Monday, November 8, 2010

'Wereholme'

'Wereholme', the Harold Hathaway Weekes & Lousine Peters estate designed by Grosvenor Atterbury c. 1917 in Islip. Weekes was a stockbroker and the son of Arthur Delano Weekes, a former mayor of the Village of Oyster Bay. In 1926 his wife Lousine obtained a divorce while in the French Riviera, which according to the NYTimes came as a surprise to all of their friends, and married a Russian composer two months later in Monaco. 'Wereholme' was passed to their only child Hathaway who in 1960 donated the estate to the National Audubon Society. Today the property is owned by Suffolk County. Click HERE to see 'Wereholme' on google earth and HERE on bing.






Click below to see 'Wereholme' in a 1954 aerial shot.

11 comments:

magnus said...

I am reminded of a question that both I and a number of your devoted readers have posed on several occasions: What happened to Islip and surrounding communities that caused them to fall completely "off the map" of fashionable summer communities? Through the 1920's, these villages were the equal of the Hamptons and the fancier hamlets on the North Shore of Long Island. Things seemed to have begun to change in the 1930's. Yet while other similar areas soldiered on and eventually florished again, East Islip and its environs were never able to revive their former social standing. I know that I've mentioned it before, but I think the history of the Jay and Mary Carlisle house at East Islip is fascinating: Called Rosemary, it was developed at huge cost through the 1920's and was considered one of the great showplaces of the area. Yet when the Carlisle's died in 1937, their children made no attempt to even try to sell the house: They auctioned off its contents and tore the place down less than 20 years after it had been built.

Anonymous said...

I also wonder about what happened to these communities...very odd indeed.

Is this home open to the public? It dosen't look as bad as others owned by the county.

Also...off the subject,I was at Baily's Arboretum this past Saturday, and while walking one of the back trails spying a magnificant home with still wonderful tended gardens. I went on google earth and all I can find is the name of the estate is "Serendipity". Anyone have any info?

An Aesthete's Lament said...

What is it used for today? And I am fascinated by Rosemary, the Carlisle residence, if only because it was decorated by Ruby Ross Wood. It wasn't one of her great projects but it certainly was lively looking (thanks to Mrs Carlisle's wide-ranging taste and sentimentality).

Zach said...

In June 2004, SuffolkCounty purchased the 70-acre property from Audubon. Later that year, the County designated the site as the future home of it’s “Greenways Educational and Interpretive Nature Center.”

magnus said...

Anon 10:10- serendipity was formerly the home of Eleanor Searle Whitney. It is now owned by William Araskog. He and his wife have done much to improve the house and property,including clearing and regrading what had been a tangle wild jungle that the house backed up to. Frankly, it is one of the few places on the North shore that looks better today than it did 70 years ago

Kellsboro Jack said...

This residence, Wereholme, seems especially tomb-like with the lifeless gray exterior. I want to like it, but compared to other works by Grosvenor Atterbury this one just seems to flop.

It would be rather hard to actually add some life to its overall facade. Maybe a different (and lighter) shade of slate or some more uneven texture would've helped it.

Ray Spinzia said...

For those interested in the estates in the Towns of Babylon and Islip see my South Shore book and the two volumes written by Harry W. Havemeyer. These books should help in this area of the Island in particular since the estates, or parts thereof, that do survive are on much smaller pieces of property and difficult to find.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Magnus, their home is beautiful,I kept walking back and forth in awe.

I think all "Wereholme" needs is a bit of colorful landscaping, maybe a medievel herb garden and some climbing roses. It still seems in much better shape than other homes owned by the county. I read that the cousin lived across the road on about 200 acres and also deeded that land to the county for a perserve. Say's nothing about the mansion she lived in , or it's name, so don't know if that home has been razed or not.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Serendipity
Windholme Farm was the cousins place. House gone - Alfred Hopkins designed farm buildings still stand.

Magnus you must have been gone when I posted my thoughts on the decline of the South Shore over the North Shore or you didn't think much of my statement :)

"My less-than-academic thoughts on why the South Shore became so developed over the North Shore - MONEY. Flat land is cheaper to build on then rolling and rocky hills. For decades the powers-that-be were able to 'sacrifice' the South Shore to development in order to keep the North Shore intact for their benefit. Gerrymandering after all originated from the North Shore. Its such a contrast to see the development south of the LIExp compared to the 'other side'."
Book has been mentioned before - Dynamics of Community Change The Case of Long Island's Declining "Gold Coast" - it really explains the whole story. The large land holdings of the Whitney's and the Phipps were a huge influence acting as a natural barrier.

magnus said...

HPHS- I hadn't seen it before- very interesting and probably not far from the truth. I always thought that the awful development that has so marred Long Island was a post World War II phenomenon, and my sense is that the decline of East Islip as a resort began in the late 1920's. This is purely anecdotal, however, based on the history of a few families that I knowof.

Anonymous said...

Islip is like the five towns..they were de rigeur too..then not. Societal trends of the monied.