Monday, December 2, 2013

The Lost C. P. Huntington Mansion -- No. 2 East 57th Street


The imposing arched entrance faced 57th Street, away from busy 5th Avenue -- photograph by Byron Company, from the collection of the Museum of the City of New York http://collections.mcny.org/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult_VPage&VBID=24UAYWE6C420#/SearchResult_VPage&VBID=24UAYWE6C420&PN=1
In the first years after the Civil War Richmond, Virginia struggled to get back on its feet.  New York City railroad mogul Collis P. Huntington visited the city regularly; eventually purchasing what would become the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.  Enormously wealthy, he was nevertheless uncouth, uneducated and according to newspapers “ruthless” and “scrupulously dishonest.”

While in Richmond the married millionaire noticed the 19-year old daughter of a boarding house operator, Arabella Yarrington.  Encouraged by her mother, the two began a steamy affair.  When Huntington’s business in the South was completed in 1869, he returned to New York City.  Not far behind was the entire Yarrington family; including John Worsham who posed as Arabella’s husband.

The following year Arabella bore a son, Archer,—the paternity of whom was never quite decided—and not long afterward she was tragically widowed.  (In actuality, John Worsham had returned home to his real wife in Richmond; but the story of his death was sufficient for newspaper accounts.)

Whether Elizabeth Huntington was aware of the scandalous affair or not; she quietly lived on in the Huntington mansion at Park Avenue and 38th Street.  Her husband first established the Yarringtons in a house near Gramercy Park; then in 1877 bought Arabella the brownstone house at No. 4 West 54th Street.

Arabella Yarrington Worsham was now firmly ensconced in what was rapidly becoming the most exclusive residential neighborhood in Manhattan.  The address alone, however, was not enough to get her access into the drawing rooms of her high-toned neighbors.

Collis and Arabella continued their illicit romance for years while Elizabeth Huntington battled cancer.  Finally, in 1883, she succumbed.  Her death frankly made things a bit easier for Arabella and Collis.

On Friday July 7, 1884 Huntington transferred the deed to his Park Avenue mansion to “Belle” and the following day they were married in the parlor of No. 4 West 54th Street.  He was 64 years old and his bride was now 34.  Before long Collis would adopt young Archer.

Arabella Yarrington Worsham Huntington sold the West 54th Street house to Ohio oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller and the newlyweds moved into the Park Avenue house.  Despite her boorish husband and humble upbringing; Arabella was educated and polished.  She spoke French fluently and had a sophisticated eye for art, a well-honed knowledge of history and books, and a refined understanding of decorative arts.   In short, she had everything a wealthy woman of the 19th century could desire—other than social acceptance.

In 1889 the Huntingtons were ready to elbow their way into Vanderbilt territory on Fifth Avenue.  One historian suggests Arabella “made” Collis build her a new mansion.  At any rate, he purchased the enormous plot of land (five 25-foot lots) at the southeast corner of 57th Street--across the avenue from the massive chateau George B. Post had designed for Cornelius Vanderbilt II.

Like Vanderbilt (or perhaps because of him) Huntington called on Post to design his mansion.  On November 2, 1889 the Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide announced that excavations for the foundation had commenced.  Although Post was tight-lipped about the design, the Guide promised “The house is to be, of course, most expensive in character, and it has been hinted in a cable from Europe that it is to be occupied by the Prince and Princess Hatzfeldt.”  (Princess Clara von Hatzfeldt was the foster daughter of Huntington and despite society’s hopes of having titled neighbors, the titled pair would go on living in Europe.)

Workers install the massive carriage gates.  American Architect and Building News, July 14, 1894 (copyright expired)
The mansion would take five years to complete, at a cost of $2.5 million.  Huge blocks of rough-cut stone formed the façade, interrupted by Renaissance-inspired openings on the second and third floors, and a ribbon of stone balustrade that encircled the structure above the parlor level.

