A Designer Disappointment

My dad sent me this article from the New York Times yesterday and to say it disappointed me is an understatement. Take a read and then lets discuss….

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You see Thompson, CT is a very near and dear town to me.  It abuts the town my parents’ home is in and is the town in which I married my husband (at the Lord Thompson Manor , which was so amazing that two of our friends married there after us!).  There is a gorgeous, albeit small, main street where some truly stunning historic homes stand and this, my friends, is where we pick up on our story.

As a designer- interior, architectural or the like-we are taught to not only love homes but live, sleep, eat and breathe them.  They are the medium in which we express our artistic talents and the canvas upon which we make our mark. To find out that a designer, never mind an incredibly FAMOUS designer, would treat a historic home with such disdain, such negligence, disgusts me.  He is incredibly successful and has the means to restore this property to it’s historic glory, but if that doesn’t interest him he should simply sell it to someone who does want to.  To hang onto it and let it rot just because “he can” and thinks “no one should be able to tell him otherwise” is repulsive and against everything a designer should stand for. To allow it to fall into ruin, have it affect an entire town and specifically his neighbor’s property values all while becoming an eyesore in a totally charming town is quite possibly the most unflattering display of ego I’ve ever heard of in this business. To allow it to be demolished is thumbing his nose at history AND his own industry. And finally, to threaten to “sell it to a funeral parlor” just to piss off the neighbors proves this man is frankly, a total asshole.  Who would trust their home to a designer so cavalier, rude and self-centered with no appreciation for architecture or other people?

I for one have signed the petition to save this gorgeous piece of history from demolition and send Mr. Buatta a message- GET OVER YOURSELF. I hope you will too and share this story with others.  It’s yet another example of the fact that money can’t buy you everything, least of all CLASS.

 

64 comments

  1. thank you for bringing this to our attention. such arrogance is sickening and deserves massive attention. i signed, posted to fb and will write about it on my blog.

    our historical architecture belongs to future generations not one sick man

    debra

  2. I am grew up in CT & am familiar with this house & the beautiful area. My Mom & stepdad were married at the Woodstcok Inn 21 years ago & as I child we use to go to Roseland Park often. This is just a travestiy! I understand the difficulties associated with restoring a historic house, but with his resources he ought to be ashamed of himself! It is a beautiful home & I hope eventually it will be restored to it’s orignal grandeur.

  3. I drove past Roseland last year and had to stop to admire it. What a beautiful part of CT! This makes me so sad. I am currently involved with the preservation effort with this house associated with the Salem Witch Trials: http://www.sarahclayeshouse.org/ It is located in Framingham, if you are interested in getting involved, too!

  4. I signed the petition as well. I can’t stand to think some jerk would let a beautiful place go to ruin to inflate his already enormous ego.

  5. Hi Erin, Someone should suggest he donate the house to the local preservation/historical society. It’s clear he can’t cope with it and he could take some form of tax deduction.
    Best,
    Phyllis

  6. Your story of the extended willful neglect of an historic home by a design professional, and its detrimental effect on an entire community, not to mention the utter tragedy of the waste, reminds me of a similar situation at La Jolla Cove in California. The Cove is the best beach in San Diego County, and there are two Victorian cottages directly across the street, with unobstructed views. They are called Red Rest and Red Roost, and they have been designated national historic monuments. They were in excellent repair until 1970, when a well-known architect purchased them, intending to tear them down and build a hotel. He was prevented from doing so by San Diego voters passing a proposition imposing a 30 foot height limitation, and by the historical designation obtained by interested citizens without the owner’s knowledge or consent. In response, the owner decided to spite the community by evicting the tenants, and allowing the cottages to fall into disrepair. They have completely deteriorated in the intervening 40 years, and constitute a terrible eyesore. Four years ago, they were put up for sale for $10 million each, but they are too far gone to be saved, and the price is unreasonable, so they continue to sit and fall apart. The City could bring criminal charges against the heirs of the spiteful architect, who died a few years ago, but have chosen not to. In the not-too-distant future, the cottages will fall down, as already there is not a single board able to be saved, and everyone will have lost out. http://tourguidetim.com/blog/2010/la-jolla-cove-historic-but-dilapidated-red-rest-red-roost-homes-finally-up-for-sale/ I hope your Connecticut tale will have a happier ending.

  7. Erin – thank you so much for posting this. I grew up in Putnam, married at LTM & now live here in Boston. I drove past this place last weekend and was so very disappointed in its current state. Thompson is a classic NE hidden treasure and all the homes that are in the square deserve to be treasured!!! I hope we see progress on this matter!

  8. Mario Buatta needs to move into the house full time then hire Albert Maysles to film a documentary “sequel” to ‘Grey Gardens!’ THAT needs to happen before any work is done to the property!

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