Monday, February 14, 2011

The Louise Alida Livingston Estate

The Louise Alida Livingston estate designed by Bradley Delehanty c. 1935 in Brookville. The house along with 21.5 acres is currently for sale for $6,900,000, click HERE to see the listing via Daniel Gale/Sotheby's. Click HERE to see the estate on google earth and HERE on bing.



Listing photos from Daniel Gale/Sotheby's.

38 comments:

magnus said...

HMMM- the house looks like it could be extremely interesting, but what are we to make of the brochure which contains only one view of the driveway front and advertises the property as suitable for "building a private residence". And my crystal ball tells me that if any potential buyer rises to the challenge, the "private residence" they build will not be worthy of inclusion in oldlongisland.com in 2061.

The Devoted Classicist said...

When there are no interior photos but many of the site, it usually means that the house is being sold as a tear down. I would love to see the floor plans, however, as there are indications that the design is interesting.

magnus said...

And the swimming pool with the octagonal ersatz stone paving, ditzy development type planting and cheap poured concrete planters doesn't bode well for the sensitivity with which the place has been maintained. I'm just sayin'

Anonymous said...

I also think this house is interesting but mostly I wish listing Realtors would think about what they're saying -- this listing begins with "One Of The Greatest Estates Remaining On Long Island" (which it clearly isn't)& then talks only about subdivision potential ... & what's with capitalizing the first letter of each word? This Daniel Gale Sotheby's listing is courtesy of LAFFEY FINE HOMES (all caps). I checked to see who was the listing agent for Aberfeldy (see Zach's December 28, 2010 posting)& that Daniel Gale Sotheby listing is courtesy of Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc., which explains why there isn't a claim that this house was also designed by Stanford White after he died -- which reminds me that I appreciated HalfPuddingHalfSauce contacting the listing agent of Aberfeldy, who's response was, paraphrasing, "Yes, Severance & Shumm stole the plans for this house & took full credit for it but now the owners, who claim to be avid historians, are ignoring Severance & Shumm's involvement because historical accuracy means nothing to them."
Enough. Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.
Doug

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh dear. Oh dear. Another one doomed. And it has some real chic hiding behind that overgrown shrubbery. Oh dear. More real style and uniqueness being blatantly offered up to the Gods of faux shingle style or spray on stucco Tuscan. Did you all see the article in last Sunday's (Sunday week, not yesteray) Times real estate section about how older houses are completely kaput in the marketplace?

Also, next to the Boscobel adaptation at Peacock Point, is antoher octagonal house very similar to this one. Anyone know anything?

The Ancient said...

magnus --

The swimming pool could be fixed for $50K of stonework, and someone has been spending money maintaining the grounds. So perhaps the inside of the house is merely "tired."

OTOH, the house itself looks too small for anyone willing to spend $6-plus million for the property.

Louise Alida Livingston (1893–1967) seems to have had some nice pictures in that house:

http://www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/gg60b/gg60b-50838-prov.html

Zach said...

Her great, great grandmother? Or just great?

magnus said...

DED: I beleive that the house that you are referring to was built around the remaines of Henry Davison's original Peacock Point and is still owned by his grandson's widow. If memory serves me, most of the original house at Peacock Point was pulled down in the late 1950's- early '60's when Kate Trubee Davison (Henry's widow) died. One of his son's built this on the site of the original house, using a good deal of the original fittings on the interior.

The Ancient said...

Dilettante --

Now figure out what Callendar House on Mt Desert looked like.

(Her father: John Callendar Livingston; her mother: Louisa Foote Bowler)

Zach --

I think the provenance says ggg-grandmother.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Ancient, I don't have to figure out what Callendar house on Mt. Desert looked like. Directly across from the Pulitzer estate, also built originally by her mother its slate roof saved it from the '47 forest fire that burned out most of the rest of the neighborhood, including the Potter Palmers. It was a ballet school for many years after the fire, now back in private hands, but definitely not maintained to gilded age standards. This link takes you to a chapter in a book about Mt. Desert Houses designed by homeboy architect Fred Savage.

http://books.google.com/books?id=gpRmO4FR85AC&pg=PA176&lpg=PA176&dq=callendar+house+fred+savage&source=bl&ots=bbYmT3ryIQ&sig=m1M08foJALymbs96RAVlxY50OvI&hl=en&ei=OkNZTa67D8KC8gb_o6HcBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=callendar%20house%20fred%20savage&f=false

This house takes you to the Pulitzer House, Chatwold, originally the first summer house of Alida Livingston's mother, Louise Bowler.