The entrance, on 57th Street, was deeply recessed within a gaping stone arch.  To the side was a picturesque oval wing which, except for the lack of expanses of glass, the passerby might expect was the Huntington conservatory.  Instead it contained the heated “plunge bath” or “swimming bath.”  The remarkably modern complex included massage rooms, Turkish bath, dressing rooms, toilets, and a cozy fireplace nook with built-in seats.

The Huntington house (right) sat in the most exclusive New York neighborhood.  To the left is the white marble French mansion of Mary Mason Jones.  The iron fence at lower left belongs to Cornelius Vanderbilt III -- from the collection of the New York Public Library
Arabella’s hand was no doubt responsible for much of the interior decoration.   Artist Elihu Vedder embellished the dining room with wall and ceiling frescoes representing the four seasons.  The commission was hefty enough for him to turn down an invitation to do mural painting for the World’s Fair in Chicago.  Later, in 1916, art historian Joseph Walker McSpadden would approve of the mural, describing “each of the four figures being treated in an original manner.”

As the house neared completion trouble came when union woodworkers realized that non-union carvers were at work inside.  On May 3, 1893 The Evening World reported “Non-union carvers are employed on the new building of Railroad Magnate C. P. Huntington, Fifty-seventh street and Fifth avenue, and the Board of Walking Delegates is threatening to make trouble unless union men be employed at not more than eight hours per day.”

Apparently the dispute was settled and the house was completed within the year.  The mansion was fully plumbed and there were 10 full bathrooms.  The Engineering Record noted “In the second and third stories are six porcelain roll-rim decorated bathtubs on marble legs, and in other stories are three porcelain-lined roll-rim cast iron bathtubs.  In the boudoir bathroom is a decorated porcelain roll-top sitz bathtub with silver-plated fittings.”  The publication added that “the bathrooms are finished with white marble and ceramic tiles.”

The bay window on the Fifth Avenue side would later be lost to the avenue's widening.  At the opposite side the oval wing containing the swimming pool can be glimpsed.  photo by Byron Company, from the collection of the Museum of the City of New York http://collections.mcny.org/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult_VPage&VBID=24UAYWE6C420#/SearchResult_VPage&VBID=24UAYWE6C420&PN=1
Running a massive Fifth Avenue mansion required substantial service areas.  The Huntington house included a steward's room with two refrigerators, laundry room, laundry drying room, kitchen and scullery, butler’s pantry, and refrigerator room.

Now in their impressive home that rivaled any of the mansions that surrounded it, the Huntingtons focused on social acceptance.  The surest route into Manhattan’s inner circle was through Ward McAllister, the self-appointed gatekeeper of established society.  It was McAllister, along with Caroline Astor, who devised the list of “The Four Hundred;” those with the acceptable pedigree to be invited to Mrs. Astor’s ballroom.

Willing to buy his way into Manhattan society, Huntington negotiated a deal with McAllister.  For a $9,000 fee McAllister would host a dinner party in their honor followed by an invitation to the exclusive Patriarchs’ Ball and a personal introduction to Caroline Astor.

Once Ward McAllister had fulfilled his promises, Collis Huntington saw no reason to part with his $9,000 (a substantial quarter of a million today).  It was a socially-fatal miscalculation.  McAllister not only rubbed shoulders with New York’s wealthiest citizens, but with the gossip columnists, too.  The Huntington name was smeared in the newspapers and Arabella’s last grasp at social inclusion failed.

Even if her name was not included on the invitation lists of the grandest balls and receptions; Arabella Huntington’s life was not a harsh one.  Among their other homes was an expansive lodge, “Pine Knot,” on Racquet Lake in the Adirondack Mountains.  In August 1900 the Huntingtons were at Pine Knot with family and house guests that included Archer and his wife; Arabella’s sister and brother-in-law, Mansfield Hillhouse; Isaac E. Gates, Collis’s brother-in-law and advisor; William E. Coley; Arabella’s lifelong friend, Miss C. M. Campbell; and Huntington’s private secretary George E. Miles.

