Samuel Dugan House 148 Main Street
The Victorian revival styles consisted mainly of Greek, Gothic, Swiss, Italian and Egyptian designs. Occasionally other design sources, from Europe and the ancient world, were added to these. Some of the leading 19th Century American Architects who designed buildings in revival styles were A.J. Downing, A.J. Davis, Calvert Vaux, Jacob Wrey Mould, and Samuel Adams Warner. The Victorian architect visited the cities of Rome and Florence, the Grecian Monuments of Sicily, the Swiss Alps, and was inspired thereby. In America, the English builders' pattern books circulated widely. Stylistically varied, they were well provided with details which could be executed in timber and applied at a reasonable cost. An offshoot of the division between Classic and Gothic styles, the "Tuscan Villa" bore a close resemblance to the paintings, then very popular (in the early 19th century) of Claude de Lorraine and Nicholas Poussin, rather than to the Italian villas of the 16th and 17th centuries. The first exemplar in England, "Cronkhill" (John Nash-1802) located near Shrewsbury, was small, a gentleman's rural retreat. It had round-headed windows, two towers, a shallow pitched roof with extended open soffit eaves, and the chimneys were designed as architectural features. The magnificently scaled Travellers Club House (1829-1831) on Pall Mall, designed by the most versatile of Victorian architects, Sir Charles Barry, most famous for the new Houses of Parliament at Westminster, was the first "correct" Italianate building in London. While American architects and builders found the Italian stylistic details and building plans suitable for the current notions of rural retreats, these did not achieve popularity for at least 10 to 20 years later in non-metropolitan areas. Cottages and villas of an earlier date were then re-roofed and bracketed, and porches were redesigned to bring them up to date. The Samuel Dugan I House is the earliest building with Italianate detail in Roslyn, but it is superimposed on the standard Georgian side hall provincial house, found in town, suburb and village as early as the mid-18th century. The style is fully expressed in the nearby George Denton House on West Shore Road (1874) (TG 1995, 1996). HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Samuel Dugan, born in Belfast, Ireland in 1813, came to Roslyn with his wife Anngine, and their children, sometime after 1853. Anngine was born in Scotland, the children in Ireland. The Dugans were close friends of the Pollitz Family who were, at that time situated on Main Street in Roslyn. The United States Census of 1860 establishes that Samuel Dugan, a farmer, and his wife Anngine, and two small boys were in residence. A younger brother, John, was apprenticed to Daniel Hegeman, a carpenter, and lived in his household. In 1880, Samuel Dugan was listed in the Federal Census as a stone-mason. He was the master mason for the Long Island Railroad's tunnel-overpass at Roslyn (demol37 ished 1940's). The quality of street level retaining walls at 148 Main Street, with the stone finely cut and dressed on more than one surface suggests his construction methods. The house is located on the Beers-Comstock Map of 1873, and shown as belonging to S. Dugan. Despite the fact that the Dugan family feel the house was constructed by 1855, it is not recorded on the Walling Map of 1859. (Since the Walling Map failed to locate a most important house of the 18th century still extant, this in no way invalidates the family's statement). The house was acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Eastman, descendants of two prominent local families, early in the twentieth century and in turn was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Blum by the Eastman estate in 1964, which at that time included the Wilson Williams-Thomas Wood House at 150 Main Street. Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Blum, with the guidance of the late Gerald R.W. Watland, an architect of international reputation, have sympathetically refurbished the house. Mr. Watland, who specialized in the restoration of historic buildings, directed the work on the William M. Valentine House and the Wilson Williams House. The Blums sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. William Leo in November of 1986, who subsequently sold the house to Mrs. Elita Phillippa in 1997. ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY-EXTERIOR General Description-1855 Main Block This Italianate bracketed villa is located on a steep wooded hillside, and placed on a high basement at the front (east) elevation. It commands a high and wide view of the valley and ponds. The side is graded to form a terrace at the east front basement level wide enough to encompass the entrance walkway. The exterior mentioned in the introduction is basically a sidehall, three bay building, with a pitched roof, the ridge of which is parallel to the road in the standard 19th century manner. The principal stylistic change is the decorative ornament used and the overhanging eaves. The fenestration is symmetrically disposed as in the past, but the design of the sash is new for Roslyn, sash which consists of 4/4 lights divided by a wide beaded vertical muntin suggesting a casement window. This