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George F. Baker Houses

This past Wednesday, April 27, Saint David's Alumni Parents Council organized a stunning spring social at the New York home of Richard H. Jenrette.  Designed in 1917 by Delano & Aldrich, the same architects that designed all three townhouses that now comprise the main buildings of the Saint David's School (12 through 16 East 89th Street), the Baker houses represent stunning examples of brick Georgian-style townhouses.  Just twenty feet across the front, the Jenrette home is 70 feet deep stretching almost to the back of the property line.  Ceilings within are some 20 feet high with large rooms extending from either side of a central spiral stairwell hall, lit by a skylight, on all three of the principal floors.  Filled with American nineteenth century art, the house was an absolute treasure to explore.  The more than one hundred alum parents enjoyed the evening tremendously.

An ardent preservationist, Mr. Jenrette purchased the houses in the late 1980s.  67 E 93rd serves as his NYC home, while 69 E 93rd serves as the headquarters of his foundation "Classical American Homes Preservation Trust" dedicated to American nineteenth century art and architecture.  Identified by the New York Times as "the last gentleman of Wall Street," Mr. Jenrette was clearly a man of generosity when it came to allowing Saint David's the opportunity to view his home.  Following are a few photos I snapped while exploring.

View of the central spiral stairwell from the 3rd floor.

Mr. Jenrette's library on the 2nd floor includes an incredible collection of New York related topics divided by genre, for example: New York Architecture, New York mysteries, New York history--fascinating! Pictured here is the east wall.

The main living room on the 3rd floor.

Main Library, boasting portraits of George Baker, Sr., painted from life, by Frank O. Salisbury; and portraits of Messieurs Donaldson, Lufkin, Jenrette, and Chalsty by Peter Egeli

Looking out from the Main Library.

My personal favorites from the home: French made wall paper panels depicting scenes of the New World (1818).  In the panel below, a view of Manhattan island from New Jersey; the panel on top, West Point. These were obviously painted in France from memory or description.

The event was made possible through the generosity of Michael and Winnie Feng, parents of Andrew '99, and Margize Howell, parent of Clark Wright '04 and Pearce Wright '09 , who is also the Executive Director of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust; Mr. Richard H. Jenrette, and Alumni Parent Council Chairs, Linda Foran, parent of Taylor and Logan, and Dorothy Faux, parent of Tyler and Rawson.

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