Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'The Cedars'

'The Cedars', the Harry Bellas Hess estate designed by Howells & Stokes c. 1914 in Huntington. Hess was president of the National Bellas Hess Company, a mail order business which made cloaks and suits. 'The Cedars' burned down in the 1950s and part of the Huntington High School was erected on the property. Hess died in 1960 at the age of 88, he had been living on his yacht, the Seer, for the previous four years before his death.

Click below to see 'The Cedars' intact and still standing in a 1953 aerial shot. Pictures from American Architect and Architecture, 1921.


La Petite Gallery said...

How awful it burnt down.
That was a gorgeous place
almost Miami Beach looking.

Thanks so much for such an interesting Post.
I have told alot of people about you,,
Merry Christmas or what ever!!

Zach L. said...

You too Yvonne. If you liked this post I would recommend exploring some of the previous posts (from the last 12-18 months) as there are probably 300 or so just like it.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Impressive, even stately, but without an ounce of charm.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought of counting the number of great houses noted on your blog that "burned to the ground" after World War II? It would appear there was a rampant problem fire for Long Island houses of a certain size from after the war through the 70's.

Zach L. said...

While I do not know the circumstances surrounding this particular house, many of the houses that burned in the '60s-'80s were the result of vandals. A bunch of teenagers would hang out in an abandoned house, set a fire to keep warm and then leave, leaving the fire to burn however it wanted. I think they found something like the remains 8 fires inside at Oheka when it was being restored.

Anonymous said...

this beautiful home was deeded to the town of huntington as a memorial, similar to what William K. Vanderbilt did with his estate. The stipulation was that the town was to preserve the home as readaptive use, not a museum. Look to the remains of Huntington Station to realize that corruption in the town government was more rampant in those days than fire. The house promptly burned to the ground when the town took ownership and the shell was burned down and the property developed commerically.

Unknown said...

I just recently learned all the history of this estate. It's fascinating! I've lived in the neighborhood that was built on the estates land for many years and never knew this! In fact, the main house was not even 30 yards from me! The largest oak tree that my street was named after and was in the backyard of the mansion is still there!