Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The End of 'Lands End'

Above, one of the last shots I ever took of 'Lands End', the John Scott Browning estate built c. 1911 in Sands Point. The real point of today's post though is to send you HERE where you will see the last photos photographer Jen Ross took of the remains of the residence.

78 comments:

The Devoted Classicist said...

The Jen Ross images are sad but a necessary reminder that appreciation for history and architecture is not a factor universally accepted in this country.

Anonymous said...

Architectural Digest featured Lands End in an article in the early 1980's. Lands End had been recently purchased/renovated by Mr. Payson so the house looked pristine. Additionally the article discussed another Payson (Whitney) house located in Kentucky. Now that Lands End is a part of history it would be nice to see that feature again.

Reggie Darling said...

As I have oft heard it said, when it comes to preservation every victory is temporary and every loss is permanent. How true. Reggie

Ray Spinzia said...

I just received another phone call concerning Stanford White and this estate. Hopefully this will end, once and for all, the erroneous speculation that White designed Browning's house.

from The New York Tribune, August 2, 1910, p. 8 -

"John Scott Browning to Build Country Home on Site: S. Osgood Pell & Co. have sold to John Scott Browning for Warren T. Diefendorf the property known as Prospect Point, at Sands Point, Long Island.

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of waterfront property on the north shore of Long Island, and adjoins the estate recently sold by S. Osgood Pell & Co. to Frank N. Hoffstot, of the Pressed Steel Car Company.

The property just sold to Mr. Browning consists of some eleven acres of bold promontory extending into the Sound, and is in the vicinity of the estates of Howard Gould, W. Bourke Cockran and other well known men. Mr. Browning will at once erect on the property a country home."

White died on June 25, 1906. Unless he rose from the dead, there is no way he could have designed Browning's house!!

magnus said...

Ray:

You make the mistake of thinking that facts will put to bed a good story. Excellent piece of detective work, but I have no doubt that for decades to come,all facts to the contrary, folks will rue the destruction of "the Great Stanford White House on the tip of Sands Point".

Although Land's End may not excite the interest of architectural afficionados to a white heat (no pun intended), I have always thought that it was a lovely old house, perfectly appropriate for its site. For decades to come, I will rue its destruction, and shudder to think what the future will bring for one of the most spectacular pieces of property on the Long Island Sound.

Ray Spinzia said...

Magnus, unfortunately you are probably correct. Sometimes I feel like a voice crying in the wilderness. I have never been able to understand how people can discard fact to perpetuate their mythology.

For an additional response to Gatsby mythology that I co-authored with Judy, see our article entitled "Gatsby: Myths and Realities of Long Island's North Shore Gold Coast." We have posted it on our website under "Gold Coast Era Articles." We have been fighting this battle since 1997. Maybe this will be the final piece of information that ends this controversy . . . but, like you, we doubt it . . .

Jen Ross said...

Thanks to Zach for linking my work on Land's End. Yesterday sitting in the rain a top Kidd's Rock watching that scene - it was one of those moments that you feel like you have stepped out of yourself and are watching yourself watch. I can't really describe it so thank you Zach for sharing the photos. I have gotten so many wonderful emails from people who are connected to this estate in some way or other; Land's End had a few gifts to give me before it went down. It will be missed.

cattychick said...

"Daisy's house" or not, you created a magnificent combination with the Gatsby quotes and the heartbreakingly poignant photos of Land's End, Jen. You are truly gifted. Thank you.

Word verification: "Fractin," i.e., "Brodsky's new houses on the property will possess a mere fractin of the grace that was once Land's End."

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

I don't think I want to use the link.

I think I just want to be happy that people like you, bothered to record history, before it was snatched from our grasp.

Thank you.

.♥.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Ray Spinzia, 'George Washington Slept Here', 'Stanford White design, c. 1814'. It will never end. I notice the staircase is being listed for sale as by Stanford White, 1902

I don't want to get (too) political on here, but we are living in an era like none I've ever seen, where facts are not allowed to interfere at all with what people want to think. 'None so blind...'

sigh.

Zach said...

Ray...I hope you see that I'm trying to make sure people are aware of the provenance of Lands End...and even though almost all of the national stories on the house did use 1902 I did see one (that was using OLI as the source) that said 1911. So it's a start...albeit small.

