Friday, February 6, 2009

Laurelton Hall

'Laurelton Hall' was built by and for Louis Comfort Tiffany c. 1904 in Laurel Hollow. Tiffany was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co. Louis himself was an accomplished artist and interior designer, as well as the President of Tiffany & Co., and founder of numerous Tiffany glass companies. He came to the area in 1890 after he constructed his first house 'The Briars', which eventually burned down. He replaced it with 'Laurelton Hall', which sat on roughly 580 aces, an incredibly unusual and eclectic house with something different around every corner. Tiffany filled the house with all sorts of pieces he designed along with numerous pieces of art from his personal collection. After he died the house was deeded to his foundation and after they abandoned the house it was extensively vandalized and ultimately ruined. The remains were demolished in 1957, though some pieces still exist today. Cick HERE to see where 'Laurelton Hall' stood on google earth. The photos were taken in 1924.

The front facade.

The courtyard and entrance.

The veranda.

The view from the rear terrace overlooking Cold Spring Harbor.

The minaret used to function as the smokestack for the power house.

The rear.

A fountain known as 'the Spring'.

The covered bridge. A piece of this still remains.

Click below to see 'Laurelton Hall' intact and still standing in a 1953 aerial shot. Photos from the Library of Congress.


Anonymous said...

the tower is stil their too
its a great veiw from the new house i built on the property,the old fountains are buryed in the back yard

Anonymous said...

Just left the site 2 weeks ago. Hiked the hill growing up in the sixties when the wreckage was all over the hill. More buildings gone. The Chapel (interior at the Morse Museum in winter Park Fla) is now also gone from the hillside. A beautiful new house took it off the hillside. Very little remains but the tower... a former smokestack to the coal energy plant. The site is still amazing though you can't access it as it's been developed. Bruce R... It's Tom S. if you ever read these posts. Please find me in Wash DC.

john said...

Tiffany Tower

My father use to own the Tiffany Tower along with the beach front in Laurel Hollow, we were planning to build a house there but moved to Ireland for a year instead. As children we would play in and around the magical tower where there was what seemed to us as quarry rocks of blue, green Tiffany glass beside the tower, we imagined they were used to make her colorful shinning windows. It wasn’t as tall as The Jones Beach Tower but more sculptured with slender blue, green Tiffany glass windows, A Landmark for sailors and bathers, a towering fairy tale for children full of daring and imagination…

Later on John Lennon had a house in Laurel Hollow, he would float on his back in an indoor pool, a meditation designed to help him kick a drug habit. All kinds of sculptor’s and artists lived there over the years.

We would pass Lennon’s future house and many others as we glided on bicycle down the steep winding, laurel bush bordered road from 25A to L. I. Sound, being careful when we came to the police booth, if you were going too fast they were known to chase you and give you a ticket for speeding; On a bicycle!

The road leads right to the beach where you could throw your bike in the sand and swim out to the big square, rocking and rolling raft, lay back in the sun and dream up stories in your head as you drifted and watched the Tiffany Tower glisten in a blue hue… as the waters of the
L. I. Sound waved up against the high wooden raft and back to our rock walled sandy Laurel Hollow Beach.

John Moynihan

K. Martin said...

Hi John Moynihan -

My grandparents (the Martins) built a house in the early sixties on the site of the main house. I also used to spend hours climbing around the woods behind the house (I remember the old chapel and a fountain up there!). Did your father buy his property from the Barnetts? Anyway, many fun times at the beach, etc. The house was sold around 1980 (?). Last time I took a quick look the house needed some TLC and the trees had grown up so much that one couldn't see the water. It made me so sad! Your childhood memories really hit home with me. I have many pictures of the water view with that tower, but I understand that it is not there any longer. Seems like we could almost have met so long ago! Cheers,

Anonymous said...

Gosh I love this blog!!!

Anonymous said...

Do you know what happened to the carriage house? It was the subject of litigation between the town and the owners (the Lavernes)? I recall the home was abandoned, and overgrown, but that was many years ago. Has it been purchased/restored/torn down?

Gail said...

I've read through this website entry about Laurelton Hall and found it fascinating! I have never seen the original site, however, I live in Winter Park FL and the Morse Museum here has a gorgeous collection of artifacts from the Laurelton Hall estate, many stained glass pieces and architectural pieces, including a room with the restored chapel interior. Here is a link to the Morse website
I grew up in NYC and Rockland County, and there were several lovely old mansions near my home that were eventually torn down for developments, and although they were beautiful and it is a shame they were demolished, none were as fantastic as Laurelton Hall.
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I just purchased a home in Oyster Bay, The previous owners told us the windows, floors, wall moldings and fireplace mantle came from the carriage house after the estate burnt down.

I would like to verify this. where can one find pictures of the original windows in the carriage house?

Aliwalsh1 said...

My great aunt was Tiffany's housekeeper from 1900's and remained with the Tiffany family until she died. I find this all fascinating as she came from here (Ireland) as a young girl and it must have been amazing to see such a wonderful house. She came from a very poor background.

adrian d said...

1st post by anonymous

Just came back from taking pictures of the tower, amazing!
Are the fountains still buried? I would like to take some pics of them if it would be ok. You can contact me @ anytime.
Great posts!

Anonymous said...

During a viewing of a Tiffney exhibit at the Chicago Art Museum the guide told us that the reason the house could not be saved in the 1957 fire was because Tiffney had designed the driveway in the form of a flower or vine and the large water-tanker trucks could not make the corners turns and thus could not supply the amount of water and pressure that was needed to extinguish the fire. Is there any truth to this?


Worthington said...

Awesome blog post - just wanted you to know I am linking my blog readers to it as I did a post on the 175th Tiffany & Co. anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know to whom Laurelton Hall was sold for $10,000?

Adam Dworkin said...

My grandfather was Richard Harris, he owned a house next to the tower with a pool and he owned the accompying beachfront in front of the house. I have fond memories of the place, the road to the beach was to the right of the house, it wound down thru the woods around the cliff. we would catch the horseshoe crabs and play on the beach. This must have been in the early to mid '70s, not sure of the timeframe but he passed away around then. the tower always fascinated us, it was the best playground imagineable for young kids....

Adam Dworkin said...

My grandfathers house was 1482 laurel hollow rd. he owned the tower while alive there. He died in 1976, I'm sure the house was sold soon thereafter. Was just checking it out on google earth, and my uncle victor Harris lived at 9 bouton lane Lloyd harbor. It's on the national historic registry. Currently for sale now also. I have very fond memories of both places.

sattypoo said...

I have seen the aerial views of the house towards the water, but what and how can I get pictures of the structure to the left of the aerial view of the main house? The buildings are long and several stories high. Was this servants quarter, stables? So wish I could find more pictures. I am a stained glass designer and do kiln work and this all is such a tragedy that so little remains of this incredible property.