Lewis Bowman was a New York based architect prominent in the first quarter of the 20th Century. He worked across the country, and in a variety of historic European styles, but is most notable for his use of Jacobean and Tudor styles in Bronxville, NY. He spent a few years briefly after college in McKim, Mead, and White’s firm before moving just north of New York City to Westchester County. In 1918 he started his own firm. I tell you this because I came across these drawings recently.
I surmise that the father of my neighbor (the late John “Jack” Colgan Sr.) worked in Bowman’s firm on account of his name (appearing with the suffix “del” after it) and Bowman’s on these drawings. Does anyone know what that means in this context?
Let’s say this is the first of a few posts on this cache. The large blueprints I’ll have to photograph with some better equipment at work.
There’s one drawing here “A residence for L Boyde Hatch Esq, Logan Utah” that’s absolutely enormous.
Though Bowman’s houses are often large, they are not commonly this palatial; usually they are less than 5000 square feet.
Bowman’s work was full of high quality and historically accurate fine detail. For 5 years before starting his own firm, he worked for a builder of fancy homes and developed long standing connections with the best craftsmen in the area. The interiors look warm and solid, but perhaps a bit dark. One needed only enough of an opening in the wall through which to shoot arrows at invading Visigoths. Besides, who wants a view of a moor or a fen?
I live in a Tudor of a slightly earlier era, with slightly less fine construction, but I am happy to say the unknown architect didn’t follow historic precedence on the sizing of the windows…
My neighbor is in the process of cleaning out his family house, having just sold it, and in the pile of junk out for the trash was this tangle of wires and sockets. Of course it caught my pathologically lighting-attuned eye. I pulled it out for some further examination. Here are the results of my investigation:
Old, probably 1930s or 40s
Christmas tree lights or shrubbery decoration? (see label of Gard-n-Light on back of sockets)
Deadly, at least in the state of repair they are in now
Cool black Bakelite sockets with copper and brass threads and posts
Just incredible the way they tapped and spliced off the trunk line to make each separate socket drop.
It ended up right back where it started, my wife warily assessing the Sanford and Son vibe it created as decoration on our porch.
Celerie Kemble and Miles Redd choose the Magic Forest Floor Lamp for their Top 10 Floor Lamps in the March issue of Elle Decor. Kemble says the lamp is “irreverent, but it also has a sophisticated glamour”….and she pictures it “brightening a dramatic dining room or even a sunroom.”
Celerie Kemble and Miles Redd choose the Magic Forest Floor Lamp for their "Top 10".
Alix and I and a few friends from work went out for an elaborate dinner at Bouley on a recent Friday. I won’t bother describing the service, food, drink; other than to say that after 6 hours we all left in a very, very good mood.
The genesis of that evening was an afternoon a month previous when Chef David Bouley happened to walk by our showroom on 28th Street and walked out with a haul of polished nickel, stainless, and aluminum and holophane and opal glass. He left us with an invitation to a chef’s-choice dinner. These gutsy fixtures found a place in the redesigned kitchen at his flagship restaurant on Duane Street. Before we floated home on a chocolate-y delicious something, the maitre d’ took us through the back door and into the kitchen where even at 1am, the staff was buzzing around at full tilt.
Chef Bouley had the Oskar Pendant and the Orson Billiard lights over his marble staging counters and pastry tables. He fitted the pendants to professional photography accordion mounts so they can be raised and lowered with the push of a finger and retrofitted the interiors to run infrared lamps. The ceiling of the whole kitchen is finished in polished mirrored tiles that amplify the cool marble and copper, black iron, and nickel surfaces. Whoever it is keeping this place as pristine and shiny as we saw it that evening, my hat’s off to you. – David Calligeros
Oskar pendants in Bouley Restaurant kitchen
I was in LA to present a paper on the Illuminating Engineers Society, which is another story, and took the opportunity to visit with Hutton and Ruth Wilkinson, the creative force between The Tony Duquette Company. Their house is a wonderfully grand affair just above Duquette’s legendary Dawnridge in Beverly Hills. Hutton’s filled the house with layers of very nice old things of Duquette’s, Venetian paintings, intricately carved coral, bronze, and lapis bibelots, and other extraordinary curiosities.
We had made a few custom chandeliers for their entrance and hall. You can see the gold rays of the Duquette California Sunburst Chandeliers reflecting off the polished black stone floor and the cool white ceiling when you approach the house’s glass doors… You’d notice also, over the dining table is an original of the Aurora Pendant.
Hutton apparently originally intended to hang an original Duquette chandelier designed for James Coburn (that looks like something out of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) in the dramatically tall living room that opens out to a waterfall and the gardens of Dawnridge. It obstructed the view of the 18th century Italian paintings however and is now out among the palms, keeping the koi company. That fixture is pictured in the Duquette book written by Hutton and Wendy Goodman.
The March issue of Harpers Bazaar has an article about the house with a slideshow showing many of the rooms.
Coach just launched its collaboration with Tony Duquette on a line of jewelry which can be seen on their website.
The colorful bracelets, wide, dramatic necklaces, and pendants refer to Duquette’s historic archives and iconic designs for Hollywood royalty in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s… and throughout his long life. We are particularly tickled with the sunburst pendants… I like to forget the dates and think that they must have been inspired by our California Sunburst chandelier.
Tarryn Brodkin, from our Los Angeles showroom, and I went to see a project William Hefner is designing in Bel Air the other day. It’s a jaw-dropping affair of many, many square feet and acres of tawny limestone. We reviewed the lighting schedule and worked on some custom concepts.
Leaving the property and heading back home, we stopped to admire these spare remnants of an estate across the street. The large parcel had been scraped clean of all vestiges of the early 20th century house that once occupied the precincts, except for these 2 pairs of wrought iron gates and pier lights. They are fairly intact though one set has inexplicable jail-break like damage… why wouldn’t you just climb over the 4’ wall?