And DED...you know I've seen plenty of places attributed to the Zombie Stanford White...those with dates like 1911 and 1920. But an 1814...does this mark the entrance of a Prenatal Stanford White as well?

Zach said...

And forget about dates for a minute, what about his cousins Sanford, Stamford and Samford? Let us not forget about them.

Zach said...

I was tempted to make this a post all on its own but it's just too sickening to listen to Brodsky talk. But anyway here's video of him talking about the demolition cut together with plenty of video of the front loaders ripping the place to pieces:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5UJ3svlnCw&feature=player_embedded

Ray Spinzia said...

I swear by all that is holy, this is a true story! A journalist contacted the special collections librarian at a Long Island university library and asked for original COLONIAL ERA PHOTOGRAPHS of a Long Island site for publication.

To DED - I know, people don't want to be confused by the facts but I keep trying.

To Zach - Thanks, I'm calmer but if this keeps up, I will have to resort to the Town of Huntington historian Rufus Langdon's solution.

Ray

The Down East Dilettante said...

Samford White----isn't he the guy who invented the Palladium window?

Flo said...

"Samford White----isn't he the guy who invented the Palladium window?"

What a coincidence you'd speak of a Palladium window, just last weekend I saw the most beautiful one I'd ever seen, centered in a stairwell over a waistcoat.

lil' gay boy said...

A direct quote from an email Wendy Goodman sent me (whose mother's house stands next door to this crime scene):

"Too sickening..it feels like they did this to my heart [...] He is VILE BEYOND!!!!"

Security word - babinch: colloquial disparagement of Brodsky, i.e., "...the babinch who stole our heritage."

Jen Ross said...

LGB, please tell Wendy's mother "thank you for not calling the police during my trespasses, and sorry for scurrying across your lawn."

:) love jen

The Down East Dilettante said...

Quote from Mr. Brodsky: "we're not destroying the history, the house is coming down'. Just one of several contradictory sound bytes delivered by the villain of the piece.

But, still, remember that he speaks the truth. None of the people spending 30 million on Long Island houses wanted to spend it on this one, sadly. It wasn't in the Hamptons. Changing times, tastes and desires (and our national tendency to destruction) did this place in as much as Mr. Brodsky. And forgive me a moment of snobbery. When he said 'blue sport jackets' instead of Blue blazer, er, um....

Anonymous said...

what a greedy piece of crap that brodsky guy is. i hope he chokes on the money he makes of the new houses he builds. he knew dam well what he wanted to do to that house . he let it rot for years on purpose. GREEDY LOSER ! no wonder why everyone hates him

Anonymous said...

DED,I've observed that your comments tend to be well thought out but your observation that Brodsky "speaks the truth" is not one of your best and actually buys into his propaganda. The fact that no one wanted to spend $30 million is irrelevant-why would someone provide Brodsky with a $13 million profit in a declining market? There were several people who offered to buy the house on reduced acreage and two who offered to buy the entire property, restore the house and build a lower density, well designed project. Once Brodsky decided he wasn't going to live there (if indeed that was ever actually his plan) he dug his heals in to make sure there was no impediment to a scrape and maximum yield development. It appears that the truth and the Great Brodsky are not well acquainted ($4000 per day for taxes and maintenance). For interesting reading I suggest the Environmental Impact statement that can be found at the Village of Sands Point website. Note that Brodsky was found to have illegally dumped substantial fill into regulated wetlands and was forced to remove it. Further note that, besides its historic importance , the property and its surroundings are among the most environmentally significant on the North Shore. A complete failure of the village and the DEC to take the "hard look" and require adequate mitigation as required by SEQRA. I agree we have to accept that times changed and there are properties that can't be saved-THIS WAS NOT ONE OF THEM.

Anonymous said...

My comment above should have said "heels". It is late and I'm venting my anger.

NSP

Zach said...

No post today, I want to leave this story at the top for a little while longer.

