Friday, April 29, 2016

G. B. Croff and Hudson

In the spring of 1875, the advertisement shown below, for the services of G. B Croftt, Architect, appeared in the upper right-hand corner of the front page of the Hudson Daily Star, with the same regularity that Tiffany & Co. ads used to appear in the upper right-hand corner of Page A3 of the New York Times.

The discovery of this 19th-century ad campaign prompted some questions, the first being: "Why is Gilbert Bostwick Croff's name is spelled CROFTT in the ad?" This question remains unanswered.

We know that Croff, who had his office in Saratoga Springs, designed 4 Willard Place for Frank Chace. An elevation drawing of the house's facade appears in Croff's book, Progressive American Architecture.

Frank Chace's house at 4 Willard Place was completed in 1874.

Croff also designed 5 Willard Place, for Herman Vedder Esselstyn. In its original form, 5 Willard Place had a third floor, but the third floor was destroyed in a disastrous fire in 1941, and that part of the house was never rebuilt.

Esselstyn's house was completed in 1875, the same year Croff ran his ad for days on end in the Hudson Daily Star. One can only imagine that with one house of his design completed and another under construction, Croff was looking for more commissions in Hudson. It is not known if he got them or not.

Thanks to Russell Gibson for providing information for this post

1 comment:

  1. Gilbert Croff also designed Frank Leslie's lakeside home "Interlaken Villa" (pictured in the ad) on the shore of Lake Saratoga. It burned in 1885.