Monday, July 14, 2008

Burrwood Ruins

'Burrwood' was built for Walter Jennings in Lloyd Harbor c. 1899 by Carrere & Hastings. Jennings was a director and secretary of Standard Oil Company and president of the National Fuel Gas Company. His son would go on to inherit the house, and eventually sold it to the Industrial Home for the Blind, which occupied the house until it was sold for development and demolished. Pieces of the gardens remain, as do a handful of brick walls and the original gates (as seen above and below). Click HERE to see where 'Burrwood' stood on google earth.

The front gate and a garden gate. Both have 'WJ' in the center portion.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a sin.. these were such beautiful architectural gems, and so many have fallen to ruin and disrepair. It breaks my heart

T.j. said...

Hey my names t.j. and i actually live in burrwood and if you were interested in more pictures there are several other remains of the estate

Zach said...

T.j. -

Could you send me an email at oldlongisland@gmail.com.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wow, amazing! I can't believe this stuff is still here. I would love to come see it. Walter Jennings was my great, great grandfather. I could get you some really amazing photos of the old house if you're interested. It was amazing.

stillman.meyer@gmail.com

Foerd said...

I used to play there and in nearby "secret garden" surrounded by tall brick walls. Burrwood Home for the Blind often welcomed visits, from this boy, and I would sit with several old friends. I'll never forget playing the "thumb game" with gentle John (he always won) and going down the fenced path in the woods to Jennings Beach. The beach had wooden walkway, with rails, going from bath house right into the water. The aura of natural beauty, sounds, and smells certainly helped compensate absence of sight. The Cold Spring Harbor/Lloyd Harbor neighborhood had its Fourth of July parade and speeches in this area. Decades later, my mother and stepfather built their home nearby and, until Mom died, I'd often visit the place. Despite all the newer homes, there are still vestiges of an "old England" feeling.

Arthur Copeland said...

My dad was the director of Burrwood while it was operated by the IHB. As a kid, I spent many wonderful days volunteering, swimming at the beach and using the beach house. I knew all the gardens by heart. One summer, I was a night security guard and learned all the "ins and outs" of the mansion. I so remember the remarkable views from the patio in back of the dining room as well as the view from the Garden of Remembrance overlooking Cold Spring Harbor.

K. Coblentz said...

The New York Public Library recently acquired a work inscribed "Thomas Proctor, 'Burrwood,' Cold Spring Harbor, L.I., New York." The work is "Designs for flower beds," published by Geo. A. Solly & Son, Springfield, Mass., 1887. Would like to know who Thomas Proctor was.

Anonymous said...

I used to play inside the house in the 1960s. At that time the salt water pool had been abandoned and the pump room from the Sound was a great place to find solitude. I remember climbing in and around the area above the dining room, in the housekeeper's room, below floors and behind the Renaissance fireplace in the hall. The caretaker was an old sailor who retired from Smithtown Schools. When it was sold I went back and tried to recover some of the old detail that was being thrown away. One of which was a roman sarcophagus in the garden. Shame the house was lost but it cost a lot to heat.

Karen Aboud Hauben said...

My grandmother, Molly Aboud, was a resident at burwood from 1965-her death in 1985. We visited her there often and I loved walking the grounds and the gorgeous veranda. So many happy and sad memories

Karen Aboud Hauben said...

Arthur, my grandmother Molly was a resident until 1985.

Rob Kellman said...

I had a summer job there working as a laborer for the groundskeeper/gardener, an amazing Italian immigrent named Rocco... He was a wonderful gardener and a nice man. He was especially proud of the walled rose garden that was in the woods at the top of the bluff. At that point, it was a home for blind and deaf-blind people and the paths all had steel pipe railings so the blind could stay oriented along the path. My first job every morning and after a daytime storm was to walk the paths to be sure they were free of debris to trip the unwary. There were other, less wonderful aspects of the job as well, but as college summer jobs went, it was about a 9+. One of the best parts was befriending so many of the residents, some of whom started teaching me the letter based sign language so we could communicate. Great people, all dealt a bad card making the most of it.
I have some vivid recollections of the grounds and might be able to help ID old pictures of the estate, especially the outbuildings and gardens. If I can be of some help to you, please lmk... ther1@comcast.net.
Thanks for all your work on this project,
Best to all, Rob Kellman, San Ramon, CA

PS I would be really curious to know what was built in its place. It was obviously a time of wretched excess when it was built but when I saw it, it was simply a beautiful building surrounded by beautiful grounds that served as a home for the blind - surely home to more people and doing more good than just as a home for one family... Quite a shame that it's mostly gone.