Turner Pack Rats said...

and, i think it's interesting to see from jen's photos that it makes brodsky's comment in the video about the house being beyond the point of saving all the more ludicrous that the two chimneys stand 5 stories high all by themselves just having had the house torn down all around them. yessirree - that sure was one house that was falling apart and too far gone to fix.

security word def - "chrutio" - a word used in certain voodoo ceremonies in the islands that refers to the sound a real estate dealers house makes when it collapses on top of him.
i was going to do a voodoo doll of brodsky but i couldn't find one with a face so malicious.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Haha, Anonymous, good points all, but I should clarify my statement that Brodsky speaks the truth. Obviously as regards his seven years of ownership, and his obviously bad intentions at Land's End, the man is a sleaze---and it was hilarious to listen to him in the video, trying to make sound bytes that everyone wanted to hear. The man is a sleaze, no argument. But, the truth that he did utter, and the one I referred to, is the general lack of interest in buying and preserving large houses on the North Shore, at prices that support the break-up value of the property. These sadly, are factors that those of us who believe in, and understand the value of preserving these properties, have the most trouble fighting. The new and growing desire for new houses, and new houses only, is reaching Tsunami proportion, and threatens older buildings in a way that they've not been in danger since the second world war---and it is across the board, from charming little capes in New England to big old houses in places like Sands Point.

I agree with everything you say, but it does not change the basic fact driving this destruction. Horrible and greedy and calculating though he may be, Brodsky is only the messenger, and absent different community attitudes about land use and preservation, the scenario will keep repeating itself, and has. This is just the most dramatic example. It would be nice to think that Land's End would become Long Island's Penn Station in this fight, but what I haven't seen coming out of this is any groundswell of change to prevent it in the future. And that's a sure sign of the times.

Sadly.

The Down East Dilettante said...

PS. I want to also point out the wanton destruction of Bayberryland, the extraordinary Sabin estate at Southampton, a few years back as another example that should have led to greater action than it did. It was one of the finest houses of its era, and one of the most admired and published in its day, and in England would have been a listed building, but not here...we are so screwed.

Anonymous said...

to all, there is an interesting article in the latest NY Observer about 'Lands End'. it goes into some detail about the prior owner's (Payson) agreement to sell only on the basis of no further development, and beyond that mention of Gatsby, the development of The Harriman Estate as a prototype of what Sea Gate was to be.
perhaps a more accomplished computer type (HPHS,DED,or LGB) can bring in the link and all the Old Long Island world will be educated.

Flo said...

http://www.observer.com/2011/real-estate/wrecking-ball-comes-daisy-buchanan

The Down East Dilettante said...

Or a more accomplished computer type, Flo.

lil' gay boy said...

"LGB, please tell Wendy's mother 'thank you for not calling the police during my trespasses, and sorry for scurrying across your lawn.' "

Not to worry; I have it on good authority that, as a notable artist in her own right, she's seen your work & is highly appreciative of it.

As are we all. I must admit to being tempted to sneak onto the property to scavenge a fragment to call mine own...

"None of the people spending 30 million on Long Island houses wanted to spend it on this one, sadly."

Well, DED, with over-the-top homes like Tamir Sapir's extravaganza in nearby Kings Point, it seems to me more a matter of Brodsky deliberately mis-marketing this icon in an avaricious grasp at the most bang for the bucks.

NSP, you are of course forgiven your vituperative outburst ––– reminds me of Paulette Goddard in The Women sizing up the competition with the comment "I know a lot more words than you Park Avenue girls..."

Security word - nisalas: that poignant moment when you realize something that will be dearly missed will never, ever return.

lil' gay boy said...

Thanks, Flo; here, for the cut & paste challenged...

;-)

The Down East Dilettante said...

LGB, read what I wrote again. I may not have been clear enough. Whether Brodsky deliberately mis-marketed for his own evil purposes is beside the point. Lots of money has been spent on houses on Long Island, but very little of it for older houses and their careful renovation. New, new, new is where the big bucks are going, to wit: Sapir's extravaganza. I am in no way defending the indefensible, merely pointing out that Brodsky is merely a symptom, an outbreak, not the disease, which, repeat, is far more complicated than just some mean man behaving badly and making a pretty house that none of us can afford go away. And there seems to be no cure on the horizon.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Let us not forget that Mrs. Payson herself asked a perfectly ludicrous $50,000,000 for the place and had it on the market for some time herself before Brodsky paid his $17,000,000. Also, though she said she made it clear that she didn't want the place developed, she didn't go so far as to donate easements or put in deed restrictions to ensure that...the point I keep trying to make, gentle friends, is not that Brodsky's methods are not reprehensible, they are, but he can only do what the community and ordinances and the sellers, and all others involve allow him to do. This isn't a case by case thing. The problem is only going to be solved by a broad and systemic approach, that seems sorely lacking these days.

lil' gay boy said...

