The ferrous structure of this reading room—a spine of slender, cast-iron Ionic columns dividing the space into twin aisles and supporting openwork iron arches that carry barrel vaults of plaster reinforced by iron mesh—has always been revered by Modernists for its introduction of high technology into a monumental building. from wiki
This is the Henri Labrouste reading room at Sainte-Genevieve Library and this is Paris!
Park Avenue and 57th Street looking south, shortly before Christmas, 1963. The First National City Bank Building (Carson & Lundin-Kahn & Jacobs, 1961) are on foreground, left, with the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (Schultze & Weaver, 1931) and the new 50-story Chemical Bank New York Trust Building (Emery Roth & Sons, 1964) under construction at background. Union Carbide (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1960), ITT (Emery Roth & Sons, 1961) and Manufacturers Hanover Trust (Emery Roth & Sons, 1961) buildings are at right. The Pan Am (Walter Gropius-Emery Roth & Sons, Pietro Belluschi, 1963) and New York General (Warren & Wetmore, 1929) are at center.
Photo: Victor Laredo.
Source: Victor Laredo, Thomas Reilly. “New York City: A Photographic Portrait” (New York, Dover, 1973).
Le Petit Trianon, located in Pacific Heights or Presidio Heights district of San Francisco also called the Korshland Mansion. It was built between 1902- 1904 by Marcus and Corrine Korshland to be a replica of Marie-Antoinette’s getaway palace in the gardens of Versailles. Its sandstone façade survived the Great Quake & Fire of San Francisco in 1906 with minimal exterior damage and owned by the family until the 1960s. It was recently listed for $25 million after sitting for years at $45 million. The interior is wholly original and has been extensive modernizationed with questionable execution.
Carolands Potager. After the tour guests left I walked through the gardens and took these photos of the Rose Garden on what was originally designed to be a Potager (french kitchen garden). This part is almost never seen on tours or by anyone except on rare occasions which is a shame given its beauty & character designed by the genius French Landscape-Architect Achilles Duchène. The Chateau was built by the Beaux-Art master, Ernest Sanson, one the greatest Architects of France.
Harriett Pullman Carolan Schermerhorn (1869-1956), heiress to her father George Pullman’s luxury railway car fortune was a woman of impeccable tastes and high standards that went beyond even her successful businessman father’s infamous exacting standards. She was a lover of Arts, Architecture, Gardening, Literature, Theater, Fashion and all things French.
After a lifetime of traveling and collecting the finest examples of these passions, she began the construction of her dream French Chateau here in San Francisco’s Bay Area. In 1914 she purchased 500 acres of land in the newly created exclusive town of Hillsborough, CA. She then commissioned the greatest Landscape Architect of her era, the Frenchmen Achilles Duchène to create an original french garden that would have rivaled those of European Royalty. Duchène selected the highest point in Hillsborough to place the chateau amidst his extensive parterred gardens which radiated from the chateau in three directions as far as the eyes could see.
Harriett then selected the great master Architect Ernest Sanson who also lived nearby her Paris mansion and whose acclaimed works she admired. Sanson’s only project here in the United States is considered to be amongst his greatest works. Like the Versailles Petit Trianon of Harriett’s adored heroine Marie-Antoinette, Sanson made a Chateau that had four uniquely remarkable façades. The 98 room mansion incorporated several exquisite period rooms Harriett bought in Paris along with newly carved boisserie created for the heiress. The construction of the Chateau was completed in two years thanks to the supervision of San Francisco Architect Willis Polk who acted as a project site manager/engineer.
The story of the heiress and her Chateau will be continued later on this blog or if you can’t wait, visit my work on the official website: CAROLANDS.ORG