Wednesday, September 15, 2010

'Avondale Farms'

'Avondale Farms', the Joseph Wright Harriman estate renovated by Sir Alfred C. Bossom c. 1918 in Brookville. Harriman, founder and president of Harriman National Bank (which became National Bank & Trust Co.), had purchased a c. 1910 Hoppin & Koen designed house for Philip W. Livermore named 'Bois Joli' and hired Bossom to design alterations. Bossom had arrived in America as an associate of George Crawley, the man behind 'Westbury House', the John S. Phipps estate in Old Westbury, and upon completion of that house stayed in New York. Joseph Harriman was a nephew of E.H. Harriman, financier and president of the Union Pacific Railroad. For over 20 years he was a member of the brokerage firm of Harriman & Co., founded by his father and uncle. He founded Harriman National Bank in 1912 and the bank was one of the few major institutions in New York that did not reopen following the bank holiday of 1933. The next day Harriman was arrested for falsifying bank records and misapplying bank funds in an effort to maintain the bank's stock price following the market crash. He attempted suicide twice during his trial and was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 4.5 years in federal prison, serving only 2. He lived the rest of his life in seclusion and died at the Sea Cliff Sanitarium in 1949 at the age of 82. The house was demolished c. 1950. Click HERE to see where 'Avondale Farms' stood on google earth.







Pictures from Architectural Record, 1918.

9 comments:

magnus said...

The Sea Cliff Sanitarium? I wonder where and what it was. If it's still there, maybe I'll see about reserving a room.

And I wonder if Philip Livermore was related to the great stock speculator Jesse Livermore, one of the most feared and in certain circles revered figure on Wall Street. Jesse Livermore "came a cropper" as they say, and shot himself in the cloak room of the Sherry Netherland restaurant.

Zach said...

According to the wedding announcement for Livermore's daughter in 1928, Philip Livermore was the son of Charles F. Livermore, banker and one-time partner of the late Henry Clews and of the late Baroness Raymond Seilliere of Paris and Newport, R.I. P.W. Livermore's wife was the daughter of Charles Oliver Iselin of 'Wolver Hollow' in Upper Brookville.

In 1933 Livermore hit and killed someone with his car on East Shore Road in Port Washington and the NYTimes article on the incident says "The latter (Livermore), who police said is no relatives [sic] of Jesse L. Livermore, was not arrested as the police believe the accident to have been unavoidable".

magnus said...

Thanks Zach. Now about the Sea Cliff Sanitarium... (only joking)

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Walled garden and Gardner's Cottage still stand.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Wow. that's quite a story.

Kellsboro Jack said...

Per Time Magazine Joseph Harriman, who lost his only son in a car crash in 1928, escaped from the sanatorium [cited as being in Manhattan] and went to his son's grave in Locust Valley. He remained at the site "a day and night" then tried to kill himself nearby.

What was all the more crushing to him must've been that the creditors against Harriman sought to have his son's remains disinterred and the plot sold off. The court rejected the request.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,756201,00.html

magnus said...

Talk about heartless. Disintering remains? He must have had some angry creditors- with tin ears for how their demands would sound.

I'm disappointed that there doesn't seem to be, or have been a Sea Cliff Sanitarium. I was already to sign myself in.

Me said...

Joseph W. Harriman sold Avondale his beautiful estate at Brookville to Mr. Albert L. Smith who has taken possession and renamed the estate Penllyn (16 Dec 1929) NY Post

Me said...

Subsequent social articles mentioning the Albert L. Smiths suggest this property was in their hold through at least Spring 1934. A NY Times article (Sep 1935) suggests that Penllyn was at that time the Daniel G. Tenney Sr. family estate. However, this is NOT the Daniel G. Tenney Sr. residence that is now the LIU President's office.