The Newman Triplets
When you look at three houses sitting side-by-side on Orchard Street, there is something
about them that looks very much the same, yet different.
They were designed by architect John Van Osdel II for the Newman brothers, Charles,
Gustav and John, proprietors of the Newman Brothers Piano Company and were built at the same time on three adjoining lots in 1895. While Van Osdel matched the design of each exterior, he changed the stone used on each facade. I'm guessing here, but perhaps this was the way the architect chose to reflect the fact that while these three structures and their owners were related, they also had different personalities.
By 1910, Gustav and John were dead and Charles's nephews, and his brother's heirs,
ousted him as president of the company. As Mrs. Gustav said, "the boys feared that their uncle would close up the business and 'not do the right thing by the boys'." So although personal harmony between the Houses of the Newmans didn't last that long, Van Osdel's harmonious Chateauesque design survived the test of time.