Charles Allom
Sir Charles Carrick Allom (1865–1947) was an eminent British decorator, trained as an architect knighted for his work on Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

. Among his American clients in the years preceding World War I was Henry Clay Frick
Henry Clay Frick
Henry Clay Frick was an American industrialist, financier, and art patron. He founded the H. C. Frick & Company coke manufacturing company, was chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company, and played a major role in the formation of the giant U.S. Steel steel manufacturing concern...

, 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 that today houses the Frick Collection
Frick Collection
The Frick Collection is an art museum located in Manhattan, New York City, United States.- History :It is housed in the former Henry Clay Frick House, which was designed by Thomas Hastings and constructed in 1913-1914. John Russell Pope altered and enlarged the building in the early 1930s to adapt...

, and the neo-Georgian house, Clayton, Roslyn, Long Island
Roslyn, New York
Roslyn is a village in Nassau County, New York, on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the United States 2010 Census, the village population was 2,770...

, designed by Ogden Codman, Jr.
Ogden Codman, Jr.
Ogden Codman, Jr. was a noted American architect and interior decorator in the Beaux-Arts styles, and co-author with Edith Wharton of The Decoration of Houses , which became a standard in American interior design....

 that was bought for Frick's daughter-in-law. For the grand rooms of parade in Frick's New York house, 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
William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst was an American business magnate and leading newspaper publisher. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887, after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father...

 purchased a real castle, St. Donat's
St Donat's Castle
St Donat's Castle is a medieval castle in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, overlooking the Bristol Channel in the village of St Donat's near Llantwit Major, and about 25km west of Cardiff...

 in Wales, his choice to furnish it naturally fell upon Sir Charles.


He was born in 1865.

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
Carrère and Hastings
Carrère and Hastings, the firm of John Merven Carrère and Thomas Hastings , located in New York City, was one of the outstanding Beaux-Arts architecture firms in the United States. The partnership operated from 1885 until 1911, when Carrère was killed in an automobile accident...

 in 1893 for Dr. Christian Herter which the firm occupied until 1933. Allom divided his time between London and New York 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
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
The Waldorf-Astoria is a luxury hotel in New York. It has been housed in two historic landmark buildings in New York City. The first, designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, was on the Fifth Avenue site of the Empire State Building. The present building at 301 Park Avenue in Manhattan is a...

 on Park Avenue.

The style generated by Allom, White was distinctly old-fashioned. It appealed to Queen Mary
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

, who was a connoisseur of eighteenth-century English porcelain and furniture. And when the Empress of Britain
Empress of Britain
RMS Empress of Britain was a transatlantic ocean liner built by Fairfield Shipbuilding at Govan on the Clyde in Scotland in 1905-1906 for Canadian Pacific Steamship . This ship -- the first of three CP vessels to be named Empress of Britain -- regularly traversed the trans-Atlantic route between...

was launched the same year as the "new" Waldorf-Astoria, among its modern Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 decors, the "Mayfair Lounge" by White, Allom was the one space in Edwardian Renaissance manner.

He died in 1947.


White Allom was acquired by Holloway
Holloway Brothers (London) Ltd.
Holloway Brothers Ltd was a leading British construction company specialising in building and heavy civil engineering work based in London.-Early history:...

as Holloway White Allom in 1960.

Further reading

  • Bailey, Colin B. Building the Frick Collection: An Introduction to the House and Its Collections
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