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Nido:Charles Allom

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Sir Charles Carrick Allom (1865 — 1947) was an eminent British architect and decorator, knighted for his work on Buckingham Palace. Among his American clients in the years preceding World War I was Henry Clay Frick, for whom Allom furnished houses in cooperation with Sir Joseph Duveen, the eminent paintings dealer. Allom furnished the house at 71st Street and Fifth Avenue[1] that today houses the Frick Collection, and the Neo-Georgian house designed by Ogden Codman, Jr. bought for Frick's daughter-in-law, Clayton, Roslyn, Long Island.[2] For the grand rooms of parade in Frick's New York house,[3] Sir Charles, whose London workshops produced the plasterwork and boiseries, kept the furnishings muted, not to compete with Frick's collection of paintings. In 1925, when William Randolph Hearst purchased a real castle, St. Donat's in Wales, his choice to furnish it naturally fell upon Sir Charles.[4]

Shortly after World War I, Allom decided that he needed a more prominent position in New York. He purchased the house on Madison Avenue that had been built by Carrère and Hastings in 1893 for Dr. Christian Herter[5] which the firm occupied until 1933. Allom divided his time between London and New York[6] In 1931, White, Allom was among the stellar cast of furnishers and decorators creating a grand but homey atmosphere for the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue.

The style generated by Allom, White was distinctly old-fashioned. It appealed to Queen Mary, who was a connoisseur of eighteenth-century English porcelain and furniture. And when the Empress of Britain was launched the same year as the "new" Waldorf-Astoria, among its modern Art Deco‏‎ decors, the "Mayfair Lounge" by White, Allom was the one space in Edwardian Renaissance manner.[7]

White Allom was acquired by Holloway as Holloway White Allom in 1960.[8] Sir Charles's portrait by Lawrence Alloway is in the National Portrait Gallery, London.


  1. Francis Morrone, "The house that Frick built", The New York Sun 8 December 2006
  2. Martha Frick Symington Sanger and Wendell Garrett, The Frick Houses: Architecture, Interiors, Landscapes in the Golden Era 2001.
  3. Elsie de Wolfe, who had pressed for the prestigious commission, was hired to decorate the family rooms upstairs.
  4. St. Donat's: A Hisory of the Castle"
  5. Dr. Herter's father was the Christian Herter of the fashionable decoratoring firm Herter Brothers (Christopher Gray, "Streetscapes", The New York Times 7 January 1990])
  6. Returning to London from one of his trans-Atlantic trips in 1925, Sir Charkles remarked on the American work ethic and was quoted in Time Magazine ("Americana", Time Magazine 18 May 1925)
  7. Time Magazine, 15 June 1931
  8. Holloway White Allom: History

Further reading

  • Bailey, Colin B. Building the Frick Collection: An Introduction to the House and Its Collections
    |Allom, Sir Charles]]

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   » Alberto Mengual Muñoz   »  Iñaki M.B.

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