Thursday, February 3, 2011

19 Halsey Neck Lane

Believe it or not, the photo above is of the FRONT of a house. I have been so curious about this house and am finally getting around to commenting on it. It is located near the top of Halsey Neck Lane, across from the infamous Claverack, and adjacent to an Italianate sort of house that is for sale to its north. A friend of mine said she even used to live in it (rental) which just refreshed my curiosity.

As one drives by, you can’t help but notice the blank brick wall that faces the passerby, sandwiched between the large shingle-clad homes which predominantly line this estate district avenue. Believe it or not, in this case, I actually don’t mind that the parking is in front. This house doesn’t have a face as its east and west walls are solid brick walls that “bookend” the body of the house. The west wall creates a sort of courtyard for the parking of a car or two. Then again, the entrance to the owner and anyone else for that matter, could be more celebrated not to mention made more obvious. One feels as if they have to sort of tip-toe around before the location of the main entrance becomes clear.

I always imagined that these solid brick east and west end walls would give way to large expanses of glass facing the south side and some sort of glass and other ‘lighter’ material combination on the north side. I imagined that this rectangular volume would be laid out like a Chelsea loft, with the open public spaces along the glass, and the private spaces aligned with the solid walls. I was right, pretty much, except that the south wall does not have nearly as much glass as I expected.

I think the house was built circa 1958 by Eugene Murray and doesn’t seem to have been significantly updated since then. While it looks like a one-story house, it also has a basement that must be finished to some degree and is therefore larger than it seems. Also, while the lot is narrow, it has a nice patio on the south side, and a nice yard area in the back (east). It does not have a shed, a pool house, or a garage, and benefits nicely from its simplicity.

I do not yet know if Eugene is related to the Wickapogue Murray clan. There sure are a lot of them though!

Property Owner History (incomplete):
Gaspar & Marta Azakats, 1973-present
Eugene Murray, 1958-1973
Raymond E. Howell & Helen D. Lindsay, before 1938-1958

No comments:

Post a Comment