Each the woman of Westbury Home and its designer have been English. In 1903, John Phipps, often known as Jay, married Margarita Grace, whose household owned the delivery line that grew to become the Grace Steamship Firm. Mr. Phipps promised to construct his bride an incredible nation home paying homage to these in her native nation.
To maintain his phrase, he turned to the London aesthete George Crawley, a passionate scholar of design with no formal architectural coaching. Based on a biography by Cuthbert Headlam, Mr. Crawley had befriended Amy Phipps, Jay’s sister, whereas the Phipps clan was renting a manor in England.
In 1904 the Phipps patriarch, a accomplice of Andrew Carnegie, employed Mr. Crawley to embellish a number of rooms of his Manhattan mansion, together with the one which was finally transferred to Westbury Home. That very same yr, Jay Phipps retained Mr. Crawley to design Westbury Home itself.
“He was finally enabled to place into precise form — in stone and marble, in iron and wooden — the attractive issues which stuffed his thoughts,” Mr. Crawley’s biographer famous. To assist him notice his imaginative and prescient, Mr. Crawley was paired with Grosvenor Atterbury, an architect of Gilded Age confections each on Lengthy Island and in Manhattan.
At Outdated Westbury, Mr. Crawley conjured up a house of subdued, symmetrical magnificence, its cherry crimson Virginia brick accented by cream-colored Indiana limestone and a terra-cotta cornice.
The home’s crowning glory was to be its broad-hipped roof of gold-hued Collyweston slate, a cloth Mr. Crawley seemingly knew from visits to a relative who lived close to the place it was mined.
The slate is comprised of a novel limestone discovered solely in a slim, three-foot seam 40 toes beneath the earth in Collyweston, a Northamptonshire village.