Thursday, October 14, 2010

'Ballyshear'

'Ballyshear', the Charles B. Macdonald estate designed by F. Burrill Hoffman Jr. c. 1913 in Southampton. Click HERE to see the brochure from when 'Ballyshear' was for sale.


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's so nice to see that this house seems pretty much intact. I love the gardens!! Am I wrong to assume that it seems that alot more homes in the Hamptons survived than on the Gold Coast?

The Down East Dilettante said...

I wait for the experts to weigh in on this, but my sense is that a lot of the biggest and best in the Hamptons has fallen---and continue to fall

Mansions of the Gilded Age said...

Yes, many more of the larger houses did survive. The hurricane of 1938 was a natural disaster which damaged many, and by that time, big houses all over were going out of style. So some of the big ones along the ocean were not repaired and demolished. There are many beautiful houses in the Hamptons, but many of them were never on properties like the North Shore, so they didn't have acres of land to burden them.While doing research for the book, " Houses of the Hampton's, 1880-1930",by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin, I was surprised to find so many had survived. But also many of the Hampton's houses were smaller than the North Shore or Newport, which lost many, even though it appears there are still many left in Newport. A great book to get is " Lost Newport", shows how many are gone.
Sadly though many of the largest Hampton's houses such as Bayberry Land,built for the Charles Sabin Family and Chestertown House, Dupont/ Calvin Klein which had survived were recently demolished in the past few years. Ballyshear, is a wonderful example of survival.It's more of what you would expect to find in Locust valley or Oyster Bay. It has lost some of it's acreage, but is still on almost 60 acres, and looks just like the pictures still, even the interiors are intact.The current owners maintain it perfectly.

magnus said...

I agree with MOTGA- The Hamptons retain more of their wonderful old houses than many other resorts because, typically, the houses were smaller and on far less acreage than their North Shore or Newport cousins. I also echo MOTGA's sentiment that Ballyshear looks much more as if it belongs on the North Shore. There is something about the dunes, the smell of the ocean and the flatness of the land in the Hamptons that makes shingle style architecture so appropriate there, and other styles look a bit out of place.

Security word of the day: Smatanta- Yiddish vernacular for clothing for the christmas season

Anonymous said...

I wonder what happened to towns like Oakdale, Islip and Babylon? Weren't they big estate communities similar to the North Shore ? So why did they vanish and the Hamptons survive?

lil' gay boy said...

Ballyshear has always been one of my top ten of Long Island estates. Although the acreage is much reduced, it is still well-preserved by the current owners. I seem to recall it being on the market not too long ago, and that a condition of sale was the maintenance of the cryptomaria to the south of the home.

Nestled on a gentle, wooded slope between Shinnecock Hills and North Haven, it faces west across the National Golf Links of America to the bay, making its particular style more appropriate for its surroundings than the shingle style which compliments many oceanfront homes on the other side of the South Fork.

magnus said...

Anon 12:53- this is a question that has long puzzled me. I think it would make a fascinating study.

Anonymous said...

Magnus....as do I. But where to begin? The internet is not much help....

magnus said...

Anon: Harry Havemeyer whose family were very prominent summer residents of East Islip (which seems to have been the epicenter of estates in that area) wrote a wonderful book called "Along the Great South Bay. It touches on the decline of the area, but focusses mostly on it's hayday. I will see if i can get in touch with him and get a "Reader's Digest" version of what happened. By the way, the Havemeyers are the last of the fashionable families still left there- marooned on their wonderful property with housing developments and strip malls lapping at the gates. Anther interesting estate there was "Rosemary", the property of Jay Carlisle and his wife Mary Pinkerton Carlisle. When the Carlisle's died within a few months of each other in 1937 or so, their children seem to have made no attempt to even offer the relatively manageably sized estate for sale- they auctioned the contents (in Parke Bernet's first auction) and had the 20 year old house torn down. It seems clear that even then, the future of the area looked bleak for the smart set.

Anonymous said...

Magnus...I found this...

http://spinzialongislandestates.com/longIslandsample2.pdf

A preview to a book titled "Long Island Prominent South Shore Families:Their Estates and Their Country Homes". It's a 3 part series, the first 2 volumes being "Long Island North Shore Prominent Families:Their Estates and Country Homes".

Anonymous said...

I just don't get it!! Why tear it down?!
Even back then I don't feel Americans had any sense of....not sure of the word...I don't want to say history....but part of their soul that cares about their sense of identity, and about art and beauty, that Europeans seem to have and we don't...we get bored so easily with anything "old" and think nothing of knocking it down and throwing it all away.

lil' gay boy said...

"Long Island Prominent South Shore Families:Their Estates and Their Country Homes".

I have these books, but going thru them is nerve-wracking. They're highly inaccurate, but one can glean a lot of good information as long as you double-check whatever you find in them.

Of the South Shore estates, my favorite for its elaborate landscaping is Thorneham, the Landon Thorne estate in Bayshore, sadly no longer extant.

Security word - iopurti: pretty Southern computer data.

Anonymous said...

"Thornham"....that sounds familiar. Would there be some reason that estate made news?

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a google earth or bing view of the Havemeyer place. That's quite interesting to me that they still have a home in East Islip.
They were and are a very prominent family.