Just after going to bed on August 13 the 79-year old Collis suffered a coughing fit.  The San Francisco Call reported “His wife and he occupied the same apartment, and when the coughing attack came on Mrs. Huntington gave him a glass of stimulant, as she had always done before.  This seemed to relieve him for a moment.”

But the aged millionaire realized that this time it was worse than the earlier attacks.  “I am very, very ill,” he said to Arabella.  They were his last words.  A few seconds later he lapsed into unconsciousness.

Arabella ran to the servants, directing someone to get a doctor.  The guests, who had just finished playing whist, emerged from their bedrooms.  “Dr. Taylor came with all speed, but when he reached the sick man’s bedside life was extinct,” said the newspaper.

A special train brought the body of Collis P. Huntington to Grand Central terminal on Wednesday August 15.  The casket was placed in the library of the 57th Street mansion awaiting the private funeral that was held two days later.

In an incredible memorial to its deceased president, the Southern Pacific system ceased all operations for the few minutes that the casket was removed from the hearse to the grave site.  The San Francisco Call said “The shops will cease their bustle, engines will pause upon the rails and ferries will rest quietly upon the water while the body of him who was once the head of all is borne to the grave.” 

The assessment of Huntington’s gross personal New York State estate, released on November 28, 1903, was $35,594,586.  His entire estate would reach nearly $45 million.  There were two principal heirs—Arabella, obviously, and Collis’ nephew Henry Edwards Huntington.  The New York Times mentioned that “Others who receive bequests are Mr. Huntington's adopted daughter, Clara Elizabeth Huntington, who is now Princess von Hatzfeldt; his adopted son, Archer Milton Huntington, and other relatives.”

Princess von Hatzfeldt was not pleased with the reading of the will.  She received “an income of $1,000 for life.”

Included in her $22 million inheritance Arabella received the house, valued at $1.2 million, along with the artwork and valuable furnishings.  The walls of the mansion were hung with masterpieces by artists including Reynolds, Romney, Van Dyck, Corot, Diaz, Murillo, Turner, Gainsborough, Hals, Rousseau, and Sir Thomas Lawrence.  The library contained priceless rare volumes including the original manuscript of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography.

Quickly Princess von Hatzfeldt began legal proceedings to set aside the will.  “It is asserted that suit was begun in New York some months ago for a daughter’s share of the estate,” reported The New York Times on July 7, 1901.  Arabella and Henry pooled $6 million as a settlement to Collis’s adopted daughter.

In the meantime, Arabella lived on in the mansion, traveling through Europe, and collecting antiques, rare books, and artwork.  In 1907 she added to her art collection with Rembrandt’s Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer.

As the years passed, commerce inched closer to the house and in the summer of 1911 it would directly affect the Huntington house when the avenue was widened.

“The most important alteration made necessary by the new law that required the residences on Fifth avenue to move back their stoop lines seven and a half feet will take place in the residence of Mrs. C. P. Huntington, at the southeast corner of Fifty-seventh street and Fifth avenue,” said The Sun on June 28.

Although the Huntington entrance faced 57th Street; the reduced property lines encroached on the 5th Avenue façade.  “It has been decided to remove the bay window which stands on the Fifth avenue façade of the house.”

The newspaper noted that the heavy construction of the home presented a problem.  “The Huntington house, which was designed by George Post, is in the Italian style and is constructed of blocks of stone which make any changes in it extremely difficult.”

Within the year what was until recently unthinkable was happening—the grandest of the New York City mansions were falling under the wrecker’s ball to be replaced by business buildings.  On April 7, 1912 The Sun wrote “With the building of the Vanderbilt houses on Fifth avenue at Fifty-first, Fifty-second, Fifty-fourth and Fifty-seventh streets; the Huntington residence at Fifty-seventh street, and the Flagler residence, now Harkness, at Fifty-fourth street it was thought a ‘Chinese wall’ had been constructed making the invasion of business north of Fiftieth street and the Cathedral impossible, but the barrier has given way and all the central residence property south of Fifty-nine street must follow the trend, the ‘homes of luxury’ becoming the ‘marts of trade.’”

