Saturday, September 1, 2012

Celebrating 25 Years of John Tackett Design

Design for a Carved Oak Panel by John J. Tackett.
One of a series for the Lodge of an Architectural Enthusiast.
Greenwich, Connecticut.
John Tackett Design
 
In some respects, it seems like only a short time since founding my own firm twenty-five years ago.  Despite an enviable position at the legendary Parish-Hadley Associates, the time seemed right at the end of the summer of 1987 to go out on my own.  There were many factors to be considered, of course, and just one was the boom in the demand for design services for high-end residential projects, my specialty.
Townhouse Renovation.
Drawing by Paul W. Engel and John J. Tackett.
John Tackett Design.

Fortunately, it was just a short time after sending out announcements of my new venture that the phone started to ring.  The first call was from a couple with small children who had tired of their Manhattan penthouse duplex in a modern building on the East River and had bought a splendid Georgian Revival townhouse on a relatively quiet, tree-lined block on the Upper East Side.  Besides having some notable, traditional architectural features, it was wide, a 'double-wide' as we say in the South.  Originally two typical 1880s townhouses, they were joined in the 1920s and given a make-over in the classical vocabulary of the day.  My job was to bring all the systems up to date, create a new kitchen, service areas, and bathrooms in keeping with the Georgian theme, and improve some of the earlier detailing.  It was a great job, lasting almost two years start to finish, and an auspicous start for John Tackett Design.



Park Avenue Apartment Renovation.
New Panelled Dining Room/Library.
Interior Design by Bunny Williams.
Architecture by John Tackett Design.
Photo by Billy Cunningham for Architectural Digest.
More about this townhouse project and others that followed will be presented in future posts of The Devoted Classicist.  Some projects have already been featured and may be viewed by clicking on John Tackett Design Portfolio in the LABELS list in the right-hand column of the standard web version of this blog.  And for resume information, see my second blog post "A Bit More About Me".

33 comments:

  1. Congratulations, John. An achievement indeed in today's economy. Here's to the next twenty-five!

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    1. Thank you, Blue. Your note is especially appreciated. I was recently looking through my list of Followers for this blog and was reminded that you were the very first to sign on. You are my Number One Devoted Reader!

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    1. Thanks, Mark. A milestone is better than a millstone, isn't it?

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  3. Congratulations! I worked for an AD advertiser in Mclean in 1988. It was not a good time but I am always pleased by folks that have an enormous feather in their cap and credit our area in the process.

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    1. Kerry, in additional to the Woodrow Wilson House in Kalorama, there are a couple more Washington, DC, projects that will eventually be posted. Thank you for commenting.

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  4. Having fun is infallibly the most attractive thing; trust you do.

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    1. Thank you, Laurent. I am fortunate to enjoy my work so much.

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  5. Congratulations on your achievement. I love your clever architectural trophy for the panel, also perfect as a drawing; the ropes add the crowning touch.
    --Road to Parnassus

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  6. Hello John:
    We do, of course, join with others in sending our congratulations on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of your design company. What is more, we wish you every success for the future.

    We know relatively little of American interior design, but brought up on Colefax and Fowler in the United Kingdom and the influence of Nancy Lancaster, we have, perhaps, some small insight.

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    1. Thank you for your well wishes, Jane and Lance. The firm of Colefax & Fowler, and certainly including Nancy Lancaster, has been an influence on interior design in the U. S. There has been a direct influence on the public, but even more, there has been an influence on some American interior designers - Mario Buatta, for example - who have taken the principles of Colefax & Fowler and reinterpreted them in their own personal way.

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  7. Oh my~a trophy design by JJ Tackett, worthy of Rex Whistler or Felix Harbord!
    That image certainly made my day.
    Congratulations John, on your milestone.

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    1. Thank you, Toby. I am still working towards a fraction of the artistic genius of Misters Whistler and Harbord, so I appreciate your encouragement.

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  8. Bravo and thanks. 25 more please.

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    1. Thanks, Terry. There's still a lot more of my influence that needs to be spread, and it'll probably take 25 more years to accomplish it.

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  9. Hello again, I think my first comment here got lost in the aether! I wanted to congratulate you on your 25th anniversary, and I especially admire your architectural trophy, with its column fragments and ropes.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Thank you, Parnassus. Now I don't remember the whole history of this one, but each were different and some of the motifs were more heavily borrowed from earlier sources than others.

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    1. I appreciate your commenting, Lindaraxa. I am surprised at some of our fellow Bloggers' recent claims of running out of ideas and having nothing more to say. While circumstances might require a change in piorities, there will always be one more house to present (or in your case, something delicious to eat), don't you think?

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    2. I should have said something more delicious to cook, in your case. As you can tell, my mind had already skipped on to eating it.

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  11. Congratulations upon a quarter of a century's anniversay of your design firm. It is always a pleasure to read your posts; always educational and inspirational.

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    1. Judith, thank you. The 'quarter of a century' is just now sinking in. I do try to be educational and inspirational. It is not possible to tell the whole story, of course, but hopefully I spark enough interest for further study. Before starting this site, I had tired of the Beauty Blogs that show some pictures but not even one of the Who, What, and Where. Saying only "Here's something I like" is just not enough. And don't get me started on the What Am I To Do? blogs. But, happily, there's something in Bloggerland for everyone.

      I appreciate your commenting.

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  12. John,

    I read this post with great interest. Congrats, here's to another 50 years!

    Dean

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    1. Dean, I hope to be granted some sort of 'Professor Emeritus' status long before another fifty years, thank you.

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  13. Thanks, Mike. This client situation was the opposite from the usual; the new owners lived most of the year in Florida, and came to New York City just for a week or so at a time. The original Dining Room was very large, and since they loved to take advantage of the city's restaurants, the space was renovated with panelling and cabinetry to make it a combination Dining Room and Library.

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  14. 25 years is quite the achievement; Congratulations!

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  15. Thanks, Stefan. I have been fortunate to have had so many wonderful projects and clients.

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  16. Thank you for sharing and congratulations! It is comforting to know that there is still interest in this type of refined work by at least some of those who can afford it. The trophy design is wonderful!

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    1. Roy, construction (and decorating) costs are such that any mistake is an expensive one. Almost every project has a budget, but many have a bigger bottom line than others. I'll be showing some projects which were very affordable, too. Thanks for commenting.

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  17. And an impressive 25 years that it has been, too! Congratulations and long may you prosper!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. I appreciate your comment.

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  18. Congratulations on your achievement. It makes me realize the wrong choice I made in not pursuing my love of classic architecture and design, merely following it as a dedicated avocation. Being born in the last decade of the Fifties, one did not get encouragement in one's love of the old and elegant in the formative Swinging Sixties and the disco-laden Seventies. I wonder if there is a way to get into it professionally, at this stage of life...

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