is repeated at the bedroom story with a 2/2 light sash. All the windows are fitted with adjustable louvered shutters. The window surrounds are plain flat boards, the inner edge beaded and with the thin drip molds and thick square sills found in the earlier Greek Revival houses. The front porch provides the stylistic determinate and paramount feature, triply arcaded, with plain cornice; an elliptical arch is the center bay of the basement level, supported by plain columns and flanking bays filled in with diagonal lattice panels. The addition of the projecting 1890 North wing was carefully composed, its forward limits, with the exception of the canted bay, defined by the front porch of the original house. A similar wing was also added at the north end of the Oakley-Eastman house in the 1890's. THE EAST FRONT The eaves of the plainly designed pitched roof of the main house are supported by four paired acorn drop brackets attached directly to the upper clapboards of the underside of 38 the eaves, evenly spaced, and to the closed soffit of the roof behind the eaves trim, which consists of a small ogee moulding and beaded board. The single chimney rises through the roof on the northeast slope slightly below the ridge. It was rebuilt from the roof upward sometime in the 20th century. The corner boards, possibly applied at the time of the 1890 addition, and located at the southeast and southwest corners, are moulded. The same design was used in Roslyn in the end building of the William M. Valentine block (#23 Main Street) applied over a plain 1840 cornerboard. Two other buildings have moulded cornerboards, the Thomas R Howard House (1889) and the Oscar Seaman House (1901). The front entrance surround is faced with wide ogee moulded back-banded trim, with a bead set at the inner edge-a beaded flat transom division, and an overhead two-light transom. The door itself is a four panel ogee moulded door. The door furniture consists of porcelain knob and iron fittings of that period. The door knocker is Colonial Revival ca. 1900. The windows of the second storey and first storey have been described as "false casement" design, found also at the Warren Wilkey House ca. 1864, and the Willet-Titus House ca. 1858, an Italianate house of classical design. The two east front basement windows, mostly concealed by the lattice infill under the porch , are 6/6 light sash, broadly rectangular lights, with the very thin muntins which occur in Roslyn in the 1850-1860 period of the late Greek Revival style. Of the two basement doors, the one on the southeast corner is board-and-batten, not necessarily in the original location. The entrance door to the bay which faces south, under the porch, is glass topped with two ogee panels at the lower half, possibly original to the wing. The foundation is a full storey above grade at the east elevation and has been rendered. The basement doorway is recessed with fitted surrounds. The masonry foundation material is unknown as of now. THE PORCH The porch cornice is continued across the front of the house to form the roof cornice of the wing, which will be fully described later. The porch itself is the most distinguished and unusual feature of the house, it has a shallow hipped roof which extends the width of the 1855 building and ends at the projecting 1990 wing. Originally the staircase to the porch was possibly at the north end before the wing was built, as at that time there was adequate room for it. At the cornice line a change in the type of cyma curve which is used in the eaves trim of the porch is clearly visible as it is joined to the wing roof. The cornice of the porch is a plain classical entablature comprised of local vernacular forms of mouldings. The porch posts have Tuscan caps. The posts are square in section decorated with a chamfer on all four faces, the chamfers terminating in a lamb's tongue below the cornice and above the rail, and below the rail and above the post bases. The post bases are trimmed with a cavetto and Tuscan quirked moulding as are the capitals. The railing consists of a single board with moulded "bull-nose" edges supported by a cavetto moulding. The porch has four pierced slats between the posts in the "Swiss Chalet" style. The rail and stair slats are the same. Small pierced brackets at the midpoint of the porch foot railings are a very unusual survival. The brick base under the lattice is not original and possible dates from the early 20th century. 39 The posts themselves, under the cornice, are linked by three flat elliptical bracketing arches facing the street and another arch at the stairhead, which butts into the clapboard without a pilaster. The arches are formed of flat boards, chamfered inside and out, the chamfers terminating in lambs'-tongues, and are joined at the apex of the ellipse by a decorative keystone, beveled on three sides. The ends of the bracketing arches are terminated with shaped triangular drops, flat on the side attached to the posts, serving as consoles, and projecting slightly beyond the underside of the arch. The porch is supported by columns placed directly in line with the upper posts; they are decorated with chamfers terminating in lambs'-tongues, and capped with a square abacus, below which is a quirked transitional ogee moulding. The base is