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Ury House

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Thesis Semester [blog] 25 years ago   3991b
Thesis Semester [blog] 25 years ago   3991b

Any archinecters from Philadelphia?   3991b
Ury House   3991b

07011101.db   3991c

Site of Ury House, 1894   3991c
Site of Ury House, 1910   3991c
Site of Ury House, 1927   3991c
Site of Ury House, 1939   3991c
Site of Ury House, 1954   3991c
Exact Location of Ury House   3991c

Audubon not in love   3991d
The Susquehanna Road   3991d
maybe, maybe not   3991d
A Miers Fisher Banquet of Lawyers   3991d
Anyone support tearing it down?   3991d
Would Benjamin Henry Latrobe have...   3991d

Ury House -- circa 1645   3991e
Ury House -- 1687   3991e
Ury House -- 1728   3991f
Ury House -- 1763   3991f
Ury House -- 1771   3991f
Ury House -- 1774   3991f
Ury House -- 1778   3991f
Ury House -- 1790   3991f
Ury House -- 1794   3991f
Ury House -- 1802   3991f
Ury House -- 1803/1804   3991f
Ury House -- 1805   3991g
Ury House -- 1812   3991g
Ury House -- 1813   3991g
Ury House -- 1818   3991g
Ury House -- 1824   3991g
Ury House -- 1842   3991g
Ury House -- 1843   3991g
Ury House -- 1860   3991g
Ury House -- 1863   3991g
Ury House -- 1880   3991g
Ury House -- 1881   3991g
Ury House -- 1892   3991g
Ury House -- 1899   3991g
Ury House -- 1910   3991h
Ury House -- 1912   3991h
Ury House -- 1924   3991h
Ury House -- 1926   3991h
Ury House -- 1936   3991h
Ury House -- 1940   3991h
Ury House -- 1945   3991i
Ury House -- 1946   3991i
Ury House -- 1973   3991i
Ury House -- 1974   3991i
Ury House -- context   3991i

2013.01.19 19:07
19 January



This is what the place where I now live looked like about 202 years ago. It is a watercolor sketch of Ury House by Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

The sketch is presently within the Print and Photograph Division of the Library of Congress,where it is [mis]labeled as "Probably Long Branch, the Robert Carter Burnwell house, Clarke County, Va." But when you compare this watercolor to a 1824 sketch of "Miers Fisher's Place" by Charles Wilson Peale (who also painted a portrait of Latrobe)...



...the similarity of the two drawings is virtually exact. Plus, the ground contour of Latrobe's sketch matches Ury's.



From The Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1994):
"Much more tentative is the possibility of alterations to the countryseat of Miers Fisher. In the 1812 annual exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Latrobe submitted a "View of the Seat of Miers Fisher, Esq.," probably a watercolor. This was Ury, an old house some ten miles north of Central Philadelphia that Fisher had purchased in 1795 and added to "considerably." Latrobe's having drawn the house leads one to wonder if he might have played some professional role here."

Miers Fisher kept a copious daily journal throughout all his years of retirement at Ury. I have a copy of his 1812 journal, but there is no mention of Latrobe therein. I feel very confident now, however, that were I to go and get a copy of Miers' 1811 and 1810 journal, I'd find Latrobe mentioned there.



The much-further-altered Ury House was demolished 1973. The house I live in now is situated approximately just within the left side of the gap in the tree-line to the right. In fact, some of those very trees in the watercolor may still exist today (albeit in my neighbors' yards). When I look out the window next to where I'm sitting right now, a little slice of the distant horizon is still to be seen.


2013.01.27 11:29
19 January

"A watercolor view by Latrobe that was thought to be connected with the design of the [Burwell] house [Long Branch] (fig. above) could be taken as an indication of his limited influence: it shows what would be Long Branch's southern front and eastern flank with the proper number of bays, with the hipped roof, and the recessed center, but without its eastern wing, its southern Ionic portico, and its square cupola. More significantly, it shows a different vertical sequence of openings and internal rather than perimeter chimneys. ... Unless further documentary evidence is forthcoming, it seems unwarranted to think of the Long Branch as a house "Latrobe is known to have designed.""
Jeffrey A. Cohen and Charles E. Brownell, The Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe: Architectural Drawings, Volume 2: The Architectural Drawings of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Part 2 (1994), p. 335.

It is unfortunate the authors of the definitve work on Latrobe did not know that the watercolor drawing in question was in fact Ury House, because they might not have been so dismissive of Latrobe's involvement at Long Branch, and Latrobe's involvement at Ury would have received more attention than a footnote.

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