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/1905197

The chapter about Callendar house points up a new trend that drives Mr. Dilettante absoluf-inglutely crazy, named putting 'the' before a house name, and 'house, cottage, castle, or estate' after, to wit: The Killenworth Mansion, as opposed to 'Killenworth'. Fingernails on a blackboard.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Ancient, one also wonders if the Livingstons (she was a Cincinnati real estate heiress if I remember correctly) didn't have some financial reverses. Callendar House (named, one presumes, for the Livingston family seat up the Hudson in Tivoli, more recently owned by the Pierres of Pierre Deux) is less than half the size of the original summer house sold to the Pulitzer's, and considerably less grand, and designed by a far less grand (and likely less expensive) architect.

Turner Pack Rats said...

altho not a huge house, its fairly unusual altho you'd never know it from the ad. altho i never would wish adversity on anyone except maybe our governor, all Republicans, Sarah Palin, and Dick Cheney, I hope the developer gets an infection from a splinter when they tear this place down. To paraphras Winston Churchill (or whoever): Tomorrow I'll be sober but you'll still be stupid.

security word def - "tricti" - a disease all developers should get from breathing too much plaster dust from buildings they demolish or the beverage i'm going to serve them with just a hint of cyanide.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

This counts as a "dream house" to me. Octagonal, or so it seems, charming, vaguely Regency, immensely pretty. I have seen Delehanty's architectural papers and will see if I can get back into them again (held by family, last I knew). Louise's parents were married in Berlin, Germany, on 17 February 1890, after surmounting what The New York Times called "municipal obstacles"; born 27 December 1892, she was their only child. And if somebody, anybody, tears down that house, they should be horsewhipped.

Turner Pack Rats said...

just a sidelight but it looks like they were really into the octagon motif as the garden next to the greenhouse appears octagonal altho sadly neglected and next to the garage (?), there is a wide spot in the drive that looks like it was octagonal at one time. it also appears there is a fence or hedge around the entire property.

security word def - "upiaxede" - what happened to a certain popular wire service.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Aesthete, Delehanty's papers are now at the Avery Architectural Library at Columbia.

Guys, I for the life of me cannot figure out how to do a link to it, but if you go to Peacock Point, Lattingtown, on Bing, and scroll east slightly, you will see a virtual doppelganger to this house, although larger, with octagonal wings. Must also be by Delehanty, or at least one house inspired the other?

Zach said...

DED...here's a pic of the house you are talking about:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5219/5444940879_265eb841cb_o.jpg

Anonymous said...

(And here's a summary of the life of its first owner.)

Ward Cheney, Skull & Bones 1922

Frances Davison married Ward Cheney, Skull & Bones 1922. He was the son of Charles Cheney, a partner in J.P. Morgan & Co. (?) and the national head of the Red Cross during World War I. His ushers included Robert F. Solley, William Galey Lord, Robert J. Larner, James S. Bush, Stanley Woodward, and Frederic dePeyster Townsend, all S&B 1922; Artemus L. Gates S&B 1918, and Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, a director of the Guaranty Trust 1926-1940. (Frances Davison Weds Ward Cheney. New York Times, Jan. 2, 1926.) Ward Cheney was best man for Edward G. Janeway, Yale 1922, to Elinor White [sister of Ogden White]. (Janeway-White. New York Times, May 24, 1925.) In 1935, the Cheneys were in the First Division Cardiac Clinic of Bellevue Hospital benefit dinner party of Mr. and Mrs. William Galey Lord, along with Mr. and Mrs. Oswald Bates Lord (S&B 1926), Mr. and Mrs. Artemus L. Gates, Mr. and Mrs. Averell Harriman, and Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Douglas. Others who had guests at the benefit included Mrs. Howard Dean, an ancester of Presidential candidate Howard Dean. (Cabaret Benefit Assists Hospital. New York Times, May 16, 1935.) Lewis Douglas was the grandson of James Douglas, the benefactor of James Ewing of the American Society for the Control of Cancer. Charles Cheney was chairman of Cheney Brothers until retiring in 1932. He graduated from MIT. (Charles Cheney, of Silk Firm, Dead. New York Times, Apr. 12, 1942.) Ward Cheney was also chairman of Cheney Brothers Silk Corporation in Manchester, Conn. He died in 1967. (Mrs. Ward Cheney. New York Times, Jul. 25, 1969.)

http://www.smokershistory.com/Gates.htm

magnus said...