set on a rectangular plinth equal in measure to the abacus block, above which is a quirked Tuscan moulding. Between posts there is an infilling of lattice set on a diagonal to the flat board lattice enclosure. Smaller chamfered posts frame an opening between posts #2 and #3, with small rectangular panels of lattice between inner and outer posts. An elliptical arch, the keystone of which is buried in ivy and partially missing, springs from these inner posts. From the outer edge of the ellipse to the upper porch is lattice filled. THE GATE A gate whose palings are decorated by chamfer and lamb's-tongue, which was found at #65 Main Street, is installed by the porch entrance opening. The gate has original hinges and old reinforcing plates. Nos. 55, 65 and 75 Main Street all had this style of gate by the 1890's. The flat top pieces of the gate are not original. The gate appears to be hung upside down and back to front. THE WING A wing with a two-storey canted angular bay window was added in 1890. The 2/2 light window frames are faced with flat boards with a continuous square sill supported by a 3" cavetto moulding. The angles of the bay are covered with a round moulding. A band of tongue and groove separates the two bay windows under the sills, extending to a half-round over the ground storey cornice board. The moulding corner board at the north end is cut at the water table. Both bay windows have original adjustable louvered shutters. INTERIOR ENTRANCE HALL The reverse side of the entrance door facing the east porch has plain untrimmed stiles. The panels are sunken, not flush. The doorway facing trim consists of a small ogee and back band. The transom bar is beaded, as are all inner edges of door and window surrounds on this floor. The box lock is a reproduction. The scar of the original lock is present on the door face. On the south wall of the front hall is a window inserted about 1900, a wood casement with diamond shaped lights. The window frame facings have contemporary trim consisting of a backhand and a small ogee, with the inner edge beaded. The baseboard is plain and not capped. All doors to the hall have been rehung, their untrimmed panels to the 40 rooms. All hall doors are ogee trimmed and six paneled except the kitchen door, which is transitional, between a Tuscan moulding to full ogee, and is probably not original to the house. The staircase, attached to the south wall, is of unusual width in proportion to the hall dimensions, occupying a large part of the hall space. It has a short, but acutely steep run of 15 steps compared to the average run of 17. The staircase wall has six ogee trimmed panels, the lowest stile forms the base as in most Roslyn houses of the 19th century. Its position is also only a few feet from the front door. The newel is walnut with a fine urn and spool turning, resting on a rectangular plinth the height of the first step. The steps are bullnosed and are trimmed with the standard cavetto. The balusters are also walnut, with elongated urn turnings set two to a tread. The rail is round in section, inserted at the top of the newel, and returns at the second floor level to a partition wall. Th overhead light at the entrance is painted tin and was a type popular as early as 1845; it is not original to the house. THE PARLOR The parlor, to the right (north) of the entrance hall faces east. The room is almost square. The long windows are divided into 4/4 lights, paneled beneath the sills. The panels are untrimmed, the baseboards plain and uncapped. The windows are designed to resemble casements with a bead scribed in the center of a wide dividing muntin in both the upper and lower sash. The window latches are original to the house and are cast iron with a design in relief, and enamel or iron knobs. These are present on nearly all the "false casement" windows. All doors have ogee trim and back band, but have been rehung to show their paneled sides in the open position. The chimney breast is located on the north wall which was originally the exterior wall of the house. It projects into the room. The chimney surround is wood, the shelf ogee shaped with square column supports, which have square (in sections) Greek Revival trim. The columns rest on square bases. The Franklin stove, inserted into slate backing, is not original. The original opening was designed to be used with a coal grate. The same trim that exists in the dining room has been installed in the parlor by the present owner. THE LIBRARY The library is located to the north of the parlor in the 1890 wing, its door opposite the entrance hall door to the parlor. At the east end there is a canted bay window. The center sash has 2/2 lights, the side windows have 1/1 lights: all sash windows are fully paneled below the sills and the panels are trimmed with ogee mouldings. On the north wall there is a reused "false casement" window. The glass door to the porch (described in the exterior analysis) was possibly original to the wing. It has four lights. The baseboards appear to have 20th century capping. The two "collected" ogee paneled doors on the west wall lead to a new powder room and a coat closet which occupy the space which formerly had a staircase and a small rear hall. The staircase led to the northeast basement room directly under the library. The crown moulding at the ceiling edge is 20th century. 