Four months later, on August 25, 1912 The New York Times noted the near-completion of “an eight-story structure, on a 25 foot plot at 12 East Fifty-seventh Street, a few doors beyond the dignified Huntington residence.”  And yet, unlike many of her neighbors, Arabella Huntington stayed on (along with her across-the-street neighbor, Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt).

While Arabella collected and traveled, Henry E. Huntington increased his own wealth by developing the Los Angeles electric traction railroads and indulged himself in rare books.  The other principal heir to Collis Huntington’s immense wealth, he had invested more than $5 million in art and books by 1913, including a $50,000 Gutenberg Bible.  Their entwined business interests along with their similar tastes in art and rare editions—not to mention their combined inheritance—brought Arabella and Henry together.  In July 1913 the nephew and aunt became husband and wife.

A newspaper report from Los Angeles on July 16 registered no shock among society.  “The marriage of Henry E. Huntington to the widow of his uncle, the late Collis P. Huntington in Paris to-day caused no surprise here where the engagement often had been reported and often denied.”

At the time of the wedding Henry had just completed an enormous mansion at San Marino, California.  The newlyweds, now both in their 60s, would come to divide their time between coasts—as well as on the 500-acre Chateau Beauregard estate near Versailles, France.

By July 19, 1915, when Huntington hired a full-time librarian, his collection of rare books had topped 40,000 volumes.  Within another decade it would be 1,200,000.

Arabella closely watched changes in Fifth Avenue and social reform.  When her step-daughter joined the 25,000 women who marched on Fifth Avenue for Women’s Suffrage on October 23, 1915, she showed her ardent support.  The Sun reported “Many suffrage flags decorated shops and houses along the way.  Collis P. Huntington’s home at Fifty-seventh street was decorated with yellow pennants and a group of faces watched from the windows.”

By the end of World War I the two great mansions opposite one another at Fifth Avenue and 57th Streets were among the last holdouts of an era already passed.  “The houses of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt and Mrs. Collis P. Huntington at Fifty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue are doomed to be overshadowed by a thirty-story office, store, apartment and theatre building, to be erected on the southwest corner of Fifty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue, by George Backer at a cost of about $6,000,000,” reported The Times on December 21, 1919.

New York saw less and less of Arabella Huntington as the years passed, however.  “It was her custom for years to reside during the Winter in the big gray stone house, often compared to a castle, at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street, but recently she has spent more and more of her time in California,” The Times noted in 1924.

She came back that summer, in July, but was seriously ill.  Her personal physician, Dr. William B. Coley, was in constant attendance.  But finally on September 16, 1924 the remarkable and colorful Arabella Huntington died in the house at No. 2 East 57th Street at the age of 72.  The New York Times diplomatically side-stepped her exclusion from society’s inner circle.  “Mrs. Huntington had never been a conspicuous figure in New York’s social life, largely because of her absorption in more serious matters.”

In fact, she had given generously to a variety of causes—many of which reflected her forward-thinking social positions.  “She did a great deal for the education of the negro in the South, mindful of conditions observed there in her youth,” The Times pointed out, “her benefactions including large gifts to Tuskegee Institute and to Hampton.  The striking shirt waist workers of 1909 received help from her.”

She donated the ground on which the American Geographical Society Building was built on Broadway and 156th Street; and gave freely to the Huntington Laboratory of the Harvard Medical School.

Archer Huntington inherited life rights to the mansion.  Upon his death, if he had no children, the property was to go to Yale.  Archer viewed the hulking mansion that sat among tall office buildings as more of a white elephant than a prize.


When this photograph was taken in June 1925, the mansion's days were numbered.  from the collection of the New York Public Library.

Within the year he donated the extensive Huntington art collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and on August 5, 1925 petitioned the courts for permission to sell the mansion.  Archer had received an offer of $3.8 million, which would go to Yale.  His eagerness to sell might have been encouraged by the substantial real estate taxes of just under $60,000 he was suddenly paying on the property. 

Archer Huntington argued “the building now standing on the premises is unsuitable to any commercial or business uses, or for residential apartments.” 

