Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pinewood's about the garden views from inside the house!

In the 1970's Pinewood Estate came on the market. At the top of Mountain Lake Estates, it ajoined the Bok Tower Garden and the BT Board decided to purchase it. It was built by a captain of industry, C Austin Buck, a vice-president of Bethlehem Steel. Homesites in Mountain Lake Estate were hard to come by and if you didn't build within 6 months of purchase you forfeit the property. I have by word-of-mouth, that this (unbuilt) property became available in 1929 when its then owner committed suicide after the Stock Market Crash. I haven't done the research to verify this but it makes sense and fits into the time scheme. The story goes that Buck's sister called him on hearing the sad news and he came down immediately and made the purchase.

The house is in the Mediterranean Revival Style, which apparently was a US phenomenon that lasted only a few decades. I love the house; it's loaded with tile and what I like most about it is the views. The landscape designer and the architect worked in concert to achieve that effect. In fact, the gardens were designed before the house. As a garden designer I've gotta love that! Of course the garden is primary! Construction started in 1930 and took a bit more than two years to complete. If you happen to have money during an economic depression your dollars go a lot farther than they would have otherwise. I suspect Buck had the funds notwithstanding but evidence of the expert craftsmanship he afforded himself is evident everywhere. Tile is a huge element in the design from the roof to the floors and everywhere in between.

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