41 DINING ROOM The dining room was extended 8 feet by Mr. and Mrs. Blum, to the rear (west) to meet the end wall of the kitchen lean-to. Both the kitchen lean-to and the extended dining room were then covered by a common pent roof; the ceiling height of both rooms was maintained. The two "French" windows to the north, leading to a very small terrace at the property line, are new, installed by the Blums. They were copied from those at the MyersValentine House, #95 Main Street, which were installed in 1856, just as were those in the Eastman family house at #75 Main Street. The west wall "false casement" windows are reused, the added floorboards needed for expansion were taken from the attic. The present owner installed a dado on each wall and moulded trim similar to original window trim between the windows. THE KITCHEN Mr. and Mrs. Blum incorporated the lean-to into the second kitchen; the first kitchen was on the basement level, before the 1890 wing was added. The inconvenience of a basement kitchen became evident probably around 1900 and the small southwest room became the "new" kitchen; somewhat later the lean-to was added for storage. The second kitchen originally had a corner cupboard made of tongue and groove at the southeast corner. This was reused and placed as a rectangular cupboard in roughly the same position. All the other cupboards and counters were designed to match the old material. This kitchen was remodeled by the present owner and all cabinets replaced. The hall at the back of the stair originally led to a door to the south, now replaced with a window by the former owners. SECOND FLOOR THE UPSTAIRS HALL The four board and batten doors at the second floor, with door knobs recessed into the battens, were replaced with collected 4-panel ogee doors. The second floor windows are all 4/2 "false casements", with original iron window latches. The hall woodwork is plain and untrimmed, all doors have brown porcelain door knobs. The attic stairs are located behind a door on the north wall. THE FRONT BEDROOM The whole visible north wall has been made into a closet. All the woodwork is untrimmed. The southeast corner of the bedroom was at the time of the Eastman ownership two rooms with a vestibule, or small hallway, going to the front bedroom. One of the rooms was a closet or a dressing room. In 1855 the hall may have run from the front to the rear of the house and the back end of the stairhall had been partitioned at a later date. 42 THE BACK BEDROOM The back bedroom has plain untrimmed woodwork and "false casements" windows throughout. The bedroom was originally entered from a door located in the west wall of a small hallway now removed, parallel to the attic staircase. It is now entered from the main hall; the hall space is now a closet. UPSTAIRS BATH The upstairs bath, at the head of the staircase, was possibly a small dressing room originally. It was remodeled by the Blums. THE BASEMENT The cellar entrance is located under the staircase in the entrance hall. The door facings are trimmed with an ogee moulding and a back band, but the left band facing is a round at the corner into which the top facing is butted. The stairs are enclosed, made with a run of 11 string steps. The panels under the main staircase are exposed, their backs are beveled and set behind the stiles. The board-and-batten door is original to the house, as is the door furniture. The door at the basement level to the staircase is missing. The exterior entrance to the cellar from the ground floor can be seen at the foot of the stairs; it is under the entrance porch. It now has a board-and-batten door which was possibly installed in the 1890's when the wing was attached. Today, and for many years, since the kitchen was moved to the second level, the furnace has occupied the space directly in front of the kitchen fireplace or stove recess. There are two windows facing east, of the standard Greek Revival 6/6 sash type, with very fine muntins. There is a doorway to a long narrow storage room in the west wall, illuminated by a 3-light cellar window at the south. THE NORTH WING The wing can be entered from a door under the porch directly, or from a doorway in the north wall of the old kitchen. The purpose for which this room was used when built is not known. The bay window facing east is duplicated on this level. The window sills rest on a tongue and groove dado capped by a bull-nose ended moulding, and which is continued at chair rail level all around the room. The room was used as a service bedroom by the previous owners and it has access to a full bath, installed in the early 20th century, by means of a small passageway directly behind the chimney. Behind the west wall of the room was another passageway containing a staircase leading to the present library, now closed off above to form a half-bath and a coat closet. The bay window has a low window seat possibly installed in the 20th century. The lower stair entrance is also a closet today, separating the lower room completely from the main body of the house, although it can be approached through the present furnace room. The authors are greatly indebted to the late Roderick Dugan, a grandson of Samuel, who provided the family history.