Saturday, February 7, 2009


'Graenan' was built for Michael Gavin in the mid 1920's in Brookville. The main house (pictured here) burned down over 40 years ago, and I have pictures of the ruins of the estate HERE. These are pictures of the actual John Russell Pope designed main house, the facade of which now belongs to The Cloisters museum in New York City.

The garages, which can be seen in the 4th picture of my photos of the ruins.

Click below to see the Graenan ruins with formal gardens intact in a 1966 aerial shot.


Anonymous said...

where are you getting all of these pictures from?

Zach L. said...

A variety of databases including the Smithsonian archives, the New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this group of pics of Graenan...I was completely intrigued when you ran the pics of the out buildings in ruin and now it's great to see the main house!

Anonymous said...

Are these online?
Any pictures of North Hills estates?

Anonymous said...

I remember when they had the fire back in the 1960s. They were tarring the roof on the main house when it caught fire.

The fire not only destroyed the main house but also some of the other buildings.

We live in the neighborhood right behind this property and have for over 50 years.

There was a chapel that was this property that was brought over from France piece by piece back in the early 1900s, which Joan Of Arc is said to have prayed out.

The chapel was disassembled in 1964 and transported to Marquette University in Wisconsin, where it remains today. You can see photos of this chapel on the Marquette Website.

I hiked through here when I was a kid back in the 60s and met the owner.

He was an eccentric type who described his like for builders, and vowed to never sell the property as long as he was alive.

That was nearly 50 years ago, and even though the property is no longer occupied (lawyers control the estate and pay its taxes from a trust established long ago by the Rojtman Family) the property has never been sold or developed.

I remember the original estate and its gardens before the main building burned down. As nice as the Brookvilles are today, they were a lot nicer before all of the development and additional traffic came to this area.

I wish I could have lived in this area during the early 1900s when it was just estates and even more
bucolic than it is today.

Then again, even back in the 1960s
before a wave of new construction
gripped this area, the Brookvilles were quite pleasant to live in.

Today, they are still a beautiful example of the Gold Coast, however, they have lost some of the luster that they had decades ago...

Unknown said...

I want to photograph the ruins. What street is Graenan on?