22.4.12

By the way...

Drum roll, please--- have I remembered to mention that I'm writing a book?  About the cottages of the summer colonies of Down East coast of Maine, Rockport to Grindstone Neck, and of course Bar Harbor, it will be published by Acanthus Press in the early spring of 2014.  I have been a huge admirer of Acanthus and its handsome monographs ever since they started publishing, and could not be more pleased to be joining the others on the shelf.


If posting has seemed a little thin on the ground in recent months, now you know why.  Barry Cenower, the head of Acanthus, and I were working on the outline---and until we arrived at the final choices, much material was temporarily off the table.   The book will cover 50 of the most interesting of the 700 or so architecturally significant summer houses built up here between 1880 and 1940, with an additional catalog  appendix of fifty more.  

Castine, c.1895
 Northeast Harbor, c. 1905
 Many of America's most significant architects have worked in this region, and the book will contain some of their work, as well as houses that have never been published. There is a special sensibility to a Maine house that sets it apart from those of the Hamptons or Newport.

Dark Harbor, c. 1910
 The genre includes iconic gray shingled houses by the sea, turreted mountain top mansions,  Italian villas, designs inspired by the regional vernacular, modernist masterpieces, and a couple of one-off houses that will astound.  Photographs old and new, of houses, interiors and grounds, along with floor plans and architectural drawings will illustrate each chapter. I am having a ball seeking out new and unknown houses and material, and discovering the fascinating stories behind the houses.  I look forward to telling them for you.

Blue Hill, c. 1915
You think I'm going to tell you more now?  I'm contractually obligated not to---but stay tuned.  We will be releasing little teasers from time to time.  In the meantime, I'll be going back in full swing here---antiques, gardens, houses, interiors (except the ones in the book), road trips and more.

Bar Harbor, c. 1905

In other news, the Dilettante goes to a party HERE (Scroll to the last one at bottom)

And a recent Dilettante article about a notable tear-down HERE


27 comments:

Raina Cox said...

I can pre-order now, right?

Blue said...

Dilettante, Congratulations!

If your book is to be judged by your blog essays it will be a witty, learned and fascinating read. I look forward to having it in my hands

The Ancient said...

Regarding your article --

Several years ago, a young friend took her five-year old daughter to a birthday party thrown by the parents of a classmate. There were all the usual displays of wretched excess -- face painters, musicians, two jugglers, someone who turned balloons into animals, a magician, popcorn and cotton candy machines, and a small pen with assorted exotic animals, tended by a pair of grizzled carnies.

My friend was a bit taken aback by the display, as she'd been planning a party for her own daughter the following month. So she asked the two carnies how she could possibly top the display put on by Steven Rales and his then-wife.

"Get the elephant," said one.

Mitchell Rales always gets the elephant.

The Devoted Classicist said...

How exciting! I can hardly wait!

Anonymous said...

As an avid collector of Acanthus Press monographs and a great fan of this blog all I can say is congratulations. Now I have to wait for publication.
Best.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Congratulations on your new project! Despite the size, beauty and history of these houses, they are bound to change, if not continue to be lost, so your work will be valuable and much needed.

penelopebianchi said...

How did that happen??? Doesn't Mt. Desert have a design review board?

Good grief! I almost wept when I read that article!

YUCK!!!!

Congratulations; and I hope you will help prevent this sort of thing!!!

I guess there is no educating some billionaires!

Reggie Darling said...

Congratulations! I look forward to ordering a copy of your book, and hopefully having it inscribed one day by its author. In the meantime, thanks for writing this blog, a pleasure to all of us your fortunate readers. RD

montana channing said...

i'll expect a personally autographed copy and congratulations as i had written you off with some exotic but terminal disease or, as i said before, MARRIAGE- another horrible terminal disease - 100% fatal.

since Nawtheast hahbuh doesn't exist on either bing or google maps, is there a pic of this architectural horror extant in its finished form (an oxymoron)? should i ingest poison, i'd like to have something around that would trigger a gag reflex and i figure a pic of this eyesore would work 100% of the time.

PS - the "new google" in addition to invading and combining all facets of our private life has ruined the security word definition business. in light of my huge success on Old Long Island, i was considering my own book of security word definitions (with possible help from lil' gay boy and the ancient) but now the words are pure gibberish e.g. "icsianse ingsere". guess i'll have to find honest work (no offense).

Michele from Boston said...

Congrats, Brad! Can't wait to order the book. This is marvelous news. Since I'm a bit selfish, I must admit I've missed your regular postings as well. M.

Anonymous said...

What Raina said! Do stay with us when your book tour brings you to Amelia Island, unless Acanthus insists on booking the Ritz for their newest, most deserving crown jewel.

-Flo

home before dark said...

Now this is going to be fun! I know to say "break a leg" to Thespians, but to writers under deadline "break a finger" does not sound like the thing to say. So here's to the day the book is done and to quick work before it's in our grubby, little hands!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the book, but only 50 cottages? Also without an idea of what the new home's finished appearance is, it is impossible to tell if the new construction will become itself a treasured icon on the shore one day just as many of the older shingled cottages are.

The Ancient said...

http://www.gwathmey-siegel.com/images/portfolio/projects/200711/200711_thumb.jpg

Kellsboro Jack said...

Sensational job with landing on the Acanthus Press deal!

Its good to hear they are continuing their well regarding series profiling regionally significant historical architecture. If your blog is any indication of what is in store we will all be lining up to buy a copy.

Janet said...

I knew it, I knew it!!!! This is fantastic news! And if you'd like a sneak peek at our news, check out oldyork.org !!!

ChipSF said...

Congratulations - looking forward to adding it to my collection!

And now a question since you are my go-to for East Coast architectural questions. I haven't been able to suss out the architect of the Nelson Aldrich mansion in Warwick, R.I. (yes - I just saw "that" movie). Any ideas?

smilla4blogs said...

DED, it was only a matter of time. Sign me up for a copy and lets celebrate in Old York!

Donna said...

So excited for you, and of course you're the perfect choice for this book! Can't wait for it.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Chip, Carrere & Hastings designed the Aldrich place at Warwick. (You mean 'Meet Joe Black" or has it been in another movie?). Moving to Pocantico must have been quite a comedown in magnificence for Aldrich's daughter.

Smilla, big news all around, no? JCB's news is indeed terrific.

Elaine said...

Can't wait for the book to come out! The demise of the Eliot house is positively sickening. It makes me ill every time there is a tear down.

ChipSF said...

DED - Yes it was "Meet Joe Black", which I was flipping past when a sensational house appeared. New to me.

Carrere and Hastings - of course! I thought it might be D&A given the family connection but it would have been earlier than that. However, it may have been that connection that brought the commission to Carrere and Hastings.

Toby Worthington said...

A book? Well, that's a relief! All the secrecy made me
fear that a sex change operation had been scheduled.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers - great news for you but thrilling news for us lucky readers! KDM

Sarah Faragher said...

Fabulous news!

But wait, holy mackerel, stop the presses, does this mean you will no longer be an actual dilettante...?

;O)

Thomas said...

All the best in your efforts at completing the book and working with a publisher whose work has its own merits too.

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

completely missed this news! it is great news indeed. So happy to be one of your downsouth devotees. pgt