Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Architect Clifford C. Wendehack (1884-1948) lived in Upper Montclair, NJ, and practiced in New York City. His early architecture training was in Europe and New York and as a draftsman at the studio of Donn Barber, a New York proponent of Beaux-Arts architecture.
Wendehack became known as a master designer of country club buildings and impressive houses, including one on Hickory Drive in Maplewood, built for Mrs. George Otis in 1927, and several in Montclair that have been named to the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
His 1929 book on how to build clubhouses served as the primer in the field for eighty years. He designed clubhouses for some of the top golf and country clubs in the Northeast, including Rock Spring, Ridgewood, Forsgate and North Jersey Country Clubs in New Jersey; and Winged Foot, Bethpage and North Hills clubs in Westchester and Long Island, New York.
Most of Wendehack’s work was derived from historical influences, primarily Tudor/Norman and Colonial and Spanish Revival styles, using prominent gables, chimneys and stonework to conveying permanence and solidity while evoking an approachable hominess through gracious entryways and gathering spaces and large, welcoming fireplaces. Yet he strongly believed that historical characteristics should be tempered by modifying those ideas to modern purposes. An article about his Maplewood house in The American Architect of June 5, 1928 noted that “In every way this house serves as a capable example of modern adaptation.”