Spring Lawn

10 Kemble Street, Lenox, The Berkshires, Massachusetts

Built in 1904, for John Ernest Alexandre (1840-1910) and his wife Helen Lispenard Webb (1859-1929). It was designed by the Brahmin-favored society architect Guy Lowell who'd just completed Harbor Hill on Long Island and who almost certainly took his inspiration for Spring Lawn from Beach Cliffe in Newport, built half a century before. But, just six years after its completion John Alexandre died and his widow sold the property to Colonel Arthur Frederic Schermerhorn and his first wife, Frances Levick, who renamed it "Schermeer". His spouse had even less time to enjoy the house than John Alexandre and died in 1914. Nonetheless, the Colonel continued to summer here and was eventually joined by his second wife, Harriett Pullman, daughter of the founder of the Pullman Palace Sleeping Car Company and the builder of the 98-room Carolands.... 

This house is best associated with...

John Ernest Alexandre

John E. Alexandre, Shipping Merchant, of New York City & Lenox, Massachusetts


Helen (Webb) Alexandre

Mrs Helen Lispenard (Webb) Alexandre


Arthur Frederic Schermerhorn

Lt.-Colonel Arthur F. Schermerhorn, Assistant Adjutant-General of New York


Harriett Pullman

Mrs Harriett (Pullman) Carolan, afterwards Schermerhorn


Coincidentally, it was Mrs Alexandre's uncle (William Seward Webb) who had tried to derail Harriett's father in the luxury rail car business, but it was the upstart George M. Pullman who won the war. That was fortunate for Harriett who had all but depleted her fortune by building Carolands and although sole heir to what her husband thought was his million dollar estate, when he died in 1934 it transpired that he was insolvent. Her mother had given the bulk of the Pullman fortune to charity but what remained was just enough to keep Harriett in the lifestyle to which she was accustomed. She continued to divide her time between here and New York City until her death in 1956 when she gifted Schermeer to the Lenox School for Boys and it became known as Schermerhorn Hall. 

Over the course of the latter half of the 20th Century, Schermerhorn Hall was used by Shakespeare & Company and Bible Speaks College. Since those days, it has been rechristened "Spring Lawn" and has passed through several hands. Most recently (2016), it was earmarked to become part of a 14-building time share development.

You May Also Like...


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 25/06/2021 and last updated on 20/09/2021.
Images of the house taken for Mrs E.J. Alexandre are Courtesy of Digital Commonwealth, no known copyright restrictions, CC BY-NC-ND


Be the first to connect to this house. Connect to record your link to this house. or just to show you love it! Connect to Spring Lawn →