Beatrix Jones Farrand
(Wharton's niece), who designed the kitchen garden and the
The Mount would have become the next collaborative
project for Wharton and Codman, but there was a dispute over
Codman's fees, and he subsequently lost the commission to
design the house. He did, however, submit an intial set of
Hoppin & Koen Wharton hired the New York firm of
Hoppin & Koen to design The Mount. A Rhode Island
native, Francis Hoppin studied at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology's School of Architecture and trained in
his brother Howard's architectural firm in Providence.
Hoppin also was an apprentice in the McKim, Mead, and
In 1894, Hoppin and another McKim,
Mead, and White apprentice, Terrence Koen, began their
practice in New York City. Hoppin & Koen were best
known for their country and city residences. The Mount
was one of their earliest house commissions.(34)
Hoppin & Koen's residence designs
displayed an interest in the Adam and Georgian styles.
(35) This was in keeping
with Wharton's design preferences for American houses.
The Georgian Style Writing in the Newport Daily News
on the virtues of the Georgian style, five years before
she commissioned The Mount, Wharton remarked:
The true Georgian house
is rectangular, thus providing more accommodation in
any given space than any of the gabled and pinnacled
structures which at present adorn our streets. Relying
for its effect upon the proper adjustment of its parts,
it requires far less outward ornament than the willfully
irregular house, which can only be saved from looking
like an aggregation of woodsheds around a central cow-barn
by a liberal display of expensive ornamentation. (36)
Wharton believed that English Georgian
was the ideal style to adapt to the American landscape:
The Georgian house is above
all sincere. It does not affect to be a castle, a fortress,
or a farmhouse ...the Georgian house, in addition to
its other merits, possesses the important one of affording
more space, light and comfort for a given price than
any other structure with the slightest architectural
Hoppin & Koen
used the Georgian-style Belton House (1684-1686) in
Lincolnshire, England, as a model for The Mount.
made of stone
built on flat ground
made of wood
built on a hillside
The Best of Many Sources The Mount follows the principles
of scientific eclecticism, synthesizing the best of
The house is white
with green shutters, a common motif in nineteenth-century
New England houses.
The interior is
based on French, English, and Italian sources.
There is a French
courtyard, an Italianate terrace, and an Italian garden.
The drive is similar to those
found on European country estates.
Notes Scott Marshall, an architectural
historian and senior vice president at the Mount, "Much
of the genius of Edith's design of The Mount is in the skillful
blending of the best of French, English, and Italian classical
design elements to create a new American vocabulary." (38)