' “If and when I go,” said Ms. Payson, “I will come back and haunt every one of those houses.” '

God bless her.

DED, I can agree that there is a general trend to destroy these homes, not so much because they can no longer be made relevant in the 21st century, but that there comes a point when the land they stand upon just becomes too valuable for saner heads to prevail. But there is always room for adaptive reuse with the proper motivation & incentives. Gracewood in North Hills is one such example (not perfect, but better by far than total obliteration).

Hindsight is the only exact science; who could have foreseen (whilst good men looked the other way, doing nothing) such a market for vulgar, stuccoed monstrosities that are "...all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same."

Regardless of the unadulterated facts over who built it, when the parties were in its heyday or just exactly from what spot one could see the house across the bay, for more than a century this home was an essential cultural & literary touchstone ––– a part of the woof and warp of Long Island's social fabric and storied history, and as such deserved far more consideration.

I guess our only consolation will be that whoever the new residents of the "Five Furies" will be they can count upon being the town's social pariahs until well after the last blue-hair shuffles off this mortal coil (and Ms. Payson finally finds her well-deserved peace).

Kellsboro Jack said...

It's almost amusing that any article suggest Mrs. Payson (whose current husband is a noted real estate agent in Vail, CO) is "dead".

Rather she is today at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington to see her undefeated horse 'Ruthenia' run in today's feature: the Appalachian Stakes.

I do concur the remarks voiced before that while she is outraged by the fate of the property the chance to protect it via easements or other conditions were hers to make.

That sadly has been a frequent issue in the beautiful fox hunt country of Norther VA. Grand, sprawling estates have been sold to people in this last generation who don't ride and are happy to divide and develop. The sellers express shock with the lack of respect ("why move to horse country if you don't ride") yet they could've put conservation easements in.

Too often the quiet explanation is that easements and restrictions limit buyer interest and the resale value.

As an aside I loved the sad but necessary photos by Jen Ross. Thanks to her for making them available for all to see.

Jen Ross said...

Thanks for the link to the observer article bout Land's End and the SUBDIVISION (hahah enclave) that will become of it. While I am very much in opposition to Ms. Payson's love of big game hunting, I enjoyed reading her point of view and particularly the last bit with her vow to haunt the houses to come.

I am saddened that she takes pleasure in the killing grand and beautiful animals, but she did do an excellent job preserving the place while she had it. I remember walking by on the beach when she was there and it was clearly well kept.

lil' gay boy said...

If you kind folks will permit –– an earnest homage to Lands End's End, courtesy of Photographer Jen Ross and Composer Samuel Barber.

Jen Ross said...

Beautiful lil gay boy... thank you <3 can you add a link to my site in case anyone wants to get in touch? I have gotten so many touching letters and stories. HUGS.

lil' gay boy said...

Sure; what did you have in mind?

Jen Ross said...

LGB just in the description my website www.jenrossphoto.com written anywhere would be fine. This way if people want to see more of my work they have a link. thanks.

lil' gay boy said...

Jen, consider it done, with many thanks for all the pleasure you've brought us (it should be live by now).

Jen Ross said...

Thanks LGB!!! :) I feel honored that you used my photos for your creativity using such beautiful music.

Flo said...

A standing ovation to you both for a magnificent dirge.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

This has been a question on my mind after seeing last Sundays CBS show - they{CBS} were there on Saturday for airing that following morning - BroDINKsy/Reporter were looking thru window{condemned, couldn't go in} - you could clearly see the $10,000.00 staircase. Then the demolition started. When did the seller of the staircase have time to remove???


From The Observer - "The sedan caromed through a decade-old development, near-identical houses lining both sides of the road. It was once the estate of William Averell Harriman, the governor of New York."

Seems out of the way to get to Lands End doesn't it?


http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8652051&lon=-73.7054729&z=16&l=0&m=b&show=/16147626/Fountainhill

The Ancient said...

lgb --

When I die, I want you to DJ the after-party.

lil' gay boy said...

I'll be there, at the The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; perhaps we can adapt a page from So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish and convince the dolphins' Save The Humans campaign to overlook Mr. Brodsky...

