Friday, January 28, 2011

'Hilaire' Cottage

A cottage designed by James O'Connor for 'Hilaire', the George Ernest Fahys Sr. estate also designed by James O'Connor c. 1910 in Matinecock. Fahys, a former mayor of the Village of Matinecock and president of Fahys Watch Case Company, had three Long Island estates in his lifetime, all named 'Hilaire', this cottage belonging to the second incarnation. The main residence was demolished c. 1980. It appears that this cottage has since been converted to a garage, click HERE to see a current picture from Nassau County's tax photos. Click HERE to see where 'Hilaire' stood on google earth.

Pictures from American Architect & Architecture, 1913.

15 comments:

magnus said...

Zach: I believe that the first incarnation of Hilaire was in North Country Colony in Glen Cove. Do you know where in the Colony it stood and who the subsequent owner was?

Hmmm- "watch case manufacturer". I'm told that the younger set don't use wristwatches any more, the clock on their cel phones sufficing. Will future generations look at wristwatches the way we look at pocket watches- an interesting relic of a bygone era?

Anonymous said...

A very basic floor plan; & from what I can tell not even a half bath on the ground floor -- I know many houses of this era were built that way but ...

Magnus, it will be worse than being a relic; before too long future generations won't even know what a wristwatch was. I used to ask college graduate new-hires where I worked if they knew what a Victrola is -- almost none did. *sigh, it's no fun getting old ... not being cool anymore.

The Ancient said...

A garage with a fireplace! That's a level of luxury I didn't know existed.

magnus -- Kids who are athletes -- runners, rowers, etc. -- still wear watches.

Anon -- Thirty years ago, I took the watch I'd been given at 18 into a shop in Manhattan for an overhaul. The sweet young girl behind the counter exclaimed, "Oh, it's an antique!" I started to say, "No, it's something I got when I ..." But I realized she was right and stayed quiet.

Zach said...

Magnus...the first 'Hilaire' was indeed in the North Country Colony...but I'm away from home at the moment and don't have any of my books so I don't know the exact location or subsequent owner. To be continued...

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Best guess on my part -

http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/default.aspx#/n7f5pmk35lzswp85

http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/mynassauproperty/viewphoto.jsp?txtSection=31&txtBlock=B&txtLot=665&txtSuffix=0&txtBldg=&txtCondo=&txtYear=2013


http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/mynassauproperty/viewphoto.jsp?txtSection=31&txtBlock=B&txtLot=154&txtSuffix=0&txtBldg=&txtCondo=&txtYear=2013
Or here -

http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/default.aspx#/295sstz1lpm0tvtw

http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/mynassauproperty/viewphoto.jsp?txtSection=31&txtBlock=B&txtLot=62&txtSuffix=0&txtBldg=&txtCondo=&txtYear=2013



Properties show build dates from the early 1900's. SPLIA/Spinzia say location on Red Springs Lane and the outbuildings still stand.

Mynas shows this property was once garage/quarters -

http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/default.aspx#/qoxlvrb3r1x1jl8j

http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/mynassauproperty/viewphoto.jsp?txtSection=31&txtBlock=B&txtLot=235&txtSuffix=0&txtBldg=&txtCondo=&txtYear=2012

Anonymous said...

Dear Zachary,
I find this post to be completely Hilairious!
Charimag

magnus said...

HPHS- The house you've highlighted looks like it could be the one, but it's in neighboring Red Spring Colony (Tower Road at one time connected Red Spring Colony to North Country Colony, but the dividing line between the two in this spot was (and is) Valley Road. If you travel further south on Valley Road, it makes a sharp left towards the main entrance to North Country Colony. All of the acreage on the south side of Valley Road past this bend was once a single large property. Although the main house had been torn down in the 1950's and replaced by four smaller houses, remnants of a very grand garden- pools, fountains gazebos, still remained when I was a child in the 1960's. It was always referred to as "the old Bertles place", and a little research revealed that it had been owned for many years by an investment banker named William Bertles. It must have been quite a place, because the 1930 census lists the Bertles family living there with some 10 servants. I have tried to contact descendants of the Bertles in hopes of obtaining photographs, to no avail. I think that this might have been the original Hilaire- but it's just a guess.

magnus said...

