Saturday, September 19, 2015

OHEKA Castle, Huntington, New York

1917 castle built by Otto HErmann KAhn ("OHEKA"), investment banker and railroad magnate.  When RR spur reached Huntington, he built a 200-ft tall hill (tallest man made hill on Long Island) to perch his mansion modeled after château de Fontainebleau.  It is the second largest privately owned manion in USA (Biltmore is largest). Otto Kahn is the face of Mr. Monopoly, the board game.

The mansion was designed by Delano & Aldrich.  After Otto Kahn died in 1934, the estate changed hands several times, serving as a retreat for New York sanitation workers and a government training school for Merchant Marine radio operators. In 1948, the Eastern Military Academy bought OHEKA, bulldozed the gardens, subdivided the rooms and painted over the walls. After the school went bankrupt 30 years later, OHEKA stood abandoned, except by vandals who set numerous fires over 5 years.

In 1984, developer Gary Melius purchased OHEKA and the remaining 23 acres that surrounded the estate and began the painstaking challenge of restoring the Castle to its original grandeur.

man made hill evident from vantage point of front lawn

Linden trees are window motif after Kahn's hometown in Germany

image that inspired Mr. Monopoly

Sycamore allee

Charlie Chaplin room

Planting Fields - Coe Hall, Oyster Bay, New York

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, which includes the Coe Hall Historic House Museum, is an arboretum and state park covering over 400 acres located in the village of Upper Brookville in the town of Oyster Bay, New York.  Near the end of America's Gilded Age, the estate named Planting Fields was the home of William Robertson Coe, an insurance and railroad executive, and his wife Mary "Mai" Huttleston (née Rogers) Coe, the youngest daughter of millionaire industrialist Henry H. Rogers, who had been a principal of Standard Oil. It includes the 67-room Coe Hall, greenhouses, gardens, woodland paths, and outstanding plant collections. Its grounds were designed by Guy Lowell, A. R. Sargent, and the Olmsted Brothers. Planting Fields also features an herbarium of over 10,000 pressed specimens.  The name "Planting Fields" comes from the Matinecock Indians who cultivated the rich soil in the clearings high above Long Island Sound.

Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, New York

Sagamore Hill is the home of Teddy Roosevelt.  The 23 room Queen Anne house was built in 1885.  He became president in 1901.  He died in 1919 at the home at age 60.  No one else occupied the home.

Ted Jr., and his wife Eleanor A. Roosevelt (not to be confused with Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962, First Lady to FDR 1933-1945) built Old Orchard in 1938,  on 4 acres purchased from Ted's mother.  Ted died in 1944 on military campaign in France.  Eleanor died in 1960 at their home.  The National Park Service acquired the property in 1962.

Copper Beech...

...has toes !!

Ted Jr's Old Orchard

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Waldheim Neighborhood, Flushing, Queens, New York, New York

This District is unique in preservation and predated the Landmark Preservation Commission by 40 years.  Preservation was response to apartment building at 42-66 Phlox Place.  Shingle Style and Queen Anne dominate in a District with boundaries defined by Franklin Ave., (West) Parson's Blvd. (North), a line between Cherry and 45th Ave. (East), and Bowne St. (South).  Best survivors on Ash and Beech, especially those reminiscent of early Frank Lloyd Wright.  Ash is most aristocratic streetscape in District.

Developers in the 1903, Appleton and Richardson, set to work building luxury housing and cutting through streets, named for plants in a likely hommage to Flushing’s former plant nurseries. Many of the old woods’ huge trees were retained as street trees, and the developers named the tract Waldheim, German for “woods home.” A small number of architects under the supervision of Appleton worked on the new neighborhood, which originally attracted Flushing’s wealthier set: at one time, the founder of Buster Brown shoes, the Hellman family of mayonnaise fame, and members of the piano-manufacturing Steinway family lived in Waldheim, as well as Appleton and Richardson themselves. The appellation “Waldheim” fell from favor during World War I.

143-64 Ash

143-32 Ash, bungalow with bumpety stone

143-40 Ash; 1908 concrete block

143-19 Ash, Shingle

143-37 Beech, Georgian in stained wood shingle

32nd and 33rd Aves, between Union and 150th Sts., Flushing, Queens, New York, New York

This area is full of tree-lined streets and gardens.

147-32 - 147-36 33rd Ave.

14708 32nd Ave.

Parsons / 32 Ave