Ancient- I loved the link that you provided on Saturday of the photo of the Delphine in front of Rose Terrace (Zach- stupendous post, by the way). Apparently, as she aged, Anna Thompson Dodge (or Mama Dodge as some grossed Pointe old timers still refer to her), the builder of Rose Terrace, became progressivley tighter and tighter with her funds, despite the fact that she remained, until her death at age 101, one of the world's richest women. By the mid 1950's, she had torn down Playa Riente, her enormous Addison Mizner designed Palm Beach behemouth (to save on taxes), the carved ice swans filled with caviar, a centerpiece of her parties in her heyday were a thing of the past, and much of the furniture at Rose Terrace was covered in dust sheets as the staff wound down. The Delphine still remained at Rose Terrace at the end of her dock, bobing up and down, but was so rarely used (to save on fuel) that Mama Dodge's dreadful daughter in law Gregg quipped that she always assumed it was a mural.

The Ancient said...

magnus --

I see the Delphine is currently available for charter in the Western Mediterranean for as little as 1.5 million euros per month. (Plus the usual things.)

http://www.exrenda.net/gallery_ssdelphine.htm

Zach said...

And here's a video advertising the Delphine for charter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBf8PPq8PrU

Kellsboro Jack said...

The aforementioned Callendar House in Tivoli, NY (Hudson Valley) which was redesigned by McKim, Mead & White.

http://garydimauro.com/main/sub/properties/details.php?pid=1137&sold=y

So was Louise Alida Livingston not related to the Livingston family which married the Gerry family who were cousins to the Harriman family, et al?

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Floor plans -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8468737&lon=-73.5554516&z=17&l=0&m=b&show=/2349740/LIGC-Estate-of-Miss-Louise-Alida-Livingston

For whatever reason I can't access MyNas on this property??? She lived a long time 1892-1967, unmarried. Garden looks to have been professionally planed. Delehanty worked with two women landscapers Isabella Pendleton Bowen{Still House, Wolver Hollow} and Annette Hoyt Flanders{Sunken Orchard, Manana } but I see no specific mention on who might have been involved.

Ward Cheney -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.901739&lon=-73.6102009&z=19&l=0&m=b&show=/11868852/LIGC-Ward-Cheney

Color photo of Delphine at Rose Terrace and link to Delphine's website -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=42.3855409&lon=-82.9002947&z=18&l=0&m=b&show=/5157542/Rose-Terrace

Painted by William Moss, probably in storage at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Even thou Anna Dodge did not set aside money to maintain her home after her death she did bequest the contents of her music room to the DIA along with money to conserve and display plus publish the Dodge Collection book. This was its the most valuable piece -

http://www.dia.org/object-info/47c2cd72-d30b-494c-a27d-40645fe8950e.aspx?position=19

Unfortunately the bequest did not include the paneling or chandeliers. The music room was arrange as it was at Rose Terrace against plain white walls. Recently the museum redid their whole decorative arts section and combined other non-Rose Terrace pieces creating something NOT as Anna wanted. They sold items to raise money for new acquisitions.

Thanks DED for those Bar Harbor links and bits of info. I DO plan on tagging the area in the future.

magnus said...

Ancient and Zach: Shall we "club" together and rent the Delphine for a week? Where will we go?

A sad note on Grosse Pointe: A dear friend who was raised there still owns her family's huge brick Georgian house on the fanciest street in the neighborhood. It has been "on the Market" since her mother's death more than four years ago for just about $1MM. Not a single prospective buyer has come to see it in two years. The last time my friend was there- four months ago or so- she had to drive almost half an hour to the nearest drug store: As people have left, so has retail and practically every service. She described it as almost a ghost town. What a shocking come down for a suburb whose very name was once the equal of Beverly Hills, or Newport as a catch word for riches and high living.

The Ancient said...

Ancient and Zach: Shall we "club" together and rent the Delphine for a week? Where will we go?

You ought to take this up with a mutual friend. As best I can tell, he went out to celebrate his year-end bonus, found himself and a friend trapped at lunch in bad weather, and straggled home, after multiple martinis, with a kewpie doll, a GOP mascot, and some stranger's plates.

(If he's got anything left of his bonus, he ought to be in the front line for the Delphine.)

Anonymous said...

Other than a mediocre kitchen, the house is completely and remarkably intact and marvelous in the preservation by neglect style. Fantastic scale, livable proportions, each main room radiates off an octagonal entrance hall and ends with beautiful original French doors. Second floor bedrooms connected by exterior recessed balconies. Wonderful third floor belvedere. I've been in most of the North Shore's best houses and this is one of the truly unique, non-derivative gems. Built to a manageable scale and structural quality along the lines of Pleasants Pennington Valley Road House. Bones of garden are intact and property has remarkable trees and Rhododendrons.

