Dedicated to the preservation of Long Island's 'gold coast' estates and other things old.
For those of you who don't know, Planting Fields is open to the public and well worth a visit. The greenhouse and especially the camellia house (I believe the largest collection of camellias grown indoors in th world)are amazing. The house is also open, although much of it is not to my taste (there is a truly awful and very jarring Louis XVI reception room- although I am not sure if this is originally how the room looked or is the result of a later and very bad "restoration") as well as all sorts of "ye olde English" interiors as shown in today's posting. There is however, a really magnificent breakfast room with murals by Robert Chanler that more than makes up for the rest.
I should probably add that it is $6 to get onto the grounds during the season (though before Memorial Day it's free) and house tours are another $5-10. The house served as the first home to SUNY Stonybrook in the '60s so there were changes made to accommodate students. Planting Fields is slowly restoring things to the way they were pre-SUNY and very slowly accumulating original pieces of furniture from family members. And the Buffalo Room (the breakfast room) is something else.
Indeed, the breakfast room is something elseI've always wondered why Walker & Gillette, who designed several of the best, most published, and most personal houses of their day never got a book written about them.
damn, I keep pushing 'publish' too soon. I meant to say that it also bears mentioning that Mrs. Coe was the sister of Colonel Rogers of 'Black Point'. Walker & Gillette were apparently somewhat the family architects.
ARCHIE AND AMÉLIELove and Madness in the Gilded AgeBook about Robert Chanler's brother
I used to be a tour guide for children in 1996 & 1997 at Coe Hall and when we went through training, we had access to a book full of old photos and articles and everything that's not made available to the public, beyond a few family photos scattered around the main floor. The photos I've seen of the parlor are all as hideous as it is now. The Buffalo room was always my favorite next to the old kitchen. I was back there last summer with my infant son & got to speak to the volunteer director and she got me back into the kitchen which has been modernized during another "designer's showcase". Fortunately this one replaced the awful murals that were painted in the ladies restroom off the entryway. The one thing they didn't revamp are the industrial style bathrooms. Having no clue that the mansion was home for the first 4 graduating classes of SUNY Old Westbury, I couldn't figure out, as a high school student, why this gorgeous house had the same fixtures as my own high school in the restrooms. Visiting the house is a much different experience now, as the rooms are entirely open & nothing is roped off. If you haven't been back to see the reproduced murals in Mrs. Coe's bedroom, do visit! They're absolutely stunning! I was invited up a week before they opened with the volunteer coordinator.
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