Four months later he got his wish.  As wreckers poised to demolish the 31-year old mansion, he reminisced to reporters, calling it “probably the best built house in the world of our time.”  Archer spoke of the 3 million bricks it took to construct the cellar alone.  “My father liked to do things that way.  He spent a great deal of time selecting the stone and going to the builders.  He wanted to make it a monument to American architecture and art, but commerce does not see it that way.”

Before the wreckers could begin, the mansion was emptied.  On February 25, 1926 the first of the auctions was held—this one of the massive library.  It was followed in March by the astounding collection of furniture—Italian, French, English and American.

There was a chiming clock by Jown Ewer (Eyre) of London for which Arabella had paid $30,000; important American Colonial furniture, including mid-eighteenth century highboys; a pair of Philadelphia Chippendale chairs owned by George Washington (with documented provenance); a Duncan Phyfe sofa table; and Sheraton and Hepplewhite examples.

One group of furniture was removed from the auction list.  Archer had an entire “French Room” dismantled and shipped to Yale University.  Along with the salon he donated the “rare pieces of French furniture” that had decorated it.

Among the Louis XV pieces were a marqueterie chess and backgammon table said to have belonged to Madame de Pompadour, “a large Louis XV writing table which is represented in Tocque’s portrait of M. de Bossy,” a roll top desk, and other important pieces.

Next came the artwork.  On April 11, 1926 The New York Times reported that “Paintings belonging to the late Mrs. Henry E. Huntington have been removed from 2 East Fifty-seventh Street to the Anderson Galleries.”  There were works by Mary Cassatt, Filippo Lippi,  approximately 30 old masters, 94 Italian paintings and “others of the Barbizon, modern French, early Flemish, Dutch and South German schools.”

In death Arabella got a sort of posthumous revenge when her jewelry, assessed at $1,274,904 was said by the appraiser to have “exceeded that owned by the late Mrs. William Astor.”

Three months after the last painting and tapestry were removed from Arabella Huntington’s granite castle it was gone.  In June The Times mentioned that Park & Tilford had already leased the four-story building “the Schulte interests are erecting on the site of the old Huntington house.”

The new store would not last long.  In September 1940 Tiffany & Co. opened its new home on the corner.  The sleek, modern architecture and the firm’s famous name obliterated any memory of Collis Huntington's "monument to American architecture and art" that stood there for just three decades.

photo by Alice Lum

14 comments:

  1. Yet another superb article, Daytonian. But "2 EAST 57th Street", as in your text.

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    1. I could proof-read my own writing 30 times and something stupid like that will manage to get through! Thanks! All fixed

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  2. Fantastic photos of a lost era. What an exclusive neighborhood at 5th and 57th. Simply stunning in the shear amount of residential opulence that has vanished from mid-town, but which is returning in the form of new residential highrises now going up on 57th street. NYarch

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  3. Interesting house. I noticed in the last picture that not only is the bay window on 5th Avenue gone, but so is the main entrance on the side street. The entrance steps look to be gone. I wonder how one got into the house?

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    1. I noticed that too; but I think if you look closely the entrance is actually still there, beyond the wall. The photograph is deceiving; I think.

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  4. Tom, this was a wonderful article that again moved me. I just finished reading a biography on Hetty Green and her hatred and rivalry of C.P. Huntington was very interesting.

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  5. I have yet to see a floorplan of this. Not even "The Great Houses of New York" book had floorplans but man its interior was breath taking, the exterior was definitely not.

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    1. I found the floor plans which were somewhat interesting; but they were the plumber's plans so even though the walls were there and the rooms discernible, all the plumbing was too distracting. Obviously, if those exist so do the builder's plans.