J

The Down East Dilettante said...

Half & Half, where did you find those plans? Those are the very pictures that referenced above as remembering having seen.

Wonderful floor plan...

Anonymous said...

"The aforementioned Callendar House in Tivoli, NY..."

The house in Tivoli was istelf named after the 14th century "Callendar House" in Falkirk, Scotland, home to the Lords Livingston of Callendar...up until the early 1700s when their titles and lands were forfeited and the family was forced into exile.

"So was Louise Alida Livingston not related to the Livingston family which married the Gerry family who were cousins to the Harriman family, et al?"

I know nothing of this woman's genealogy, but with a name like that I'm going to go ahead and assume that she was indeed related. The name "Alida" is ubiquitous in the Livingston family. It generally honors the first Alida Livingston, who was born into the wealthy Schuyler family and at an early age married Nicholas Van Rensselaer, Lord of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck. Later Alida married her deceased husband's former clerk, the Scottish born Robert Livingston, who himself went on to become the first Lord of Livingston Manor. Ever since Alida Schuyler Van Rensselaer Livingston's death, each generation of Livingstons has included a number of girls named Alida.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

ABSOLUTELY love, love this site and the active participation of its users!!!

Can't say were I found or came across the floor plans. They are in the SPLIA book, page 150.

I spent a summer aboard the Delphine, before its glamorous restoration when it was called the Dauntless. I was lucky enough to have the owners suite. The only cabin with a bathtub. It was a HUGE, single piece of marble. Fireplaces and French paneling throughout the ship. Look for the constantly repeated Travel Channel program Million Dollar Yachts for more on the Delphine or watch it here{about a minute and half into video, after the 30 second ad for Starburst candy} -

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2rlbb_travel-channel-million-dollar-yacht_creation

Flo said...

"Floor plans-"

Thank you, with these the house comes alive. Seems the kind of design a Steve Jobs would commission, a house for contemplation, work and study. In the closet I'm imagining serious birdwatching knickers with vest, not a ball gown in sight. This house is what the thoughtful introvert longs for most: a big piece of land with a manageable dwelling in the middle, unlimited bookshelves, no humans in sight, unimpeded views of nature all around. And an internet connection. I'm packed.

Flo said...

"Floor plans-"

Thank you, with these the house comes alive. Seems the kind of design a Steve Jobs would commission, a house for contemplation, work and study. In the closet I'm imagining serious birdwatching knickers with vest, not a ball gown in sight. This house is what the thoughtful introvert longs for most: a big piece of land with a manageable dwelling in the middle, unlimited bookshelves, no humans in sight, unimpeded views of nature all around. And an internet connection. I'm packed.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

J - Have you been inside "Hedgerow"?

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8597524&lon=-73.5719204&z=19&l=0&m=b&show=/3610098/Hedgerow&search=Hedegrow

Anonymous said...

Magnus...that is so sad. I googled Grosse Pointe real estate and it seems the whole place is up for grabs. Many beautiful homes...I hope they don't meet with the wrecking-ball.

What exactly did happen to Grosse Pointe to cause this decline ?

Charles said...

Zach-
What is the SPLIA book that commentators refer to? I know what SPLIA is, but looking at their web site, I don't know to which book they are referring. Thank you very much.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

SPLIA - http://www.amazon.com/Island-Country-Houses-Architects-1860-1940/dp/0393038564/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1297783533&sr=1-1

The Down East Dilettante said...

Anonymous 9:44

The decline of Grosse Point is directly linked to the decline of Detroit, directly linked to the decline of the auto and other industry in that city. Hence, not enough people making enough money for all the real estate available.

Anonymous said...

Thank you DED. I knew the car industry was not doing well, but for some reason I thought Detroit replaced the car industry with communications and other media venues.....not sure why I assumed that.Still beautiful homes, I hope they survive.

magnus said...

Anon:

DED is right- and Grosse Pointe has been especially hard hit because it literally borders downtown Detroit. Other Detroit suburbs that are further removed such as Bloomfield Hills have held on somewhat better, but, from what I hear, it's all relative and the whole area has been devastated. Interestingly, Rose Terrace was literally on the border of Grosse Pointe, once one of the world's swishiest suburbs and downtown Detroit, a by word for urban decay.

Anonymous said...

Grosse Pointe may be in decline now, but for the users of this site, the houses we all would really have loved to see, like Rose Terrace, were mostly gone long ago.

There were many great treasures by great architects such as John Russell Pope, Charles Platt, Albert Kahn, etc.

ex detroiter