Dedicated to the preservation of Long Island's 'gold coast' estates and other things old.
When my family first began summering in the area, they rented a modest house down the road from Buckmeadow which was by then owned by the widow of, I believe, Robert Lehman, a Lehman bBrothers scion. She was very old and very grand and as she rarely used her swimming pool (a huge, old fashioned one bordering Mill Neck Creek), we were invited to swim there whenever we chose. As would any self respecting 10 year old, I spent more time at Buckmeadow that summer than I did at our rented house. Mrs. Lehman kept chickens and turkeys and my parents would occasionally be summoned for Sunday dinner which was her night for entertaining. The menu was unvarying: turkey dinner with all the fixins'- in her vast, unairconditioned Tudoresque house, with the temeprature hovering in the 80's and the humidity equally oppressive. The house was demolished after Mrs. Lehman's death and replaced by a truly egregious 1970's box. Meanwhile, the glorious property devolved into a tangle wild mess. I am pleased to report that it has a happy ending as the place was eventually purchased by an heiress who restored the property and its breathtaking views and built one of the most attractive contemporary houses I know.
Tennis Court looks to be the only remains of the original estate. House can been seen still standing at the HistoricAerials link. Why was this one demolished? Magnus have you been inside the Ward Cheny place to say anything about the interior? Bold design for the area don't you think?
There is a elliptically shaped pool near the point close to the bay at Buckmeadow - best seen at Google Earth c. 2004. Was this a functional or decorative pool Magnus?
The 70's were a particularly bad time for demolition. People buying these houses at that time seemed to feel it was their God mandated responsibility to tear them down...and here we have a case reported by Magnus of the tear down replacement being torn down...To my Yankee soul, it all seems so frivolous and wasteful---
HPHS- a quick NY Times archive search confirmed that the Ward Cheneys' daughter was married to Edgar Applebey. I knew Edgar well, although his Cheney wife had died many years previously. The Appleby house was on Peacock Point and was a replica of Boscobel- including the original Boscobel facade (or so Edgar told me, but he was a pretentious gasbag, and I always found it wise to discount three quarters of what he said). The house was gloriously sited, right on the Long Island Sound, but the interiors were very WASP 1950. I was too young to appreciate them at the time and wished I had paid more attention. Edgar was about as odd and off putting as they come. Even when dressed for dinner at the local Club, dandruff covered his jacket shoulders and his fingernails looked as if he had just changed the oil in his car. He was a font of bizarre ideas and strange behavior: Although his children were long out of the house- and, no surprise, not on speaking terms with him, he regularly imported "au pairs" from Latin America- who invariably ran screaming from the house when the precise nature of their duties was explained to them. He was also a real "know it all". One day, he decided to build a pool hard by his house. He dismissed every estimate received from reputable pool companies as attempts at pure "highway robbery". So instead of scaling back plans, he took matters into his own hands. He rented an earthmover and excavated a hole the size and depth of a small ocean. And there that hole remained, surrounded by mountains of excavated soil, until the day he died.I'm worried that I'm becoming like Grandpa Simpson- give me a topic and I prattle on jumping from non sequitur to non sequitur
Magnus, I don't have all the facts at my fingertips (well manicured and short tipped, been nowhere near an oil filter ever), but I think your Mr. Appleby (and charming he sounds...) wasn't too far off. Boscobel was in fact sold and harvested for a house on Long Island, and there is a wonderful photograph of the pieces loaded on a truck headed the North Shore. At the last possible minute, the DeWitt Wallaces became interested in rebuilding Boscobel across from West Point, and formed a foundation and persuaded the Long Island people to sell back most of the parts, although I understand some original material is still in the Long Island house. I remember seeing a vintage magazine spread about the repro years ago. I am endlessly fascinated by tales of moving houses.BTW, I love your stories, Grampa Simpson. Probably because they're not unlike my own...
My grandmother was a good friend of Eve Lehman. She frequently spent weekends at Buckmeadow. We would go there every year for Thanksgiving, a somewhat intimidating event. The meal was always followed by a visit to see the rest of the turkeys as well as a very bad tempered old parrot which belonged to Eve's son. I do remember walking down to take a look at the pool as well.
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