Monday, August 9, 2010

'Indian Neck Hall'

'Indian Neck Hall', the Frederick Gilbert Bourne estate designed by Ernest Flagg between 1897-1900 in Oakdale. Bourne was president of the Singer Manufacturing Company, of which Ernest Flagg designed both the big and little Singer Buildings in Manhattan. In 1926 the estate became the LaSalle Military Academy and in 2001 became part of St. John's University. Click HERE for more on F.G. Bourne and 'Indian Neck Hall'. Click HERE to see 'Indian Neck Hall' on google earth and HERE on bing.







The view of the Great South Bay from the rear terrace.

12 comments:

The Down East Dilettante said...

Quite a place, quite grandly conceived and carried out. I've always found it fascinating that the two symmetrical fronts don't line up.

magnus said...

I think that the history of Oakdale and neighboring Islip and Bayshore is fascinating. They were, at one time, summer resorts on par with the Hamptons- destinations for the rich and fashionable. While other areas have kept their hold on the fashionable world,Islip, Oakdale and Bayshore have fallen completely "off the map". I'd love to know the reason/reasons why.

The Ancient said...

I'm sorry, but I think it's a big ugly house -- poor proportions, charmless, and -- from a dynastic standpoint -- unsupportable. (Why build something your children -- or grandchildren -- are obliged to sell? Isn't the entire point to establish A Family Home? I know better, but still.)

P.S. Perhaps Zach could start a trope on gates. When I renovated our 250-year old house in the country, I put up gates. Other family houses had them, for cause, and I thought the cause was still justified. But I was amazed to hear local candidates for sheriff complain about those gates as part of their platform. Fortunately, those people lost, and were soon exiled to another county.

Zach said...

Did these candidates for sheriff have specific reasons for disliking the gates?

The Ancient said...

Well, in my own case, it's because the alarm system was defectively installed -- by county residents -- and went off twice before I had grown-ups from the city come out and put things right. (The crux of the matter was this: The oldest part of the house, built in 1740, was a log cabin. Somehow, a mouse had found a way to crawl up through the walls and perch on top of a motion sensor. I got this fixed, at some cost, but the the idea that he would base his campaign interview with the local paper on an inconvenience caused in the middle of the night by local workman at MY house was, well, intolerable. So I stepped up and did what was necessary to help the better candidate win.

P.S. The gates suggestion still applies.

The Ancient said...

For what little it's worth, I should add --

1) If a fire or burglary alarm goes out at my house in the country, it will be between forty-five minutes to an an hour before anyone shows up.

2) Despite being one of the Top Ten property taxpayers in the county, I would be extremely happy to see my property taxes double -- if that money was devoted to fire protection. I would come out ahead.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh yes, it is, as Ancient says, weird and ugly----but just wonderful nevertheless in its child-like ambition...and the completeness of that vision

Turner Pack Rats said...

as you would expect, i like it because its big and obviously cost a lot of money and its still in existence. the proportions are all wrong with unequal wings and front and rear entrances offset and they tore the best part down - that long glass conservatory. maybe they classed that as landscaping which almost never survives. still, this place really sez, "yeah - we've got it and you don't"

security word def - "inestra" - archaic italian for outmoded family propagation system.

jackgreen said...

I don't understand why you think it's so ugly. I feel it's grand.

noblesse oblige said...

I was given a quick tour once.
An assertion that the former
carriage-house-cum-garage operated as an hydraulic round-house; Innovative as well for the locomotive engine era, a measure employed not for workload relief, but to save precious space for a magnate's many motorcars. Abundant physical evidence remained to give the story plausibility.

Ray Spinzia said...

In the 1950s the garage complex was used as a firing range by LaSalle Military Academy. As a student at the academy, I would walk on the turntable to reach the firing range. An archival photograph of Bourne's cars on the turntable can be found in the November 1915 issue of "Town and Country."

Anonymous said...

It's ugly. It doesn't look like a warm and inviting home, it looks like an instution, which is what it became. So in the end it all worked out. As for gates: I know a situation where a family of means bought a summer estate and promptly gated it, ignoring legal century old rights of way, thumbed their noses up at up at the "country folk" and felt they were better than everyone and knew best. The fire chief complained about the gates, largely because the post were not far enough apart to allow a fire truck to enter, but Mr & Mrs money bags knew best, local yokels didn't. Fast forward 23 months, they threw a big party, house caught fire at 2 am, the local volunteer fire company sat out on the road and watched the house burn flat to the ground. They couldn't get the trucks in. Considering the attitude of Mr money bags, who had screwed over most of the firemen who had done work for him, they really didn't care. Money bags sued the town and lost, the post were too close together plus a sharp turn and some landscaping rocks that had been put in would have prevented the trucks from getting in to the house had they gotten through the gates. Lesson is: Don't poop on your neighbors no matter how effing rich you are, you might need them some day.
Steven