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  6. ..the plunge bath was actually under the library where the bay window was. the window bay as well as this very delicate massive and yet lacey fence had to be removed in 1911 when 5th ave. was widened. there is a reference to a conservatory in the building documents,, at Syracuse University.. the college holds a great deal of huntington paper. c.p. huntingtons papers are lodged there. IF there are blueprints, or a floor plan. A Good place to look is the Hispanic Society in manhatten n.y.c. It is only a guess,, the scale of the house was wonderful. Confusing. A guest might have come up the great stair to the front door. Likely,, a stain glass double door for an often vestibule idea. straight ahead were three openings in to a three story cortile. To the right and left of the entrance door were reception rooms, on the left, certainly. on the right perhaps a similar space for men to be received. reception rooms were asmall space ,,, relatively ! where a guest could wait, and ladies could put everything back in to place. further on the right was the white salon, that is what the room is referred to today..... please see the new book. "the art of wealth etc"....Shelley M. Bennett... a great hall ran east to west .. from the white salon east to the dining room. look at the front of the house, on either side of the main arch are windows out of scale. just as lovingly carved and decorated as the rest of the facade. the reception rooms? yes i think so,, but i wonder if there was not at least one secondary staircase to the second floor. the white salon has an alcove that perhaps might fit.. if anyone has been to the Breakers in new port ri..... then you will know this technique... as a visitor,, one goes up on these staircases,,,, grand,, but not the grand staircase, no. Hunt and post worked together. there was a very grand and hauntingly beatiful staircase a large half circle,,,,, from street level to the third floor. three stain glass windows provided light and privacy from top to bottom. as one would ascend the steps one would arrive on the second floor with a breathtaking view down ,, out ,, and up to this vault crowned with a stain glass skylight. the tower next to and east of the dining room has a staircase and an elevator in the center of service stairs? the east room is difficult to read. The colors in the house must have been stunning to a guest,,, easy to live with as well. black and white photographs do nothing kind for color. the east room must have had some kind of winter garden ,,, perhaps in the southern apse of the room.? but certainly facing south... a conservatory/winter garden is referred to in the huntington menue of rooms,,, referred to. over the plunge bath on the ground floor/basement... a turkish ....no!!! a roman bath. a beautiful library of the original bay window on fifth ave.... a look at the fireplace..Karl Bitter did some wonderful work in this house. here at the library are two muscular giants holding the mantle above them........................................ the point is... the house was stunning and the rooms large but not so large that one would feel as if they were in the lobby of a 1927 movie palace. this house has been put down largely because of the people that lived in the home. i think so. designed to be admired from an angle..... the so called gaping mouth richardsonian arch,,, appears to be a normal arch when viewed on an angle. it seems that the stone facing was granite. We know what comes after a road is widened. it seems to me that the family lived in their houses and survived the chaos of the whitney's vanderbilts and poor mrs oelrichs accross the street. ........... I will not give up on finding a working floor plan.... where did i read the kitchen on the fourth floor? but then i found a picture take from a high floor of the st regis hotel.... one looks down and there are two floors of normal windows ,,Above the skylight.. the whitney house and the vanderbilt house are still there....

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    1. The blueprints of the plumbing definitely show the swimming pool in the oval wing. Perhaps the conservatory sat above the plunge in the lower level. Very interesting information. Thanks!

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    2. Hi........ By accident I found a four part article on the plumbing in the c.p. huntington, house. It shows cut aways of the plunge bath rooms, including the window treatment. The tank was curved to follow the bend in the bay window on fifth ave. It also showed the support panels for the tank. The swimming bath room had a fireplace! It even shows the step like ladder as it descends in to the water. As you look at the front of the house, or better: use Hughson Hawley's rendition of the front facade, from an angle. You will see a balcony, no! a terrace fitting in to that corner of the fifth avenue library, and the white salon. It is drawn in with two women and Palm tree. Below that is another room belonging to the bathing complex. A massage room, a hot bath, a tepid bath etc. There is a view looking in the plunge room toward the fifth ave bay: it gives an idea as to what it would have looked like in the library above. I wish I knew how to send you the articles on the bathing complex. The curve was so close to the fifth avenue wall, I wonder if they were able to maintain all of this complex of rooms after the 1911 alterations. Please look for "some plumbing in the c.p. huntington house" on google.... also you will find the floor plans of the complete astor mansion. Good luck. M.

