Saturday, January 15, 2011

Putting a Face to an Estate 10

Harry Guggenheim and wife. Below, his estate 'Falaise' designed by Frederick Sterner c. 1923 in Sands Point. Click HERE for more on 'Falaise'.

In other news... this is my 1,000th post.

33 comments:

Flo said...

..."this is my 1,000th post."

Then this is my 1,000th cup of coffee spent with you. You and your commenters have taught me things I didn't know. I hope you're enjoying the process as much as I am. Thank you for your consistency, and for this exceptional repository of information.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and thank you so much for all the time effort and detail you put into this...I can only speak for myself but like Flo, Coffee and this blog are...perfect together...Thank you again!!

The Down East Dilettante said...

One Thousand Posts.

Wow. And almost daily. That is consistency. I am impressed---and grateful for the knowledge and entertainment thus imparted.

Richard D said...

And 1,000 thank yous! Your blog - educational, often inspiring and always fun. Way to go, Zach.

Kevin said...

Congratulations! Looking forward to the next 1000!

cattychick said...

1,000 pieces of amazing information on one of the most fascinating parts of the world. Wonderful job, Zach.

The Ancient said...

Zach --

I found this blog before any of the others I read, and it's still the first one I turn to in the morning.

An extraordinary amount of work, always carefully done, and a wealth of posters who invariably add still more useful information.

As Dilettante says, consistency at this level is a great accomplishment.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

3rd wife Alicia Patterson publisher of Newsday.

http://aliciapatterson.org/about-us/alicia-patterson-bio-1

seniorbruno said...

1000 already? Seems like just the other day. I'm hooked. Thanks, Zach.

Flo said...

"http://aliciapatterson.org/about-us/alicia-patterson-bio"

Fascinating, thank you.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

I could be wrong here, but based on the lady's hat, a cloche, which is definitely a 1920s or early 1930s creation, that's Harry Frank Guggenheim's second wife, Caroline Morton, who was about a decade his senior (and looks it in the photograph); she was a daughter of US Secretary of the Navy Paul Morton and ex-wife of William Chapman Potter. Harry and Caroline, who married in February 1923 (mere weeks after her divorce from Potter), were married when Falaise was completed and had one daughter, Diana (born 1924) before divorcing in 1939. That same year, 1939, Guggenheim married Alicia Patterson (formerly Mrs Brooks), a time when cloches, I believe, would have been out of fashion. Caroline Guggenheim's sister was Pauline Morton (Mrs Charles Hamilton Sabin, Mrs Dwight Filley Davis). Given the 1923 construction date, it is likely that the house was already in the planning stages by April 1922, when Guggenheim divorced his first wife, Helen Rosenberg.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

If you look at the photo connected to the link above for Patterson - I find the faces are the same. No???

The Devoted Classicist said...

This house -- and setting -- are stunning. Congratulations on 1,000 appreciated posts. A thousand thanks. __ John

Anonymous said...

Congrats Zach....my day is not complete unless I stop by to see what treasure you posted for us.


Are there any of these upper-crust types who remained married to the same person until "death-do-part". These little bio's are so confusing with who was married to whom and who was who's first,second or third spouse....

Flo said...

Compare photos:

1. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_OlaVeajrP30/TTGaPgmHvoI/AAAAAAAAHQA/HAWMRbUgFgs/s1600/Harry%2BGuggenheim.jpg


2. http://thefengshuivoice.com/post/75639/an-inside-look-at-newsday-long-island-s-newspaper-since-1940

Anonymous said...

Are there any of these upper-crust types who remained married to the same person until "death-do-part".

You might be surprised how many families have never had a divorce.

Concrete Jungle said...

You're the best...one of those blogs that had us all hooked from the beginning...congratulations it would make a fabulous book...thoughts of?

Chadwell said...

Raymond and Judith Spinzia have run down alot of those confusing multiple marriages. Check out their five-volume series - Long Island's Prominent Families Their Estates and Their Country Homes.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Am still looking. My only puzzlement is the apparent age of the woman in the photograph, as well as the hat. Alicia Patterson, born in 1906, was 16 years YOUNGER than Harry Frank Guggenheim. The woman by his side looks every bit his age or older. Hence my gut feeling that the woman shown is actually his second wife, Caroline Morton Potter. See what appears to be the same woman here, http://www.flickr.com/photos/publicresourceorg/494127669/ The linked image is a photograph I've tentatively dated 1927, given the subject matter as cited in the caption. (Major Cotton, shown with the Guggenheims in the linked image, went to look for lost explorers Nungesser and Coli in 1927.)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I've known more people who aren't upper crust who have multiple marriages than I have upper-crust types. My father, for one, has been married five times, and I wouldn't call him upper-crust.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Another reason I think my gut is correct re Caroline versus Alicia. The image shown here (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ggb2006014368/) is from the George Grantham Bain Collection in the Library of Congress, which states the image depicts "Harry F. Guggenheim & wife," with no other info regarding the identity of said wife. The LOC listing for the Bain collection states "the bulk of the collection dates from the 1900s to the mid-1920s, but scattered images can be found as early as the 1860s and as late as the 1930s." Guggenheim didn't marry Alicia Patterson until 1939, which suggests, perhaps, that it might well be Caroline Guggenheim. Am going to email some of Caroline's grandchildren. Will report back.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

I fold to anyone that can id a cloches hat!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloche_hat

I've requested a couple of books from my library on the Guggenheim's, perhaps more can be found out from them.

