he deeded the property to his wife in 1867. Carlisle wrote his first letter to Richard Upjohn on May 4th, 1858, inquiring about ideas and terms for designing a country house. Carlisle saw an image of his future house, however, in mid-March of the same year, when his brother-in-law, Leonidas N. Walthall, shared the Richard Upjohn design he chose not to build and suggested it as a possible design for Carlisle. Walthall was so well pleased with Upjohn's services and gentlemanly manner that he apparently tried to encourage many of his neighbors to engage R. Upjohn & Co. as their architect. I have a friend who is preparing to build a house, Walthall wrote in March, 1858. I think the design No. 2 which you sent me would suit him exactly. The correspondence shows that the official planning stages for the house took place from May, 1858 until into early 1859, when letters continued to discuss details about the villa's design even as supplies began to arrive the long route from New York to Carlisle's building site near Marion. On September 1st, 1858, Carlisle expressed his concern at not yet finding a builder for his house so late in the year and estimated when each stage might be completed. But now late in the season and not more than the foundations can be done before the fall and winter rains commence, he wrote. So the brick work will be mostly put up next spring and the early part of the summer, he calculated, but all this depends on the contract when one [is] made. By November 4th he had engaged a builder and wrote to Upjohn that the foundation now laid off and work to commence, marking the official beginning of Kenworthy Hall's construction. The available Carlisle to Upjohn correspondence ends abruptly in December, 1859, but letters exchanged between Robert Jemison, building an Italianate villa in Tuscaloosa designed by John Stewart, formerly of the Philadelphia architectural firm of Sloan and Stewart, and Philip Bond, a master brick mason who supervised the brickwork for Kenworthy Hall, shows that Bond expected to complete his work in Marion by early June, 1860. The house's design, construction, and convenience characteristics also reflect the era in which it was built, including gas lighting, massive newel posts, and circular sawn exposed timbers in the attic.

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Longacres Park Horse Track, Renton Washington

The development of Longacres began June 23, 1933, when successful Seattle real estate investor Vinson Joseph Gottstein signed a ten-year lease option for 101 acres of the James Nelson dairy farm in the Green River Valley. In anticipation of the project, Gottstein had organized the Washington Jockey Club earlier that spring. From the newly-formed Washington Horse Racing Commission, he secured a 40-day racing season to commence on August 3rd, and hired architect B. Marcus Priteca to begin preliminary design work. Priteca's earliest extant drawing for the project is a site plan of the Nelson farm parcel, dated June 21, 1933. Subsequent drawings for the initial phase of development date from June 30 through July 18, overlapping several weeks of actual construction work in July. To meet the August 3rd deadline, construction proceeded at a pace remarkable even by the standards of that era. Twentyeight days from the first shipment of lumber to the site, the track was completed. A plentiful force of willing labor, made possible by widespread Depression unemployment, allowed work to continue into the night. Despite one serious downpour, construction remained on schedule.3 On opening day, August 3, 1933, Longacres boasted a freshly painted red and silver grandstand, a two-story clubhouse with open verandas, a paddock, a jockey's building, and various smaller structures. Across the sandy racing oval and its undeveloped infield was an orderly backstretch complex of some 40 stables.

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Cavalier Jouet Mansion - The Old Chateau Elizabeth New Jersey

This is the sole remaining example of the Georgian mansion in New Jersey as fully developed with central unit and symmetrical flanking wings, a scheme frequently used in the great houses of Maryland and Virginia. Remarkable similarity of Its central unit with the Dey Mansion on Totovia Road, Lower Preakness, Passaic County, said to have been built about 1740-50 suggests the inspiration of its design and materials of construction from that well known house. It is obvious, incidentally, that the six-over-six lights in the windows of this unit of house here considered are replacements of nine-overnine, which latter remain in the windows of the wings. Whether such repairs were necessary from damage done by anti-Loyalist patriots or others, we have been unable to discover.

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Stone-Young Plantation, Burkville Alabama

The Stone-Young Plantation, located about seven miles from Montgomery is one of the finest examples of an old southern plantation home, (The slave quarters and minor buildings which were quite extensively and widely known were destroyed by fire in the late 1920s. The old mansion, oat kitchen and smoke house offer an outstanding example of work done during this period along the more pretentious line. The main house is of brick stuccoed, with markings imitating stone and two storied - portico on the front, small one story wings at the rear with minor porches on the respective fronts. The house is magnificent in its proportions and an exceptionally fine example of the Greek Revival. The detail of the front entrance, with balcony over it, the front and side porches, the flat parapet, the iron grills and railing, the interior trim and stair are all done in a way which is typical and expressive of the finest work done during this period. The usual block plan with the square rooms on each corner and.the wide hall is followed here. The outside kitchen and smoke house are of brick with hipped roofs and are extremely pleasing in their proportions and simplicity. This house with the pollard house and the Loretta Academy, which are very close parallels, offers an outstanding example for record and study of this period. The foundations of the house are briex; floors are of pine boards; exterior walls are stucco over brick marked off to imitate stone, the interior walls are plaster over wooden laths, the roof is of metal with standing seams.