Just a thought.

Security word - cadjask: when the forcible taking (usually at gunpoint) of a motorized golf cart goes horribly wrong.

Anonymous said...

Forbes profiled the Payson family in an article soon after the death of Mr. Payson. Seems that he changed is will repeatedly over the course of seven years leaving more of the money he inherited from his first wife, Joan Whitney Payson, to the second wife. This financial transfer after just seven years of marriage to the second Mrs. Payson - younger than his daughters. My belief is the second Mrs. Payson had no interest in protecting Lands End. Just more $$$ for her and her children. The real victim is Joan Whitney.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Joan Whitney was long dead at that point, so actually the losers would be the Payson heirs, all of whom seem not to be destitute by most standards. One of the losers was Maine, however, where a small art gallery endowed by the family, with some of the Payson Art, was gradually dismantled, because the kids sold the paintings, most notably Van Gogh's Iris. The impression at the time was that son John Payson burned through a lot of money in ill-advised ventures.

Anonymous said...

Colby College was impacted as well from the changes in the financial structure of the Payson family. Many of the Payson heirs were forced to sell the art collection inherited from their mother for estate purposes plus the loss of any money from the Charles Payson estate. Portland magazine, a few months back, published an excellent article on the Joan Whitney Collection. In the end it was Whitney money that paid for Lands End. Anything that Mr. Payson had and the second Mrs. Payson currently holds - originated with Joan Whitney. The second Mrs. Payson does not come across as sentimental. Lands End was always doomed.

Anonymous said...

Please leave this photo on your site forever!

Flo said...

Memo to Mr. Brodsky:

Sir, would it have been so difficult to select and save 5 sections of the 100 year old brick terrace floor standing beneath the waterside columns, then re-setting bordered sections of them into the front walkways of each of your 5 "enclave" houses? Same for saving out 5 sections of the hand-carved library shelves to incorporate into the libraries of the 5 houses? How about 5 spindles, 5 sections of marble, 5 pieces of railing, 5 pieces of granite, 5 remnants of flooring, and so on, each one showcased either in a frame, or tastefully embedded as a formal accent. Think of it, there is nothing like reintroducing sacred historic relics in a brand new structure as a means to convey and express respect for what was just torn to the ground. [It's not too late to make a trip to the dump.] Obviously you bypassed the partial or literal use of "Lands End" in naming your development, what a mistake that was. Lands End Point, I like it. It's not too late on that score either.

Anonymous said...

Arguing at this moment in time as to what exactly Kidd's Rocks/Lands End meant for Scott Fitzgerald in his conception of this greatest American novel would be a grievous betrayal of the memory of the character of J. Gatsby himself, and a weary, fletching academic exercise.

Consider instead that in the past month hardly a significant publication, either electronic or print, anywhere on the planet, in any language, failed to mention the fate of this fabled piece of Long Island, NY real estate.

Of course, The Great Gatsby is published in dozens of tongues, and ranks in the top 50 of Le Monde's (française) 100 Books of the Century.
------------
I had wanted to add the previous remarks to Jen Ross's blog, having been rightly pointed there (thank you Zach), but a mechanical frustration drove me away, so I offer it here instead. À votre bon cœur.

Laura from RI said...

Flashback to the 1990's if you will. In 1992 VKP & Jenny Craig had a horse in the KY. Derby (Dr. Devious) who ran unplaced, but went on to win the Epsom Derby. But in my Blood Horse magazines were ads for "Payson Park" as a training/layups place to prepare your horses for "reasonable rates", no prices were listed but all you had to do was call. Now...where/was VKP at any point ever interested in LE ? I don't believe so..imho...she advertised week after week abt Payson Park which if I'm incorrect is aka Palm Beach Training Center. And not for nothing, I wonder what Mary Lou Whitney summarizes abt all of the above postings if she has heard abt Zach's Blog.
PS...where can we read that article in Forbes abt Chas. Shipman Payson ?

Anonymous said...

The Payson article appeared in Forbes in October 1987 and detailed the lawsuit brought by the Payson children (mid-age by then) against Mr. Payson's second wife. The children lost and Mrs. Kraft Payson walked away with the bulk of Joan Whitney's money. Whitney money paid for Lands End. The Architectural Digest article on the Payson homes in the early 80s is also interesting.

