|Mayfields, as it appears today.
Image via Elle Décor.
Mrs. Parish, with Albert Hadley, was my former employer, and Mayfields was often used as a reference for country house projects when I worked there as an architect in the 1980s, what we who worked there during that period call the Golden Age of Parish-Hadley. Whether it was white-washing the fieldstone facing, providing the opportunity for three seating areas in the living room, or including a designated space for a visiting chauffeur to have lunch, the precedents at Mayfields were often recalled as a standard for comfortable country house living.
Mrs. Parish was quoted to say, "The most monumentous event of my life occurred in 1920, when I was 10 [sic]. It was the day we moved from Morristown to Mayfields, our new and wondrous stone house set on miles and miles of rolling country in Far Hills, New Jersey." The architects were the New York City firm Cross & Cross with the landscape designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman and Marian Cruger Coffin.
"Mayfields was to be my parents' last and most important home, the ideal house for Daddy to express his love and knowledge of good furniture, for Mother to show her superb taste, for them to fulfill their fondest dreams of the most beautiful gardens, most fulfilling house, and the ideal setting for themselves and their children."
Mayfields, along with more country houses, city residences, and other buildings by Cross & Cross are featured in a new book NEW YORK TRANSFORMED: THE ARCHITECTURE OF CROSS & CROSS by Peter Pennoyer and Anne Walker. Published by The Monacelli Press with a release date of March 18, 2014, it may be purchased at a discount rate here. An earlier view of the house, when the stone was white washed, is shown, along with floor plans, and recent photos. Those interested in the history of 20th century design will especially appreciate this monograph of an important architectural firm, not particularly known outside the greater New York City area.