History of Ivy Lodge

Reproduced Article from The Newport Mercury, July 31, 1886

Dr. Satterlee's Summer Home

Rapid Work With Beautiful Results - Description of a Beautiful Place.

Most of our readers remember the old looking farm house that no more than twelve weeks ago stood on the estate of Dr. Leroy Satterlee on Clay Street. A few years ago his estate was bought by Gen. Van Alen, and much money expended upon it without producing very good results. The house was remodeled somewhat, several extensions added and a complete system of sewage put in. Dr. Satterlee sold the estate to General Van Alen in 1884. The doctor occupied it in the summer of 1885, and finding the old house not well arranged, decided to make some improvements. About twelve weeks ago work was commenced and most of the old building was completely removed upon the level with the foundation, the size being increased to 38 x 88 feet. On the first floor is the drawing room 18 x 22 feet, painted in white and gold; the reception room is 12 x 16 feet. Also in white and gold; the library is 14 x 23 feet in cherry; the study 12 x 18 feet in mahogany; dining room 16 x 26 feet in old mahogany. To the north of the dining room is the butler's pantry, 10 x 12 feet, fitted with cupboards, drawers and shelves enclosed with glass doors. At the back of the butler's pantry is the servants dining hall 12 x 16 feet, and to the east of this is the kitchen 18 x 20 feet with a large cook's closet 8 x 8 feet. The kitchen is supplied with all the modern improvements and has a cistern and city water at the sink, the walls and ceilings of this department are painted in oil. The launrdy is in the basement and is complete in all of it's parts; in the cellar is the furnace and coal bunker, wine closet, etc, etc.

The hall is finished in old oak and measures 20 x 33 feet. It is finished up to the peak of the roof and is about 33 feet from floor to ceiling, the walls are paneled and there is no plaster in any part of the hall. The heavy beams of the roof are exposed and produce a fine effect from the floor below. The stair case is an elegant piece of work and is seen in every detail from the lower hall. Galleries run along the second and third story halls, supported on carved and fluted columns, and many bits of artistic wood work seem to be placed so as to produce the finest effect. The great brick fireplace, built in the most ingeniously contrived corner, with its two peculiar looking seats built on a quarter circle with high backs and carved end posts from which spring on a very unique gas light. The fireplace is built in the shape of a moorish arch, with large brackets of hammered iron supporting a massive shelf. 34 stained glass windows light the hall. These were furnished by Redding Baird & Co. of Boston, and are exceedingly beautiful and reflect much credit on the designer. On the second floor there are five chambers, linen closet, dressing rooms, bath room and four servants' rooms, in the third story there are three chambers and three servants' rooms, all the rooms have open fireplaces arranged for coal or wood, the exterior is of wood with the exception of the entrance and large chimney - which are of brick. The lower story is clapboard and painted a bronze green; the second story is shingled and stained; the gables are filled in with cement and glass and the roof is painted red. There are bay windows, piazzas and balconies. Few people would believe that only two or three weeks ago was such an extensive attraction commenced, and where now stands complete with its vine covered piazza one of the prettiest cottages in Newport. These alterations and improvements were designed and executed by Mr. J.D. Johnston, the architect and builder and adds one more to the many pretty cottages he has erected here.