The Dilettante is completely flattened by projects at the moment, leaving  no time to blog, and I probably miss all of you more than you miss me, as I thrive on feedback (as the guy said, I don't care what you say about me as long as you say something).  I am happy to report, however, that so far this summer there have been no exploding cars, although the heat, with barely any rain, has been almost unbearable, reducing the lawn to dust, and the Dilettante to a sweaty puddle (am I supposed to say 'sweat'?  It seems so non-u).

Pictured below is a house in Castine, Maine, designed by fashionable architect William Lawrence Bottomley for Miss E.K. Branch,  a banking heiress from Richmond Virginia,  related to writers James Branch Cabell and Ellen Glasgow (who herself summered in Castine).  For my article about this fascinating house, in the current of issue of Portland Monthly, please click HERE.

There have been a few interesting developments in Dilettante Land.  Bloomberg News wanted to take my picture for an article in which I'll be quoted, but the photographer didn't show up.   Guess he was busy photographing the Mayor's new house in Southampton.  Just as well.  One is not completely fond of being photographed.

 In addition,  I'll be back soon with a major announcement (fingers crossed), or at least some interesting gossip.   Now, if you'll excuse me, it's hot, it's nearly 5:00 PM, and I know there's a martini with my name on it somewhere.  Sidekick?


The Devoted Classicist said...

I would definitely repaint the exterior to simulate the original pink tinted stucco!

Blue said...

Sweat is not non-u, but Dilettantes merely glow.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

It's a wonderful photograph of your handsome bookcase, but you are a tease to show just a little of what looks to be a stupendous ceiling decoration. Won't you show more?

The Ghost of Winston Spencer Churchill said...

I would go Blue one better.

We are all worms, but I do believe that you, Dilettante, are a glow-worm.

home before dark said...

It reached 111 here in Kansas today. Seems like yesterday when we were whining about the eternal snow that would not melt,no? Don't sweat the no-show of the photog. He probably could not take the heat! Looking forward to your happy news.

ChipSF said...

This does look sort out of place, but it is nevertheless attractive. Nice massing, charming details and nice landscaping in the b&w photo above.

Not to get you too far off on a tangent, but, how is this Miss Branch related to the John K. Branch with the John Russell Pope designed house on Monument Avenue? Or is she? I don't find much info on her the internet.

Thanks for the post & nice to see the restored house in your article!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Devoted, I agree. Although the current buff with green shutters is very attractive, the pink made the fantasy (and improbability in its setting amidst shingled summer cottages) complete.

Mark Ruffiner, unfortunately for me, not my bookcase, but rather in the library of the Pink Palace. Full photo of the ceiling, which is indeed marvelous, can be seen in the article.

Blue and Churchill's Ghost: The Dilettante is glowing with amusement.

HBD, we hit 100 here Friday week ago. Surreal. The wind off the ocean was actually hot like air from a furnace.

Chip, wonder no more. The owner of the John Russell Pope house was Miss Branch's brother.

Hels said...

Is Maine normally that hot and humid? I am assuming it is not, at least for 10 months of the year. Yet the photographed house in Castine Maine looks as if it came straight off the Mediterranean Sea - whitewash (err pink) walls, big cool tiles on the floor, shutters to keep out the heat. It is gorgeous!

mdrnpntofvu said...

Good to see you back!! And shocked it's that hot in Maine!! Believe it or not it has been cooler in Atlanta than the northeast this summer, but we are supposed to get our due today.

I'm originally from Virginia and grew up in Richmond and lived for nearly a decade in The Fan (the name of a neighborhood). I lived about three blocks from Monument Avenue and the Cabell Branch house by Pope. The homes of Monument Avenue, which is called such because of the CSA general statues, is lined with gilded age mansions, many designed by Bottomley. Monument Avenue is gorgeous and so are the Bottomley homes. There is a book, which I have, on Monument Avenue and one about Bottomley. The house in Maine is very similar to one in Richmond.

And if I remember correctly, Nancy Lancaster, who was a Virginian, is thrown into the mix with the Cabell Branch Families somewhere??

Anyway thanks for the surprise, the Branch and Cabell families are FFV's, First Families of Virgina, and very prominent. Who knew about the house in Maine?

In a round about way, your article made me homesick....

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I'll be able to say I knew you when! Glad to hear things have picked up for the summer but I'm with you on this heat -ugh! I'm off to Ptown next week and I'm praying for cooler weather while there!
I just love these random mediterranean houses in northern climates!

ernø said...

Thank you again for all the visit !

Anonymous said...

Looks like something Mr. Goodhue might have designed. The exterior is a bit slab-sided, but the interiors are lovely.

The Sidekick said...

Oh DED -- Having clicked my heels together 3 times, here I am in Kansas, where it was only 95 today, drinking gin in a hotel room. Would much prefer to be having a martini with you near the cool bay. It's a date for next week!

Anonymous said...

We had our own misplaced mediterranean manor here in Philadelphia by Addison Mizner (better known in Florida), but alas, it did not survive.

If you can stomach it, images and links here:

Anonymous said...

Oh -- and major announcement? Gossip?

You tease. Pour me another martini and I'll wait.

Sarah Faragher said...

You know I'm a fan of Italian villas in Maine, so thanks for news of this one. I've been by it many times and it always turns my head. I've missed your posts of late and look forward to future announcements!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Hels: Every July we get a bout of soupy unpleasant weather

mdnptofview, I know the feeling so well...

AD, too funny--

Anonymous, it does rather, doesn't it?

Sidekick, hurry!

Time Machine, I watched with horror as the La Ronda story unfolded. It defied imagination, but is too typical of our current era. How different our attitudes than Europe's to these things. Funny you should mention it now, as just today, researching an article for NYSD, I came across a bit about the Foederer's giving a coming out party in Bar Harbor for their daughter, and had not known before that they were there.

Sarah, I had to miss the opening of the 'Home & Away' exhibit, but was delighted to notice that your lovely Penobscot Bay painting, one of my favorites in the show, had a 'sold' sticker on it.

Michele from Boston said...

I definitely miss you so I'm looking forward to all your latest news from down here at the hammam (I mean Boston).

Decor Arts Now said...

You are one busy bee. Congrats. Can't wait for the big news.
Lynn from Decor Arts Now

Anonymous said...

After Miss Branch, the "Pink Palace" was owned for a while by my great uncle, Kenneth Girdwood, son of James Girdwood, the namesake of Girdwood, AK. My father and my second cousin, Ken's daughter, used to speak of the place frequently and the time that she spent living there. Several years ago, I decided to go to Castine to find the house. I learned that Bill and Sylvia Carter had recently purchased the house, and I would be looking for a white house, and not a pink one. When I saw it, I was quite surprised, as I had not been told about it's Mediterranean architectural style. It immediately reminded me of La Ronda, which at the time was still standing, and for which attempts were being made to save it. I am so glad that Bill and Sylvia purchased and restored this house. Considering that it had been vacant for a while, it could have gone the way of La Ronda, which would have made me feel doubly ill, as I was already sickened about La Ronda.

The Down East Dilettante said...


I hope you get this---I am anxious to know more about the Girdwood era at the Pink Palace, which will be included in a new book I am writing, please email me at downeastdilettante@live.com.

Mike said...

It's amazing how books can be part of decoration in a home. Especially the old ones.

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