Codman scholars Pauline Metcalf and the late Henry Hope Reed have maintained that Codman was inspired by a house on rue Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux (with lot widths similar to the 38 ft here), but clearly he was influenced by a number of models and provided his own interpretations as well. In Ogden Codman and the Decoration of Houses edited by Ms Metcalf, Codman was said to also have been influenced by Depau Row, circa 1830 houses that once stood at 160 Bleeker Street (replaced by the Mills House Hotel now converted into apartments). Like the carriage doors of Depau Row, the Dalgren house has a pair of impressive doors (with a smaller concealed pedestrian door) that swing in to allow an automobile to enter a shelter outside the side Vestibule entrance before proceeding through a courtyard to a Garage at the back of the 100 ft deep site. Inside the Garage, the original turntable still remains as does the original elevator that allows cars to be stored in the Cellar.
There have been a succession of famous (and relatively infamous) owners over the years, including Pierre Cartier of the jewelry family, whose heirs sold the house to the Convent of Saint Francis de Sales. There were two other owners before the current owner completely updated the building systems, sensitively improved the bathrooms and kitchen, and added a charming penthouse Garden Room opening onto the new south facing rooftop terrace with a pergola and outdoor fireplace. This work, in addition to refreshed decoration but not furnishing, was designed by David Anthony Easton and his associated architect Eric J Smith to high standards executed by the white-glove company Xhema Construction. The readers might be surprised to learn that the current owner, reportedly, has never occupied the house and that it has unofficially been available for purchase for several years according to real estate sources.
Ogden Codman moved to France permanently after World War I with his scheme for the whole block to be lined by similar houses of his design never realized. Conventional apartment buildings filled the other lots except for the three Codman townhouses that were built and still survive: this one, his own, and the house for Susan de Peyster at No. 12.
The book MARK HAMPTON, AN AMERICAN DECORATOR is available for purchase at a discount of 37% from the published price and the option of free shipping through The Devoted Classicist Library here.