Jen Ross said...

Hey do you guys think that Bert Brodsky will hire me to shoot the interiors and brochure for Seagate? Ya think I should send my portfolio?

:D :d

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

From The Observer - "When Fitzgerald was writing The Great Gatsby in a rented split-level in Great Neck, he would finish his days on the porch of the Mange, the home of sportswriter and humorist Ring Lardner. A few houses down East Shore Road, on the backside of Great Neck that lips the mouth of Manhasset Bay, Swope owned a house more modest than his later Sands Point mansion, though certainly no less debauched."

This is the area where Lardner and Swope lived -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.802692&lon=-73.7170279&z=18&l=0&m=b

Bing

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

Swope rented property from Lottie Blair Parker{no longer extant} 1922-1929. Can't confirm however this might have been Lardner's home -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8014332&lon=-73.7155071&z=19&l=0&m=b

Parker property bordered just north.

For DED -

http://www.htmlcodetutorial.com/linking/_A.html

lil' gay boy said...

"Ya think I should send my portfolio?"

Only if it's ticking...

;-)

Jen Ross said...

LGB... lol!!! I've been hoping that the state makes a new green project right off Seagate - windmills are good for everyone!

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flo said...

www.seagateatsandspoint.com

lil' gay boy said...

www.seagateatsandspoint.com:

hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha

Oh, stop! I think I just broke a rib...

Security word - outzinst: my feng shui artist can beat up your feng shui artist...

Doug Floor Plan said...

Jen Ross, I have to respond to your 4.21.11 5:02pm comments: ‘I am very much in opposition to Ms. Payson's love of big game hunting … I am saddened that she takes pleasure in the killing grand and beautiful animals.”

First, foxes are not ‘big game.’

Second, no where has Ms. Payson ever stated she takes pleasure in killing foxes; I don’t know from where you draw your conclusion that she does.

Third, American fox hunting has very little to do with catching & killing a fox; it has to do with creating a chase where appropriately dressed people enjoy a hard day’s ride across the countryside with their friends. As you can read in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_hunting under ‘United States’: “A hunt may go without a kill for several years, despite chasing two or more foxes in a single day's hunting. As a rule, foxes are not pursued once they have 'gone to ground.'”

If you want to talk about how cruel it is to chase an animal until it’s too tired to run anymore, fine; but that’s the extent of it.

By the way, I also like your photographs very much.

Jen Ross said...

Hi Doug,

Thanks for compliment on my photographs. While I also find fox hunting cruel, I was under the impression that Ms. Payson also enjoys big game hunting. I came to this conclusion after reading her bio here: http://www.breederscup.com/bio.aspx?id=3403
"Her interests included big-game hunting, scuba diving and sled-dog racing. She wrote five books on such subjects as boating, training dogs, shotgun sports and tennis"

You can also see her trophies for big game hunting are mentioned here as well http://www.angelfire.com/fl/brad61yazell/gregpay.html

Also here: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1992-10-02/news/9201240923_1_st-jovite-virginia-kraft-payson-top-horses

"A former writer with Sports Illustrated, Payson has been the total sportswoman. She has five big game hunting trophies from five continents and was the first woman to compete in world championship sled dog races in Alaska."

Among other places as well... I noticed an animal skin in some of the old interiors... I think it was a zebra :(

I do feel that chasing and animal until it is too tired to run anymore is a horrible thing.

I hope that all of these articles are wrong so that I can readjust my vision of this woman who acted as a marvelous steward to an excellent piece of land and property. My views on hunting do not in any way change the fact that the property was well taken care of during her stay. I wish that she had done the proper paperwork to protect the property but I can't blame someone for overlooking such matters when there are developers lurking and hovering and waiting to strike...

Many people would not even consider that someone would want to take down such a magnificent home. We know better now it seems... that is a hard lesson but I hope it is now learned from by all of the current owners of such properties.

Flo said...

"Mrs. Payson, a feature writer for Sports Illustrated...'I went down to his hunting ranch in Florida to do a story on him and his ranch, and we just hit it off, I was the first woman he'd met who could shoot, and he was fascinated.'"

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/16/garden/turf-a-whisper-of-white-a-hint-of-daisy.html?src=pm

Doug Floor Plan said...

