Thursday, October 15, 2009

When 'Waldene' Was For Sale

A brochure advertising 'Waldene', the Walter G. Oakman estate designed by Grosvenor Atterbury c. 1900 in Roslyn (the SPLIA book calls the house 'Oakdene'). Oakman was chairman of the board of the Guaranty Trust Company until his resignation in 1920. He was also president of the Hudson Companies which built train tubes under the Hudson River. The house is no longer standing but would have sat HERE.


Brochure courtesy of SPLIA.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, the Black Ink pond in Roslyn Estates used to be called "Kidney Pond." Interesting!

I the 70's someone's head was found in it. No body. I don't think it was ever determined who it belonged to. That area is now Roslyn Estates -- not to be confused with Country Estates...

Anonymous said...

I think your confused. Rosyln Estates would be to the left of the map on the west side of Mineola Ave.

Anonymous said...

Exactly right, Roslyn Estates is on the west side of Mineola Avenue. The Kidney Pond is probably now the site of someones wet basement. The house of Judge Brower, referred to as a neighbor, is still standing on Main Street,up hill far from road and is a fantastic property, unusually large lot for the village and has a cottage, pool and tennis court. Actually the combination of Brower, Shibley Camp and Pierce makes for an a surprisngly large concentration of surviving estate buildings and grounds in an otherwise overbuilt area.

J

Anonymous said...

The estate is now the Roslyn Pines

Anonymous said...

Well, it's been 20 years or so since I've been back to "the land of my people" -- thanks for pointing out my faux-pas. But this is still a nice trip down memory lane!

Anonymous said...

I just love an entry foyer that you can land a small Plane in... lovely lovely home and property

rpmohn said...

I superimposed the estate map on top of a Google map of the current Roslyn Pines. Interesting! Map

Anonymous said...

Based on the maps and ariels, it seems to me that the original carriage house complex is still standing, just heavily modified as a suburban home.

Zach said...

Location?

Anonymous said...

The Mistress of Waldene was Eliza ( Bessie) Conkling-Oakman, only child of NY Senator Roscoe Conkling (R) and Julia Catherine Seymour Conkling. I believe she died in England in 1932. There is an interesting story surrounding her marriage to Oakman, surrounded by many myths, one of which is that the Senator (Conkling) did not want his daughter to marry Oakman because " he wasn't rich enough" and he refused to attend the wedding. I heard somewhere or read somewhere that the mansion burned in the 1950's. Do you know if this is true?

Anonymous said...

This is in reply to the last query regarding "Waldene" or "Oakdene" as it is also called. Eliza-(Bessie)Conkling- Oakman was indeed the mistress of Waldene, as well as the only ( known) child of Julia and Roscoe Conkling. And yes, what a grand lady Miss Bessie was - she traveled far and wide, loved design, art and collecting: she imported artifacts from all over Europe and elsewhere to adorn the halls of Waldene. The myths about her father and his abscence at her wedding still persist to this day. At that point in time Conkling was deep into his very public affair with Sprauge, and it is rumored that he had the gall to ask his wife if she (the Mistress) could be present at the wedding. of course they both turned him down flat. It is also rumored that Bessie was "frail", meaning she had some type of disability and Conkling did not want her to marry at all. Also, and perhaps nearer to the truth, Conkling felt that Bessie's intended was "not rich enough", since Conkling was a pompous ass, Bessie's Uncle, Horatio Seymour, gave her away at the wedding. As for the estate burning, I do not know. I know that Bessie and George moved into the Waldorf Astoria around 1918. Bessie died in 1932 while visiting her married daughter in England, and is buried in Forest Lawn, just about a mile from my home. I go there often in the summer to meditate.