Wednesday, September 29, 2010

'Midland Farm'

'Midland Farm', the John F. Birmingham estate designed by James O'Connor c. 1923 in Muttontown. Birmingham was the president of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Coal Company and a former mayor of the Village of Muttontown. The house and a little over 7 acres are currently for sale for $15,500,000. Click HERE to see the listing on Daniel Gale Sotheby's. Click HERE for more on 'Midland Farm'.


Listing photos from Daniel Gale Sotheby's.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the house where Brenda Frazier, celebrated debutante, and her husband Shipwreck Kelley used to own?

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh my---once again, insensitive alterations....if the pool is going to be that close to the house, it should be on axis with some part of the architecture...and the roof balustrades and porches, obviously replacements and/or additions, poorly scaled and proportioned (and from here they almost look like vinyl or aluminum? Sigh...sometimes, even when the buildings survive, they've been compormised...

The Down East Dilettante said...

Okay, not done ranting---followed the link to the old real estate brochure, no cheap balustrades, just restrained understatement---and the side porch was a lovely Regency inspired treillage affair, not this ungainly affair, clearly inspired by a bank drive-up window roof...

The Down East Dilettante said...

aarrghhh, last comment, I promise---I just caught the staircase in the real estate photos---in the old brochure, the staircase on the floorplans is beautifully drawn, although there is no picture, and one just 'knows' that it is a lovely, probably regency iron-railed affair---replaced by a faux victorian nightmare, complete with home depot chandelier, in the new real estate photos. And let's talk about the cheesy 'coffered' ceiling in the drawing room? Some people are like dogs. They just have to piss on the tree.

Anonymous said...

I like the 'coffered' ceiling....as long as it's not made of a cheap plastic.

magnus said...

Well, at least if you're invited there to watch a movie, there's a place to put your glass.

Kevin said...

To Anonymous:

Yes, this is the house where Brenda Diana Duff Frazier (I adore her!), debutante of the century lived. During her ownership the estate was called Meadowood, and Judy Garland used to keep her horses in Meadowood stables. Brenda and Ship broke up the estate and sold it during their divorce.

Kevin said...

Also, I agree with Down East Dilettante, the alterations made are just awful. Clearly whoever came up with these ghastly "improvements" had no taste or respect for the house's architecture and beauty. People who belong in McMansions shouldn't live in grand estates like this one.

lil' gay boy said...

Originally a quiet, understated composition, the alterations do indeed border on the vulgar.

But consider the alternatives; these vulgarities can be removed/corrected; far better than bulldozing this gem and losing it forever. Tastes change, but good architecture is timeless.

Even a beautiful woman can appear tarted-up with too much makeup ––– but she can wash it off.

Zach; do you know if the forecourt has been altered? From this view it appears annoyingly asymmetrical, and even the old brochure doesn't show it in its entirety.

Completely off topic, how cool is this? A satellite capturing a jet passing over the Mill River Club...

Security word – atingerm: a disease that affects base metals.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Google Earth shows the pool was there going back to 1994 before the additions in 2004. You can follow the progression from that point to see how it looked up to construction in 2004. I asked this question when Zach originally posted this estate back in 2009 - Does anyone have insight about the mention "the original part of which was the old Toll House"? Re: cottage off Northern Blvd. Was 25A a toll road in the past?

lil' gay boy said...

HPHS, although the origin of the term "toll house" (some dating back to pre-Revolutionary times) was to collect tolls, they became synonymous as a precursor to rest stops on modern thruways.

The story of the origin of the toll house cookie might shed some light; I don't know if Midland Farm's toll house is in any way connected with the Long Island Motor Parkway & its toll houses, many designed by John Russell Pope at the behest of Vanderbilt; I think it predates those by many, many years...

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

This one I know - Vanderbilt's Long Island Motor Parkway was further south. LIMP for short, can be traced at wikimapia. Links to history and a YouTube video. Zoom in and most of the original route will show depending on which red square you highlight.

Zach said...

Speaking of the LIMP...there is an excellent website that I link to on the right hand side called 'The Vanderbilt Cup Races' which can be found here:

http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/

lil' gay boy said...

This is what I love best about your site, Zach; it's always a treasure hunt!

Anonymous said...

It was a toll road. A nicely restored toll house can be seen in the Roslyn Cemetery, on 25A in Greenvale on the east side of the road on a small knoll. Those north shore fans with a literary bent should stop in the cemetery to see graves of William Cullen Bryant, France
Hodgson Burnett and Christopher Morley. Not bad for a sleepy little graveyard.

J

Anonymous said...

J-
is that the ginger bread looking structure? love that. Considering it was "the route" way, way, back in the day.. makes sense there were some Toll houses.

Anonymous said...

My Grandmother made the best toll-house cookies....with plenty of lard and butter.....yum!

Anonymous said...

Anon. Yes , the ginger bread looking structure. Restored by Roslyn Landmarks Society .

J