Northway

This estate modeled on Versailles’ Petit Trianon is one of the Greenwich architectural treasures we are honoring April 29 at the Greenwich Landmarks Recognition Program (4pm at Greenwich Country Club). Others are a Mid-Century Modern, a Tudor Revival and an 1856 church with Tiffany windows. The keynote will be by Anthony Malkin on the restoration of the Empire State Building’s iconic lobby. An afternoon not to be missed!

All photos by ChiChi Ubina.

Northway is a striking two-story mansion sited on 12 park-like acres. It was built by Laura Robinson (1872–1964), an heiress from Chicago who received permission from the French government to reproduce the Petit Trianon’s elements, with the proviso that the main staircase be erected in the opposite direction from the original.

An architectural icon and the finest example of the Classical Revival, the Petit Trianon has been celebrated by scholars for the purity of its rectilinear dimensions, the perfection of its proportions and the delicacy of its ornamentation.

Despite differences, Northway maintains the general Neoclassical look and decoration of its prototype. Its architects, J. Edwin Carpenter and Walter D. Blair, both graduates of the Ecole des Beaux Arts, adapted the original design by replicating its most imposing features and designing other elements strictly within the original’s Classical Revival style so that the entire assemblage, including the landscaping, would appear as if it were created in the 18th century. The house’s monumental facade and the dramatic approach through a sculpted allée achieve a rare symmetry that presents a formal statement unrivaled in Greenwich and beyond.

Gleaming white stucco covers a symmetrical, five-bay facade distinguished by a colossal portico of four fluted Corinthian columns. The front entrance features a pair of very tall, transomed French doors set in a molded frame surmounted by a denticulated entablature. Gleaming white stucco covers a symmetrical, five-bay facade distinguished by a colossal portico of four fluted Corinthian columns. The front entrance features a pair of very tall, transomed French doors set in a molded frame surmounted by a denticulated entablature.

A distinctive balustrade on the portico extends on either side of the front entrance. Surmounting the entire second story is a continuous entablature accented by a cornice of foliated brackets. Above the cornice is a parapet interrupted by symmetrical positioned courses of urn-shaped balusters, a design that continues around the edge of the house’s flat roof.

On either side of the facade are identical wings, essentially enclosed porches, with tall, transomed, multipaned windows. At the second story of the main block, the three-bay elevations are virtually identical, with French doors opening onto balconies. A service complex of three buildings faces a central courtyard.

The interior of Northway expresses much the same Neoclassical style as the exterior. The first story is stunningly distinguished by its 15-foot ceilings and features a curving, divided-flight, marble staircase; a marble floor and a pipe organ.

Flanking the entrance foyer are two rooms paneled with elaborate bas relief floral-designed acanthus-leaf cornices, a dining room with French doors and a paneled living room with a carved wooden mantelpiece.

Northway’s second story has five paneled bedrooms, each with a curved ceiling, an elegantly carved gilded fireplace mantel and marble surround. In 1915 Robinson married William A. Evans, a prominent New York lawyer and a director of B.F. Goodrich Rubber Co. Their home became the setting for many musicales and other entertainments, and the couple’s one child, William A. Evans, Jr., was raised there.

Tragedy struck twice in 1939, when their son died in an automobile accident just before his 24th birthday and his father died a few months later. Laura Robinson Evans remained in the house for 25 years until her death. Her will left half interests in Northway to Christ Church in Greenwich and Greenwich Hospital, of which William Evans had been a director.

Plans for demolition of the house and subdivision of the property were under way when it attracted the attention of Rene Anselmo, who restored the house and grounds to their former majesty. When he died in 2000, the property passed to his widow and then, upon her death, to their son Reverge.

Support historic preservation and attend the Greenwich Landmarks Recognition Program April 29!

 

This Place Matters Photo Contest 2018

1st Place Tod's Point, Old Greenwich - Submitted by Joseph Weed
1st Place Winner
This Place Matters 2017
Tod’s Point by Joseph Weed

People of all ages are invited to participate in the This Place Matters Photo Contest. The top three photos will be published in Greenwich Magazine, Exclusive Magazine Sponsor of This Place Matters, and displayed at the Greenwich Historical Society when its new reimagined campus opens this fall.

Greenwich Magazine logo

Photo Contest Rules 

Photos must be of Greenwich, CT and include a caption that identifies the location. Caption must also explain why the place in the photo matters to the person who submitted it and/or to the person/people in the photo. All images submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them. By submitting a photo you acknowledge that the Greenwich Historical Society and Greenwich Magazine have rights use it in social media, public relations, and other uses in perpetuity; and that Greenwich Magazine may publish it. To be published in Greenwich Magazine the image must be at least 300 dpi.This Place Matters logo

Last day for submitting photos: July 6, 2018 at 5pm. Contest entries will be judged by a panel of independent judges who will pick three winners. Winners will be announced at the Greenwich Founder’s Day event at the Ferris-Feake House on July 18, 2018 at 10am.

The first 50 individuals to submit photos for the This Place Matters competition will receive priority registration for the July 18 Founder’s Day reception through June 25.

How to Participate 

 Snap a photo of a place in Greenwich that matters to you — be in the photo if you want or pose your friends, family, and/or pets!

Include your first and last name, the photo’s location, and identify the people in the photo. Write a sentence or more about why the place is special to you.

We invite all residents − children, students, adults and seniors − to participate in this modern documentary project by taking a photograph of a cherished place or structure in their community and sharing their story, however brief or long, about why it is important to preserve.

How to Submit a Photo 

Email the photo to Communications Director Stasha Healy at shealy@greenwichhistory.org

and/or you can post on social media:

Use hashtag  #thisplacemattersgreenwich and tag us when you post on:  Instagram: @greenwichhistory   Twitter: GrnHistCT and/or    Facebook: @GreenwichHistoricalSociety  Don’t forget to follow us!

Click to see last year’s winners

About Greenwich Preservation Month

The Town of Greenwich has designated May Greenwich Preservation Month: This Place Matters! for the second consecutive year. The promotion and companion photo contest was kicked off at the Historical Society’s Landmarks Recognition reception on April 29 when Greenwich First Selectman Peter J. Tesei presented the official proclamation.

“I am pleased to present a proclamation from the Town of Greenwich that declares May as Greenwich Preservation Month: This Place Matters!,” said Peter J. Tesei. “Our rich architectural heritage and vast array of community amenities make Greenwich a remarkable place to live and work. It is important that we celebrate what makes Greenwich unique and worth preserving for future generations.”

This Place Matters! is inspired by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s initiative to encourage preservation.