Jen Ross & Flo, thank you for your feedback – you are correct & I am incorrect regarding Ms. Payson & big game hunting. Kellsboro Jack referencing fox hunting immediately followed by Jen Ross referencing hunting in the same paragraph as the comment on Ms. Payson’s interview threw me off. My apologies.

Jen Ross, I agree with you regarding all those dead animal skins, mostly lying around on all those polished floors – you’re hard pressed to find any sizeable house from the ‘golden age of American residential architecture’ that didn’t have some … & some houses had them everywhere. I personally am not opposed to hunting, but I am opposed to the kind of hunting that produced all those rugs.

Jen Ross said...

Thanks Doug, yes I often see them laying around in photos. When I have ended up at hunting lodge themed places I often feel uncomfortable with the animals hanging on the walls. I was shocked to discover that hunters from the United States kill more of the worlds lions than folks from any other country. I just cannot comprehend how anyone could find beauty in the lifeless corpse of a once free and beautiful being... especially knowing you took that life for mere play, decoration, trophy or vanity. To drain a thing of life for your pleasure just feels so wrong to me. Enough of my rant though... Pity about Ms. Payson and her hobbies (IMO.)

Flo said...

"Jen Ross & Flo, thank you for your feedback"

You're a gent.

Hoping to put this behind me once and for all, but then I see a new exposure and it hurts all over again.

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Mansion-linked-Great-Gatsby-razed-partially-demolished-Lands-End-mansion-seen-Sands-Point-New-York/ss/events/us/041911gatsbymansion/im:/110419/ids_photos_ts/r347000967.jpg/#photoViewer=/110419/ids_photos_ts/r347000967.jpg

Anonymous said...

Jen Ross...your are beautiful...I 100% agree with your thoughts regarding the slaugher of innocent animals...we humans are an arrogant bunch......

Jen Ross said...

Thanks anonymous :) *blushes*

Kellsboro Jack said...

Just in the interest of limiting some confusion as I see my "name" cited in an offshoot aspect of Ms. Payson.

I cited Virginia and Hunt Country (Fauquier, Western Loudoun Co, Clarke, et al) only to illustrate another area of large sprawling estates that were purpose built for outdoor pursuits, but have been sold in recent generations without land restrictions, or easements. That is changing but not without many lands (vs. homes themselves on LI) having been destroyed.

As echoed by another Ms. Payson has no foxhunting connections and never lived in Virginia. A relative of hers - Sandra Whitney Payson d.2004, daughter of Charles Shipman Payson - owned the splended Greek Revival estate "Ashleigh" in Delaplane, VA but no foxhunting there either.

Glam Popcorn said...

The Observer article says that both Madonna and Kate Moss did photo shoots at Lands End... does anyone have any info on these shoots?

Jen Ross said...

Yes, a former caretaker told me that Madonna shot the parts of the SEX book at Land's End.

Glam Popcorn said...

has anyone seen the Greek Tycoon? I'm going to check it out just to see the house...

Jen Ross said...

I have discovered that Bert Brodsky was already fined for illegal dumping on that beautiful important property that happens to be a place where endangered birds live and lay eggs. Here is what I found SHAME ON THE VILLAGE OF SANDS POINT FOR GIVING BERT BRODSKY A PERMIT especially after he was already in trouble for illegal dumping. He clearly does not give a damn about history, land, or environment. Irresponsible developer who just pushes people around. He already stole my photo and put it on his website... I had it taken down. He felt he should not have to pay and if I wanted him to pay for my work he would just take me to court on trespassing charges... isn't that called blackmail?
On top of it he wanted a free print of my work for his personal collection. hahahahahahhaa!!!

