Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring Hill's Terrace & Garden Wall

Originally built for William L. Stow by John Russell Pope and later purchased by Henry Carnegie Phipps, this is all that is left of what was once a remarkable structure. Seen below is the house and wall in better days, with original landscaping. Pope designed the house like an Italian villa, employing a terraced garden reminiscent of Rome. You would have been able to see the Atlantic Ocean from the rear of the house and the Long Island Sound from the front. Click HERE to see more on Spring Hill.

Time and mother nature have done a job on the garden wall. It is broken, cracked, and falling apart in literally almost every spot. Balusters lay on the ground in pieces, the stairs are barely traversable and if this were left alone much longer would most likely crumble to dust. Luckily some help is on the way and hopefully one day it will be restored to it's former glory.


Anonymous said...

Hello Zach - another sad, heartbreaking visual, but the lawns look remarkably well maintained, is that so? I'm curious about the time and nature of the demolition of the house; who and why, if no further development took place? Of course so many were abandoned and possibly burnt by vandals, etc., but I would appreciate (rather than enjoy) details. This evokes the Cocteau film 'La Belle et Le Bete.' - Robert

Zach said...

Ogden Phipps, son of Henry Carnegie Phipps, took the house down after his mother passed away in 1972. He was paying more than 70K a year in property taxes and this was a time when a lot of other pre WWI homes were coming down, so it seems as if it were just an unfortunate victim of circumstance. The house was never abandoned or vandalized, Ogden himself had his own house a short distance away in the corner of the property. The Phipps' owned the property until shortly after Ogden's own death in 2002 (I believe). It was sold in 2004.