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Whittier Mansion - California Historical Society Mansion, San Francisco

Built for William Franklin Whittier between 1894 and 1896, this massive Arizona sandstone building has passed through a number of interesting owners. Occupied as a residence until the early 1940's, it was sold to the German Reich in 1941 as a San Francisco consulate. Seized by the Alien Property Custodian (later transferred to the Attorney General of the United States) during World War II, it was auctioned in 195O to Mrs. Echo Leonetti. From her it passed to George and Jfery Barton, thence to Robert Wilhelm and Isabelle and Paul Dessez, and finally to the California Historical Society in 1956* Mortimer Adler's Institute of Philosophical Research occupied part of the building from 1952 to 1956. It is one of the few major houses of the later 19th century to survive to the present day, and is an interesting combination of massive Richardsonian Romanesque with Period styling. The architectural details of the interiors are exceptional in material and in preservation; they reflect studious variations of historical sources which marked the end of 19th century American architecture. The building was originally designed as a private residence for William Franklin (he always signed: W, Frank) Whittier and his children. (Mrs. Whittier had died earlier.) Frank Whittier was born on January 17, 1832 in Vienna. Maine. He came over the Isthmus of Panama to California in 1854; his first major employment was with Sawyer, Johnson and Company, and three years later he purchased (with Caleb Cameron) the proprietors interest in the firm. The name was changed to Cameron, Whittier and Company; Cameron accidentally drowned at Benicia in 1862, but the firm continued under the joint name until its dissolution in 1867.

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Fairview Mansion - Isaac Franklin Plantation, Gallatin Tennessee

On turning off the main road into the approach to Fairview one is introduced to the grandeur of this magnificant estate by an inspiring avenue of walnut trees, and following this for a pout one half mile to the mansion he passes the family mausoleum, the granary and many lesser important buildings. Terminating this avenue is a grand vista of the mansion house composing itself beautifully on a slightly higher bit of ground, and giving it a commanding view of thousands of acres in all directions. It is this imposing position of the house that prompted the appropriate name Fairview. Standing back in order to take in the gigantic facade, made up of two distinct sections, as before mentioned in this survey, one is impressed by the graceful silhouette brought about by combining two entirely different, but masterfully joined, types of architecture. The original, or main section, is typical of that dignified form so prevalent in middle Tennessee farm houses. The entrance feature conventionally follows its contemporaries in that it forms a white panel extending from ground to roof in the center of the house made up of first and second floor porches between two sets of simple white columns and terminating in a delicate pediment. Its whiteness is exaggerated, especially in the late afternoon,when the setting sun illuminates the columns, pediment and ballustrade bringing them out in sharp contrast with the soft salmon and red brick of the walls. To the right of the main section is the before mentioned addition consisting of a long wing, stepping down in height as it descends in social importance and as it follows the slope of the ground away from the center feature and thus creating this most delightful silhouette. This wing to the right joins and composes with the original section with such striking harmony that the radical change in architectural detail is at first overlooked, however, it is gradually perceptible that this whole wing is done in a definitely Spanish charactr as existed in the FELIC1ANAS OF LOUISIANA.

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Dousman Hotel and Railroad Station, Prairie du Chien Wisconsin

When its builder, The Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad, extended a line to Prairie du Chien's Lower Town in 1857, it marked the beginning of a prosperous relationship with steamboat, barge and packet companies that plied the river from St. Louis to St. Paul. In the mid-1860's, the railroad and river lines effected a major relocation of their activities north to Prairie du Chien's St. Feriole Island; the program included not only construction of railroads, shipping facilities, a warehouse and a grain elevator, but also construction of the Dousman Hotel. The hotel was strategically located on tracts near the steamboat landings, in order to serve both rail and river passengers. By including a depot, waiting room and ticket office on the hotel's first floor, the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad ensured itself a steady clientele of travelers, as persons entering to make travel arrangements were thereby encouraged to patronize the establishment's well-appointed dining and sleeping accommodations. Not least among the Dousman's patrons were emigrants on their way to seek land in the trans-Mississippi West, principally Northern Iowa and Minnesota. They appear to have come to Prairie du Chien in such numbers that an emigrant depot was built nearby to augment the hotel's own waiting rooms. With the extension of rail lines north from Prairie du Chien and other river communities in the mid-1880's, the town's importance as a transshipment point declined. The Dousman Hotel, however, remained a popular establishment until after the turn of the century. Today it shares St. Feriole Island with other structural artifacts of Prairie du Chien's history, among them an American Fur Company warehouse and the Italianate-style mansion built for Jane Dousman, widow of Hercules Dousman.

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