"Comments C-25, D-26, D-32 & D-71:
These comments note the recent removal of unauthorized fill that had been placed on the site by the applicant, Village monitoring of this removal process, the propriety of civil or criminal penalties, and the implications of this unauthorized activity with respect to the current application.
Responses: Section 2.1.1 of the DEIS (beginning on page 2-4 of the DEIS) provides details of the fill placed on the property in 2007 and resultant violation issued by the NYSDEC. The violation was resolved under an Order on Consent (Order) issued by the NYSDEC on October 24, 2007, requiring payment of a fine and the preparation of a mitigation plan for the proper removal of this material. The NYSDEC approved Mitigation Plan and associated correspondence with NYSDEC was provided in Appendix K of the DEIS. As per the Order, removal of the fill material was conducted between November 16 and December 3, 2007 under the supervision of the NYSDEC Division of Solid Waste, and the area was graded to the original grade, as per the NYSDEC approved Mitigation Plan. The Village of Sands Point requested NYSDEC to investigate the fill placed on the property and were kept apprised of the violation and fill removal activities required by the NYSDEC. The NYSDEC staff visited the property in February 2008 and provided an inspection form which indicates the fill removal has been completed, and authorizes the seeding of the area (included in Appendix E-4). The violation for the fill has
Page 2-44
been resolved and the NYSDEC reactivated its review of the pending subdivision application (deemed complete in July 2008, see Appendix E-4).
Construction associated with the proposed single family dwellings will be coordinated with the Village of Sands Point in conformance with all requirements of the Village. The Building Inspector/Stormwater Management Officer will be notified prior to commencement of construction, and will monitor the site during the course of construction activity as discussed above in Section 2.5. Additionally, the applicant will be required to obtain permit coverage under the NYSDEC General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity (GP- 0-08-001), which requires weekly inspections of site construction activities, overseen by a licensed professional engineer and a record of all inspection reports must be maintained on-site."

Anonymous said...

I just read an article in the Port Washington News (not the most reputable paper might I add) by Irmgard (Emmy) Carras, Sands Point Village Historian. I can't find the article online, maybe because it was in todays paper, but it brought up a few things. Most of all that the house was not the Gatsby house because Fitzgeralds Publisher, Howard Swope didn't purchase the house until 1928 and the novel was published in 1925. While this is a fact that lends some doubt to the myth it shouldn't completely discredit it. The article serves simply to debunk the myths that we hear about the house all the time. I wouldn't be surprised if Brodsky had something to do with it. There was nothing in the article about a fond farewell.

Something interesting though that no one ever talks about, the financing for Gone With The Wind was secured at Lands End. David O Selznick and Jock Whitney met here and finalized their plans. This visit was covered in Irene Mayer Selznicks book. Interesting because later Jocks sister, Joan married Charles Shipman Payson who we all know bought Lands End with his second wife Virginia Kraft!

I read alot of biographies of 1930s Hollywood actors and Society people, and its so interesting when the Swopes are brought up. I should keep a list of all the people that most likely visited! If those walls could talk! Its hard to believe that the awful dead end town that is Port Washington was once the social spot of the east coast for Hollywood. Never again :(

Zach said...

Anon...if you are interested this is worth a read:

http://spinzialongislandestates.com/GATSBY.pdf

Anonymous said...

Just read something in the comments section on the Port Washington Patch... didn't realize Bert Brodsky's wife worked as a substitute teacher in the Port Washington School District for years... they said she redid her kitchen with the funds. I remember her!

http://portwashington.patch.com/articles/gatsby-house-ends-115-year-history

Kathleen Vissichelli said...

These are passages from Keith Richards book Life, regarding Lands End:

Pg. 441:

Marlon: From there we moved to the Mick Taylor--vacated house on Sands Point, Long Island, for about six months. The first filmed version of The Great Gatsby was shot there, in which Sands Point is East Egg, with many acres of lawns and a huge beachfront and saltwater pool, all decaying. We used to hear ‘20s jazz music coming from the gazebo, dinner parties and clinking glasses and laughter that dissipated as you walked towards it. There were certainly mob connections in this house. I found family snaps in the attic of Sinatra and Dean Martin, all the Rat Pack, hanging out there in the ‘50s.

Pg. 445: The landlord never did any maintenance on the place, so it was just getting worse and worse and worse. Once my bedroom became too decrepit, I would move into another one—luckily there were about fifteen of them—until eventually I moved all the way to the attic. It was the last place left! A huge attic space, the size of a cathedral up there, and I had my bed and a TV and my desk, and I would just lock the door and not let anyone else up there. By then we said, we can’t stay here anymore; it’s falling down. Or we’ve destroyed it. So that’s why we moved to the final mansion at Mill Neck, on the edge of Oyster Bay.


Is there any chance that one of the silent versions of Gatsby were filmed at the house and thats where the rumors come from? I know the 1974 version was filmed in England and R.I. and the 2013 disaster was shot in AU. But does anyone know about past versions?