Louise Livingston - Design Leader

Louise Livingston

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Design Leader

In 1859, Louise Livingston commissioned A. J. Davis to design a coach house for Montgomery Place.

Soon after Louise took ownership of the estate, she moved the farming operations to outlying spaces, making room closer to the mansion for additional improvements. At the time, upper class estate owners were constructing fashionable coach houses to accommodate expensive horses, painted coaches, and leather tack. This was in contrast to the majority of Americans who kept their horses in barns and pastures and their vehicles in sheds. Louise realized that she was missing such an essential estate building. Peter A. Harris, a local builder, constructed the coach house in 1860 on the site of Janet Montgomery’s old barn and dairy (see Site Map). 

The Montgomery Place coach house is an example of the commitment to form and function. It was not enough for a structure to provide service; it also had to add to the beauty of the landscape. The wooden cupola that crowns the coach house looks fanciful, but in fact provided necessary ventilation for the horse stables. The graceful arched windows slide open and closed along tracks on the interior walls.

May Morning, from American Country Life, by Nathaniel Currier (1855). Gift of Lenore B. And Sidney A. Alpert, supplemented with Museum Acquisition Funds, Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Montgomery Place coach house (detail), by Alexander Jackson Davis. Ink on paper, 1859. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.

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