Casa Alta - Mediterranean Villa

This magnificent, unique for the East Coast, Mediterranean Villa built on what is termed "first mountain" consists of two acres of multilevel flat land with a commanding view overlooking the Manhattan sky-line.

Casa Alta was built in 1928 by a Newark attorney, Alfred J. Grosso Esq., Orange, New Jersey (West Orange was called Orange in 7-3-28). The architect was C.C. Wendehack, 101 Park Ave., New York, New York.

Clifford Charles Wendehack was an American architect noted for the design of clubhouses at country clubs.

Wendehack was most active during the 1920s. Most notably, he designed the clubhouses at Winged Foot, Bethpage, Norwood, Ridgewood, Forsgate, Douglaston Park (for North Hills Country Club), Park, and the Pennhills Club (Bradford, PA).

It is interesting to note Casa Alta was located adjacent to the Rock Spring Country Club as the architect was renowned for designing country clubs on the East Coast and this was certainly a radical departure from his traditional designs.

The home featured a unique dining area protected by a parapet with clerestory windows and French doors with an Easterly view of the Manhattan skyline.

Another feature of Casa Alta was a unique library located at the highest point in the home, reached by an ascending spiral staircase. The library had clerestory windows on three sides excluding the north side, which was lined by bookcases. The roof was multicolored yellow, orange, and red, randomly arranged, ceramic tiles which complimented the beige stucco perfectly. Provision was made for living quarters for domestic help consisting of two bedrooms and bath located adjacent and somewhat below the kitchen.

Another feature was the concrete balustrades on the porch and also in front of the small exterior porch in front of the French doors in the dining room area.

Casa Alta had a salon which faced East and West and on the eastern side a pair of French doors opened up to a terrace that on either side had an ascending staircase right and left which ended in an open grassy area set off by marble statues of the four seasons depicted as cherubs adjacent to a central large, blue-grey Atlas Cedar.