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    3. Description
      This section is from the book "American Plumbing Practice", by The Engineering Record. Also available from Amazon: Plumbing: A working manual of American plumbing practice.

      Plumbing In Mr. C. P. Huntington's Residence. Part 4

      Figure 13 is a diagram of the iron tank and shows the different pipe connections, comprising six 1½-inch inlet holes I I, etc., for the water from the heater to enter 6 inches from the bottom, two 1-inch holes S S for the surface spray to enter 4 inches below the top, one 5-inch bottom outlet O for emptying and circulation, and three 3-inch overflow holes W W W for the water to waste through, the upper hole 5 feet 2 inches above the bottom, and the other 6 and 12 inches below it. the top of the tank and removing automatically and continuously any scum or floating objects from the surface of the water where a large part of the impurities and foreign particles collect. At the upper end of the bath two nozzles S S deliver a fine spray of hot, cold, or tempered water above the high-water line, and so directed as to cover the surface of the water and wash all the top part gently towards the opposite end, where it slowly overflows through the waste pipe. This is intended to prevent the accumulation of scum and constantly removes the dirtiest portion of the water. The nozzles S S are supplied by a 1-inch pipe T, which is carried along the outside of the tank wall just below the cellar ceiling and delivers from a 1½ - inch mixing chamber U, which is filled from the hot and cold pipes of the regular house system with check valves D D placed so as to prevent the possibility of water from main C backing up into main H, or vice versa.

      Figure 16 is a partial vertical cross-section through the side of the tank at one of the inlets I, and shows the details of lining and the method of connecting all Figure 17 shows the connections of one of the two duplicate bath boilers B B, Fig. 1 and Fig. 14. It is placed close to the tank wall W, and contains a 100-foot coil of 2-inch brass pipe which is connected with the supply and return steam pipes R and V, and receiving water from the bottom of the tank through pipe C returns it, warmer, through the three distributing pipes H H H. Fresh cold water is delivered by pipe K and by branch L to the companion boiler on the opposite side of the tank. X is a connection left for the swimming bath special filter pump. D is the Jewell filter (see Fig. 1), which is set adjacent to the boiler and which filters all the house supply. It is connected by pipes M and G to the principal cold, water main A, Fig. 1, and when in operation has valves N N open and valve O closed, but by reversing these valves the filter is cut out; valve O serving as a by-pass. Q is the crank for operating the rotating mechanism when the filter is washed, and the designation of the different valves is as follows: 1. Washout valve. 2. Wash valve. 3. Inlet valve. 4. Pure water valve. 5. Rewash valve. 6. Back-pressure valve. 7. Filling cap. 8 Overflow valve. 9. Tank inlet valve, 10. Regulating valve. To wash the filter, open valves 1 and 2, close all other valves and turn the crank on top of the filter. To filter, close all valves except 3 and 4; valve 5 should be opened only about two minutes after washing to allow a little water to filter in the sewer.



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      Try to go to this link. You will really enjoy this...... M.




      Read more: http://chestofbooks.com/home-improvement/construction/plumbing/American-Plumbing-Practice/Plumbing-In-Mr-C-P-Huntington-s-Residence-Part-4.html#ixzz2nlBDIN5D

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  7. Hi...... I joined your blog..... I am Michael............we will find the Huntington plans together....Soon,,,M,

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  8. This was so well done and fascinating! Thanks. I am researching the homes in that area because my great grandmother Louise Demars was a French Governess who lived in a home on E 57th street in 1880. I am trying to decipher the 1880 census to figure out which family she worked for but I cannot be sure. Did you ever run across any information pertaining to the Robert Chadwick Hutchings family? City directory says Hutchings lived at 8 E 57th in 1880. They had 6 servants so I assumem considerable wealth; however I am not having any luck learning about my grandmother's employer except he was a Columbia educated attorney who had served as the Surrogate for NY until 1875. On the census his employment was "Ex Surrogate of NY" I am interested to know how he could appear retired at age 40!

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