Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Whitcomb - Hudson River

When I had posted images of David Whitcomb's city townhouse and apartment a couple of weeks ago a very astute reader suggested finding images of his country home, "Marvelous post-Modern (in the best and wackiest sense) rambling pile overlooking the Hudson River."


Based on that description how could I not? After emailing a few other knowing souls Toby Worthington emailed back that it had been photographed and appeared in Judith Miller's Classic Style. Which I bought on line for $2.50. Really.


Whitcomb, an architect, was committed that the house would suit the site, an old iron mine, in both a physical and historical way. This covered walkway with its transparent roof signified the opening up of the frontier pioneered by a nearby railway. The metal table had less lofty ambitions and served primarily as a bar.

The slate of the kitchen floor was salvaged from a museum in Albany and the blocks used in the construction of the wall were piers from the railway.


The scale of the living room is impressive. The geometric wood floor is faux marbre.

The living room is the rotunda that you can see in the first image.


I know very little about architecture, but this seems an interesting mix of Classic and Modern that feels timeless; Miller notes that it was built 1983-87. And, well, I like it. It's just the sort of place that reads very personal and distinct.


Some of Whitcomb's favorite buildings appear in the mural below including the Pyramids, William Kent Lodge and the Hudson River Lighthouse.

It makes me wonder what's become of it.

All images from Classic Style by Judith Miller; photography by Tim Clinch.

16 comments:

Linda/"Mom" said...

* Glad you posted this~~~ Such an interesting read as WELL as "home", and I sure would like to know "the REST of the story"!!!

Many thanks,
Linda in AZ *

KEEHNAN said...

Every single thing about this is absolutely flawless. Speechless.

Karena said...

Let's hope someone will solve this mystery....What a living room!

mary said...

It's a great house--but for me, it is a little stiff. I would love to spice it up with something a little funky.

Toby Worthington said...

It's what I've come to think of as Butch Classical.
A bit forbidding, perhaps, but very bold and assured.
Whether it will appeal to a younger generation, is
another matter.

Terry said...

Like being in an appropriately restored ruin. It's a little spooky.

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

I am impressed how Whitcomb wanted the home to "suit the site". The use of materials is equally as incredible. Beautiful home. So glad to read about it. Thank you!

mo-zy said...

What a great story and a beautiful home. Thank you!

Reggie said...

Hello Mrs. B:
The house and its contents are intact today, owned by Whitcomb's surviving partner, who lives in the house and occasionally opens it to visitors. It was featured on a house tour several years ago sponsored by Hudson River Heritage, a nonprofit that serves as steward of the Hudson River National Historic Landmark District (http://hudsonriverheritage.org/), and which organizes an annual "Country Seats" tour of notable houses in the Hudson River Valley each autumn in early October.

Tricia Mitchell said...

What a beautiful place...classical yet comfortable, polished but not stuffy...lovely all around.

Tricia - Avolli

home before dark said...

I think it is a rather industrialize version of John Saladino. It is forthright, pared down honesty with an unrelenting vision. I don't think of it as spooky. I think of it as haunting.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Mr Whitcomb: Once again we have to wonder why his name is never mentioned in the pantheon os greats.

His color sense is so fine-tuned, and he clearly knows his classics. You can tell he had been tripping through a few Palladian villas in his time, and and then on to a chateau or two or three, plus the Louvre and all the great precedents upon which he did this riff on a classic house.
There's a cliche or two (churlish to mention) but he lived well and elegantly. Wish I'd met him? Was his death untimely? His disappearance from the loud huzzahs, the mute response to references, and a sense of a life well-lived suggest some such tragedy, perhaps. Let's hope he lived and died well.
www.thestylesaloniste.com

Blushing hostess said...

It is a bit of a pile. Having grown up in the area though, it might be one of the better examples of tasteful eccentricies in our neighborhood...

The Consummate Hostess said...

Truly beautiful!

allison said...

Can anyone identify any of the fabrics in the living room? The ikat or the floral slipcover! I love them. I love everything about it. Thank you!

MichaelGilbert said...

I agree. It is a gorgeous house. In fact i assisted the late muralist Robert jackson in painting it as well as hundreds more historic homes. Please visit my website.www.manhattandecorative.com