Fieldston, a Suburb in the City

Fieldston, a Suburb in the City – October 27, 2018 @ 10:00AM

CONTACT: Martin Zelnik -  646-549-0142 

 

The tour starts at the most southerly end of Fieldston Road in front of the Fieldston School aka Ethical Culture. There is a public parking lot for those arriving by car. We will assemble there.


AIABX02/2018 - 2 CEU.   AIA Members: $20 Members, Non-members: $30.

This Fieldston tour, is to be led by Bronx AIA Architects Martin Zelnik and Richard Stein. Spurred by both the extension of New York’s first subway line and the advent of the motorcar, Fieldston was one of America’s first planned suburbs. Its design was influenced by both the City Beautiful Movement and the Garden City Movement promulgated by Ebenezer Howard in the United Kingdom to counteract the effects of pollution and crowding in modern industrialized cities. 

 Among the unique features of the community is the way in which it was developed over time. Originally, a prominent local family, the Delafield’s, subdivided their hilly rock-bound acreage and laid it out in 1914 along a pattern suggested years before by Frederick Law Olmsted. After 80 lots were developed and sold.  The remaining vacant property was sold to an Owners Association made up of the lot owners, who have preserved the architectural and environmental character for the remaining lots. Only architects who could design in certain “styles”, were permitted to practice in this Fieldston property to “fit” its character. Principal among them was Dwight James Baum, who lived and maintained his studio in Fieldston. 

 The Fieldston property Owners Association has remained strong to this day. They helped to pass legislation in 1975 creating one of New York City’s few Special Natural Area Districts to protect features like specific and rock outcroppings, as well as the creation of the Fieldston Historic District in 2006. 

These photos are a baseline for later alterations.

Mediterranean

Mediterranean

English Tudor

Georgian

Colonial

Dutch

Interior of the office of Baum in Fieldston. Notice that wire management and desk top computers were not a big issue back then.

The Tour

The tour starts at the most southerly end of Fieldston Road in front of the Fieldston  School aka Ethical Culture. There is a public parking lot there for those arriving by car. We will assemble there.


The tour route  will start from there on foot.  We will walk north on the east  side of Fieldston Road of Fieldston Road past the “ circle” at West 246th Street  and then continue North to West 250 Street, the northerly boundary of Fieldston. The walk is gently sloping up and it should take about one hour to reach 250th St, assuming many stops along the way. Normally he walk  would take under 15 minutes. 

Along Fieldston Road, we will see many examples or styles of “period” architecture designed mostly by the Architect Dwight James Baum. Below are several examples of his one family homes. In Fieldston.

 
We have selected pictures below of his work that were taken at the time  of completion between 1913 and 1939. Overall, Baum designed  over  140 homes in Fieldston and Riverdale various styles including  Georgian , Dutch, Colonial, English Tudor, and Mediterranean. We show these photos as the baseline for any later alterations and additions. Many have not be altered at all.