Echo Lawn Estate

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Echo Lawn Estate
Echo Lawn Estate is located in New York
Echo Lawn Estate
Location River Road at Stone Gate Drive, Balmville, New York
Coordinates 41°32′5″N 74°0′26″W / 41.53472°N 74.00722°W / 41.53472; -74.00722Coordinates: 41°32′5″N 74°0′26″W / 41.53472°N 74.00722°W / 41.53472; -74.00722
Area 8 acres (3.2 ha)
Built 1860
Architect Elliott, George C.
Architectural style Second Empire
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 09000157[1]
Added to NRHP March 23, 2009

Echo Lawn Estate, also known as Stonegate after The Great War, is a historic estate located at Balmville in Orange County, New York. The main house was built about 1860 and is a two story brick dwelling in the Second Empire style. It features sweeping concave mansard-type roofs. Also on the property is a cluster of mid-19th century service buildings, an early 20th-century formal garden, and a substantial set of Arts and Crafts inspired gateposts and stone walls.[2]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.[1]


  1. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places". WEEKLY LIST OF ACTIONS TAKEN ON PROPERTIES: 3/23/09 THROUGH 3/27/09. National Park Service. 2009-04-03. 
  2. ^ William E. Krattinger (June 2007). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Echo Lawn Estate". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-05-31.  See also: "Accompanying eight photos". 

The Echo Lawn Estate remains an important and National Register of Historic Places-eligible example of mid-nineteenth century Hudson River Valley estate design, reflecting as it does the Romantic sentiments of the era in its Picturesque-inspired architectural and landscape elements, as well as later changes portraying 20th century design trends. The estate’s architectural centerpiece is a large brick masonry dwelling reflecting an early interpretation of the Second Empire style, likely built c. 1848 and distinguished by a graceful bell-cast mansard roof punctuated by dormers and chimneys.

This house illustrates the growing influence of the Second Empire style in American domestic architecture during this period; among the earliest known examples in the United States was the Colbert House on Grand Street in nearby Newburgh, authored by Calvert Vex in association with his partner and mentor E.G. Downing. Van included the Colbert house as Design No. 22 in his 1857 book Villas & Cottages, which also included another Second Empire-style freestanding house, Design No. 25, authored in association with former partner Frederick C. Withers, helping to popularize a style which flourished in the post-Civil War period.

In addition to the Second Empire-style main dwelling, the estate retains a complement of period service buildings, all rendered in frame construction awl reflecting the architectural tenets of the nationally significant Picturesque movement largely popular�ized in this region through the exertions of Newburgh native and author A.J. Downing; his sometime collaborator the New York City architect A.J. Davis; and former Downing associates Vaux and Withers. These include a carriage barn that is distinguished by board-and-batten sheathing, an intersecting gable trimmed with Gothic Revival-style bargeboard, and a cupola or vent embellished by quatrefoil motifs; a one and one-half story gatehouse sheathed in hor zontal siding; a board-and-batten sheathed stable with gable embellished with bargeboard; and a frame ice-house with pitched roof the eaves of which are enlivened by exposed purlins, a typical Picturesque device. There is like�wise an original T,utton greenhouse that was restored in 1999. Adding cohesion to these resources is the original carriage road that connects Stonegate Drive with the out�buildings and main dwelling, as well as elements of the on~nal Picturesque-inspired landscape treatments. Only a portion of the carriage mule—which continued further to the south where it again connected with the main road— however survives.

Likewise dating to the early 20th century period, hut nevertheless an integral and sig�nificant contributing element of the estate, are the highly artistic Arts & Crafts-inspired gates, which are rendered in stone and brick and which lead from the main road towards the gatehouse and service building complex. These terminate dry laid rubble stone walls that align this area of the estate. The north side of the former estate also contains a Japanese pond awl garden, which like the Italian garden represent subse�quent historic landscape developments.

Echo Lawn was owned during portions of the igth century by the Johues and Knowlton families, the latter family being responsible for the installation in the early 20th century of the flower garden in front of the main dwelling, currently under restoration and reflecting the Italian garden style in its rigid symmetry and formality. Natalie Knowlton Blair (b. 1887), an important early collector of American decorative arts and considerable contributor to the collections of the American Wing of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, lived on tins estate during her youth, and the main house and garden were depicted by the American landscape painter Gifford Beal 0879-1956), whose family owned an adjacent property and whose uncle Thaddeus Beal bought Echo Lawn in 1908. Both Gifford Beal and his brother Reynolds Beal, respected painters on the contemporary American scene, captured views of the Hudson River from the estate, and painted in a studio attached to the carriage barn.

Echo Lawn, among the last substantially intact 19th centuxy estates in the Balrnville area, is situated direciiy across from Morningside, a Picturesque Gothic Revival-style house designed for Frederick Derning by EC. Withers and built in 1859; additional his-tone estates adjacent to it include the Willellyn estaft once owned by William Beal, and the former J.W. Thomas Estate. Echo lawn was historically situated immediately west of the Algonac estate, home of the Delano family, and long-since lost and developed.