And while I do know that the names conferred on these properties were oftentimes fanciful and farfetched (we'll forget the pretentious part), the piece of property to which I referred in the previous post does slope rather sharply up from Valley Road- in a fairly flat area of the world. "Hill" and "Air" could conceivably come to mind- as they absolutely would not at the flat, road level properties where the later Hilares were built (Fahys must have been frugal in small matters- like the copper dies for stationary- or of singularly limited imagination).

As I post this, I know that one of your erudite followers will write in to say that Hilaire is ancient Gaelic for "Place of 13 oaks and a sycamore", or some such.

magnus said...

Well, I am a moron not to have posted this sooner (no smart aleck comments, please).

The second Hilaire was purchased by a Mrs. Vietor (forget her first name). She was the great Jello heiress (no, I did not make this up). She named all of her houses XXXwood, and renamed Hilaire "Cherrywood". Mrs. Vietor sold it to Edmund Lynch, a co-founder of Merrill Lynch who in turn left it to his daughter, Vernon Lynch. Vernon Lynch developed the property in to one of the nicest small planned communities in the nation with 12 or so houses carefully enough arranged so that they can't be seen from one another. The sports complex is still owned by her family (she died several years ago) and is maintained to utter perfection. The cottage pictured here was converted to garages and a superintendent's house and is still occupied by the Cherrywood caretaker. I lived at Cherrywood when I was first married (more than 20 years ago). Our house was playfully referred to by the Lynch family as "The Pig Pen", because it stood on the site of the original farm group (at least that's what they told us- I hope it wasn't a reflection on our housekeeping).

Anonymous said...

Magnus, you know your stuff..Mrs. Lynch was also very kind with her bequest to Friends Academy..another swishy subdivision came on the other side of Friends Academy at the old Pennoyer Property: Michael Griffin developer.
Why did I think her name was Vernon Lynch Merrill, not Veron Merrill Lynch?
I went to school with Signe Merrill, I thought her Mom was Vernon?

magnus said...

Anon- right you are- Signa Merrill was Venon's daughter. Vernon married Robert Merrill (a cousin of the Merrill Lynch Merrills), so she was indeed Vernon Lynch Merrill.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Magnus your talking about Red Springs Woods? HistoricmapWorks does have the Bertles name listed for that area. CPH Gilbert{Winfield Hall} designed the house in question and another for Parker Handy at the same time. Both listed as being on Red Springs Lane. Fahys was Gothic in style - Handy's was Flemish. Good guessing can detect something from the surviving outbuildings to id what estate they belong to. The only hangup is, as you say they are out of the North Country Colony.

Sunday side notes -

Estate post cards from the Glen Cove Public Library.

http://russell.comuv.com/postcards/gallery3.htm

New/old book recommendation - The Architect and the American Country House, 1890-1940. Its from 1990 but I've never seen this mentioned before. Numerous LIGC properties - well worth seeking out! $4.98 copy at Amazon -

http://www.amazon.com/Architect-American-Country-House-1890-1940/dp/0300047401

After four years category "ligc" at wikimapia has reached one thousand tags.

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8756628&lon=-73.6437178&z=12&l=0&m=s&tag=37606


The latest "Charlon House" -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8741701&lon=-73.6414808&z=18&l=0&m=b&v=1&show=/18758305/Charlon-House

magnus said...

HPHS- The Parker Handy house was very much in North Country Colony, although I, too, have seen it mislocated by various sources as having been in Red Spring Colony. The Handy house was razed in the early 1920's by Henry C. Martin and replaced by a Lindeberg designed Tudor style house (see OLI, Nov. 19, 2009). I also know, from both North Country Colony records and various news reports that the Bertles were North Country Colony residents as well (and yes, the property bordered on Red Spring Woods). I believe that CPH Gilbert designed the original Hilaire, so the fact that the Bertles lived in a CPH Gilbert house may be further confirmation that it was the original Hilaire.

Zach- can you help us?

Zach said...

Sounds plausible to me indeed.

Anonymous said...

My grandparents were caretaker for Cherrywood for a lot of years