One bit of trivia regarding Caroline Morton - Morton as in Morton Salt -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton_Salt

In my search to confirm all this I came across a disturbing story on the so-called Friends of Sands Point Preserve -

http://www.longislandpress.com/2010/11/11/sands-point-preserve-is-being-destroyed-by-the-people-entrusted-to-protect-it/

Thanks An Aesthete's Lament - keep us informed.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Photo of a gray-haired Guggenheim -

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6818718

cattychick said...

Anonymous asked: "Are there any of these upper-crust types who remained married to the same person until "death-do-part?"

Well, it was a first marriage for both William Woodward Jr. and his wife Ann. It was "till death do us part." Unfortunately, death for Bill arrived with Ann armed with a shotgun. Mistook him for a prowler.

Anonymous said...

Not to get off the subject, but has Sands Point been taken away from "Friends"? That article states by January 1st,2011.

I must say, we took a tour of the castle last summer through the "friends" group, and it was absolutely one of the worst historic house tours I've ever been on. She knew nothing of the family or the architectural details of the home. She also rushed us through at an alarming rate. Sad....cause you can tell the castle has SO MUCH potential to be brought back to it's original splendor.

lil' gay boy said...

Congrats, Zach (and regards from Wendy!) This whole stretch of shoreline, with Hempstead House, Mille Fleurs, Falaise & Castlegould are a priceless legacy.

You've certainly made a space for yourself in the blogosphere with good, solid content that keeps us coming back for more. Many thanks.

Flo said...

"I fold to anyone that can id a cloches hat!"

I fold to anyone who can positively ID the woman in the cloche hat, even though she may be wearing it past its prime. Or would Harry have forbidden a wife to step out in dated garb. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

It's obviously Alicia Patterson.

(What's the point of getting a new wife who reminds you of the old wife?)

P.S. It's a mistake to insist on dating a photograph by a strict chronological sense of fashion. Yesterday was not all that different from today. (Except for taxes.)

Kellsboro Jack said...

Props to you Zach on reaching the 1,000 mark (1,001 as of 17th) and sharing with us all such a wealth of information each day.

Ray Spinzia said...

In response to tour of Hempstead House -

You might want to consider becoming a member of the Long Island Studies Council. Their site visits always are guided by those with expert knowledge. For example, the Council's tour of Falaise was conducted by council member and long time Nassau County Historian Edward J. Smits. The Council's tour of Coindre Hall was conducted by council member and, then, Suffolk County Historian J. Lance Mallamo. We visited Meadow Croft several times as it was being restored with Richard Martin, the present Suffolk County Historian. The Council's tour of Rynwood was led by a member of the Banfi family.

Anonymous said...

Ray,nothing comes up for Long Island Studies Council when I google. Do you have a website?

Ray Spinzia said...

The Long Island Studies Council does not have a website but you can get membership and meeting information from Dr. Natalie Naylor -
Natalie.Naylor@Hofstra.edu

Polhemus & Coffin, AIA said...

@Anonymous - Off the subject...

I visited the property in December (granted, my first visit) and had even arranged access to the interior for photos with the GM. Upon arrival the GM said he'd not been able to get the "friends" representative on the phone (4 weeks and 2 phone calls and 2 emails from me, to confirm. My access to the interior wouldn't be provided. I'd flown up from Atlanta specifically to visit Falaise and Mille Fleurs, naturally I was quite disappointed.

Ultimately, I wasn't even able to get inside the courtyard gate as the "housekeepers" - weren't available to permit this either. Apparently they are custodians appointed by the county and notorious for somewhat unpredictable attentiveness and availability.

I was, however, able to convince the wife of the "housekeeper," who'd shown up for a brief delivery of cat food, that I had legitimate interest in the property, and my relationship to the property. She reluctantly allowed 3 MINUTES inside the gate. I was quite thankful, indeed.

I did shoot an extensive amount of exterior shots while there, and even some nice shots from the beach side. I've yet to process them all so far, but have one I managed to post.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/polhemusandcoffin

When I returned to Atlanta, I wrote an email to Kari Hagedorn-a member of the Miracle-Gro/Scott's dynasty :) (Chair, BOD - Friends of Sands Point Preserve) explaining my experience. She did not respond.

The truth is, my primary point to her was actually not my frustration with the arrangements I'd made that fell through, but instead about the disappointment, sadness and great concern I experienced regarding the overall condition of the estate(s).

During a discussion with a very helpful grounds-keeper, I learned that the Preserve attracts a dismal number of visitors (100 cars+/-), which I feel is considerably less than what the potential is, given proper promotion and effort to build awareness. I even offered to help with this in my letter to Ms Hagedorn.

I cannot effectively describe the overall disrepair and dilapidated condition, debris, junk and seemingly abandonment of upkeep and preservation of what I consider to be a national treasure of architectural history.

Mille Fleurs was no different, unfortunately.

I realize my personal relationship with the history of this property likely exaggerates my feelings about the condition, however I do believe that despite this, there is a legitimate cause for concern.

Tristram Coffin
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