The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section VII. Treatment of Ground-Formation of Walks

Country residences on the banks of the Hudson, Connecticut

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There are many fine country residences on the banks of the Hudson, Connecticut, and other rivers, where the proprietors are often much perplexed and puzzled by the situation of their houses; the building presenting really two fronts, while they appear to desire only one. Such is the case when the estate is situated between the public road on one side, and the river on the other; and we have often seen the Approach artificially tortured into a long circuitous route, in order finally to arrive at what the proprietor considers the true front, viz. the side nearest the river. When a building is so situated, much the most elegant effect is produced by having two fronts: one, the entrance front, with the porch or portico nearest the road, and the other, the riverfront, facing the water. The beauty of the whole is often surpr isingly enhanced by this arrangement, for the visitor, after passing by the Approach through a considerable portion of (he grounds, with perhaps but slight and partial glimpses of the river, is most agreeably surprised on entering the house, and looking from the drawing-room windows of the other front, to behold another beautiful scene totally different from the last, enriched and ennobled by the wide-spread sheet of water before him. Much of the effect produced by this agreeable surprise from the interior, it will readily be seen, would be lost, if the stranger had already driven round and alighted on the river front.