My maternal grandfather – Colin Webster Innes (1893 -1964) – was an architectural engineer by profession.
He worked on skyscrapers in Chicago and New York, and eventually became the Vice President of Rheinstein Construction Corporation in Manhattan. (In addition to skyscrapers and office buildings he also worked on the New York Times building, luxury homes, and hospitals in the New York City environs.)
My grandparents had built a country house in upstate New York that my grandfather had designed himself. It was a small salt-box style home with a wing addition.
They also owned a couple of properties in Bronxville, NY, just before I was born. Including a double lot with a house on it at 73 Gard Avenue.
In the beginning my grandparents rented the house at 73 Gard Ave to my aunt Coline and her family for a few years, while my grandparents lived closer to the Village of Bronxville on Kensington Road.
The property on Gard Ave had a large open yard that ran down to McIntyre Street – and it was big enough to build another house on… and that was what my parents ended up doing in 1959. (I wrote an earlier post about my parents’ search for a home in the late 1950s which included seeing the notorious Amityville house that was up for sale)
My parents used my grandfather’s blueprints from his country house to build our house.
Eventually my grandparents moved into the small house at 73 Gard Avenue, and that is how I grew up with my Nanny next door (my grandfather died from arteriosclerosis when I was three and a half).
Our house had a simple floor plan – the main floor of the main part of the house consisted of the kitchen, my parent’s bedroom, an open living room/dining room and a small lavatory off the kitchen – accessible to the studio that was located in the wing addition. The studio also had a door into it from the living room.
There were two doors on the front of the house with one door that directly entered the studio. And there was one door at the back that entered the kitchen.
Upstairs there were two bedrooms and one full bathroom. My room faced Gard Avenue. It was a cozy little house.