Farm House Design Vi
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A Southern or Plantation House.—The proprietor of a plantation in the South, or South-west, requires altogether a different kind of residence from the farmer of the Northern, or Middle States. He resides in the midst of his own principality, surrounded by a retinue of dependents and laborers, who dwell distant and apart from his own immediate family, although composing a community requiring his daily care and superintendence for a great share of his time. A portion of them are the attachés of
his household, yet so disconnected in their domestic relations, as to require a separate accommodation, and yet be in immediate contiguity with it, and of course, an arrangement of living widely different from those who mingle in the same circle, and partake at the same board.
The usual plan of house-building at the South, we are aware, is to have detached servants' rooms, and offices, and a space of some yards of uncovered way intervene between the family rooms of the chief dwelling and its immediate dependents. Such arrangement, however, we consider both unnecessary and inconvenient; and we have devised a plan of household accommodation which will bring the family of the planter himself, and their servants, although under 157 different roofs, into convenient proximity with each other. A design of this kind is here given.
The style is mainly Italian, plain, substantial, yet, we think, becoming. The broad veranda, stretching around three sides, including the front, gives an air of sheltered repose to what might otherwise appear an ambitious structure; and the connected apartments beyond, show a quiet utility which divests it of an over attempt at display. Nothing has been attempted for appearance, solely, beyond what is necessary and proper in the dwelling of a planter of good estate, who wants his domestic affairs well regulated, and his family, and servants duly provided with convenient accommodation. The form of the main dwelling is nearly square, upright, with two full stories, giving ample area of room and ventilation, together with that appropriate indulgence to ease which the enervating warmth of a southern climate renders necessary. The servants' apartments, and kitchen offices are so disposed, that while connected, to render them easy of access, they are sufficiently remote to shut off the familiarity of association which would render them obnoxious to the most fastidious—all, in fact, under one shelter, and within the readiest call. Such should be the construction of a planter's house in the United States, and such this design is intended to give.
A stable and carriage-house, in the same style, is near by, not connected to any part of the dwelling, as in the previous designs—with sufficient accommodation for coachman and grooms, and the number of saddle and carriage horses that may be required for 158 either business or pleasure; and to it may be connected, in the rear, in the same style of building, or plainer, and less expensive, further conveniences for such domestic animals as may be required for family use.
The whole stands in open grounds, and may be separated from each other by enclosures, as convenience or fancy may direct.
The roofs of all the buildings are broad and sweeping, well protecting the walls from storm and frosts, as well as the glaring influences of the sun, and combining that comfortable idea of shelter and repose so grateful in a well-conditioned country house. It is true, that the dwelling might be more extensive in room, and the purposes of luxury enlarged; but the planter on five hundred, or five thousand acres of land can here be sufficiently accommodated in all the reasonable indulgences of family enjoyment, and a liberal, even an elegant and prolonged hospitality, to which he is so generally inclined.
The chimneys of this house, different from those in the previous designs, are placed next the outer walls, thus giving more space to the interior, and not being required, as in the others, to promote additional warmth than their fireplaces will give, to the rooms. A deck on the roof affords a pleasant look-out for the family from its top, guarded by a parapet, and giving a finish to its architectural appearance, and yet making no ambitious attempt at expensive ornament. It is, in fact, a plain, substantial, respectable mansion for a gentleman of good estate, and nothing beyond it.