This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The house is built of wood, filled in with brick laid flat in such a way as to leave a space of an inch between the brick and the outer covering. The outer covering is plank, one and a quarter inches thick, three inches wide, tongued and grooved, and put together with white lead. The piazza columns are plain round Doric. The blinds and close sliding shutters all open inside, thus obviating the necessity of exposure to the weather in opening or shutting. On each side of the vestibule is it closet, one for hanging coats, and the other for a standing writing desk, with a gas-jet over it. The stairs are of solid oak, and shut off from the rest of the house. The library opens into the drawing-room, and also into the stair hall. It has a bay window, and is finished solidly with English oak, the book-eases being set in the wall. Opening into the dining-room is a china pantry, and also a dish closet, in which is a sink drain, and jets of hot and cold water, and gas. In the kitchen-dresser is a sliding window opening into the store-room.
Between the dining-room and kitchen is an entry and side door opening en the porte-cochere. The kitchen is supplied with hot and cold water from a tank which is kept filled from a spring a quarter of a mile distant by means of a ram, and also a windmill. The whole house is lighted with gas, which is also used for cooking, in warm weather. The laundry, with permanent wash tubs, ironing range, etc. is in the basement under the kitchen, where is also the dairy, drying-room, etc. From the cellar is a passage communicating with a closet in the ice-house.
On the second floor the chambers all communicate, thus securing a thorough ventilation at all times either by means of open windows or through the stair hall, which opens into the observatory. Over the kitchen is the water-closet, bathroom, and dressing-room. Over the piazza, in the angle formed by the kitchen with the house, is a balcony always shaded in the morning, and used as a sitting place in summer.
In the third story are four chambers, a hall, and a children's play-room sixteen by forty feet. Above this is the observatory, commanding a view of the surrounding country, the East River, and the Palisades on the Hudson.
The house is heated by two furnaces in one chamber, the second furnace being used only in extreme weather.
This dwelling, which is both elegant and eminently comfortable, occupies, nearly, the site of the old family mansion, which was destroyed by fire recently. Its arrangements, including the ice-house, are remarkable for their substantial air. In a separate building is a school-room for Mr. P.'s children, and to this school a very few selected neighboring youths are admitted, a plan which, while it insures a guarded private tuition, removes one objection to that system.
The planting in the grounds has been judiciously done, and under such advantages of possession at hand of all that could be desirable, will soon prove eminently effective.