Friday, April 8, 2011

'Kirby Hill'

'Kirby Hill', the Joseph Sampson Stevens estate designed by Warren & Wetmore c. 1900 in Muttontown. Stevens was a director at Chemical National Bank, his father F.W. Stevens served 56 years as a director at Chemical, the longest tenure of any bank director in the country at the time of his death in 1928. Joseph S. was also a corporal in T.R.'s 'Rough Riders' and related to Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison. He was related to the Livingston, Newbold and Rhinelander families. The estate was later owned by Byam K. Stevens Jr. (not his son). In 2000 the estate was sold for development and while the rest of the property has been broken up and built on, 'Kirby Hill' still stands and is for sale on 7 acres for $3,499,000, click HERE to see the listing via Daniel Gale Sotheby's (listed with Larsen Realty). Click HERE to see 'Kirby Hill' on google earth and HERE on bing.

Listing photos from Larsen Realty via Daniel Gale Sotheby's.

29 comments:

magnus said...

I am told that Byam Stevens, Jr. was Joseph Steven's nephew: Joseph Steven's loved the property and when he died he left it to his nephew with a trust provided for its maintenance. The property, called Kirby Hill, was kept up in perfect condition well into the 1980's. I wonder why it was sold and developed.

Zach said...

Thank you for spotting my error Magnus.

Ray Spinzia said...

Zach is being gracious in not pointing out that the error was mine. I apologize for the typo in our book. The Social Register, 1915 lists the name of the estate as "Kerby (with an e) Hill." We'll make the correction when we update.

magnus said...

I didn't mean to correct anyone- Lord knows, y'all don't correct my often errant spelling. Thank you

By the way, I love the new address- 11 Mansion Drive. In case you missed the point. Give me 1313 Mockingbird Lane any day.

Ray Spinzia said...

Good Lord, Judy and I want to know if we have any errors or typos. It is the only way we can insure the accuracy of the update. Thank you for posting this estate; it made me recheck my source!

Ray

Doug Floor Plan said...

I applaud this developer for not tearing this house down or cutting it up into condos & for keeping seven acres of property around it.

Having said that I’ll observe that the Bing views showing the construction in progress is of houses much smaller than ‘Kirby Hill' & if my math is correct the remaining acreage per house for the 79 homes to be built in this gated community is 1.78 – & that’s not deducting acreage for roads, entrance, etc. ‘Kirby Hill’ is going to appeal to an owner who doesn't mind having or even wants the biggest house & lot in the neighborhood; so we hope such a buyer shows up soon.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Article in today's NYT about the problem selling, and attrition of, Long Island estates, for those who haven't see it: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/10/realestate/10lizo.html?ref=realestate

The Ancient said...

The property taxes on this house are about five times higher than they would be in DC (hardly a low tax environment), and about eight times higher than they would be in the Virginia countryside.

What are you people going to do when the deductibility of state and local taxes goes away?

The Down East Dilettante said...

While we're on the subject---chicken or egg? Why do we think the developers almost invariably do such a bad job of dividing old estates? Because they are driven to build what the customer wants, or is the customer driven to want what the developer wants? I mean, the developer buys and estate probably landscaped and developed over a period of time, with beautiful plantings and vistas, and usually just carves it up, not working with what is good and pre-existing (Look at Little Ipswich, for a good example). then the houses: is the customer teaching the developer to build what to our eyes are ludicrous and ugly, poorly sited, poorly planned houses, or is the developer teaching the customer to want? And how to blame are the community regulations? Many of us would prefer a smaller, more couture house to a silly mcmansion, yet, the majority begs to differ. Discuss.

And if that bores you, the point Ancient raises about taxes fascinates me. What the F are the communities and counties of the North Shore doing with all this tax money? Some of the highest mil rates in the nation, yet all the county parks and properties and museums have critical maintenance issues, the roads aren't gold paved, the schools are not always highest in ratings, etc etc. etc. WHERE is the money that is helping tax these places out of existence going? A sixteen acre ocean front property here, with comparable house, five car garage, 1200 feet of ocean frontage, six room guest cottage and six room servants building and small barn, $35,000 per year, just for comparison.

Anonymous said...

DED....I've been asking for years where all the money is going. I live in a nice town which I was born in,but not fancy to say the least, in a VERY,VERY modest and small home...which in no way compares to the homes on this site, and still I'm being taxed to the point were I will most likely loose my home...and find,even working a full-time job, can no longer afford to live on Long Island. It's maddening!

wooded bliss said...

I know it is very, very, askew with regard to the taxes here and the quality of life.... but, I disagree with the comment about the public schools. Jericho and Syosset and the Great Neck schools are amognst the best public schools in the country.

wooded bliss said...

Amongst..Sorry, I probably should have attended one of the above mentioned schools and I would have learned to spell and type.
P.S. I always regarded Kirby Hill as the Un-Estate, Estate. It always seemed so aloof, off on its own..surrounded by the business of Jericho turnpike. Kirby lane offered a good glimpse to its past, with its farm group adjacent. I am amazed it stayed whole as long as it did.

Anonymous said...

The house I grew up in in Teaneck, N.J. is a 5400 SF home on 2/3 of an acre with a tennis court with a zillow value of 1.4 million has taxes of $42000. Now that's talking about high taxes.

Anonymous said...

The address of it is 166 Norma Road, Teaneck, NJ in case you want to see it.

lil' gay boy said...

"By the way, I love the new address..." That's Mansion Hill Drive, if you please; as in "I'm King of the..."

Despite its ever so slightly moth-eaten appearance, it has indeed endured the last 100+ years well. This isolated little gem seems to have a promising future, especially given the price. As for the tax question, virtually millions of people pay the premium required to live on Long Island simply for the privilege of living and/or working near one of the greatest cities in the world.

"Why do we think the developers almost invariably do such a bad job of dividing old estates?"

In a word? Money. Once the basics are provided for (roads, water & sewage, electric, etc.) the object is to carve out the most lots for the least expense. Will the current driveway serve as a roadbed? Expand it. Does it wander the site or not reach far enough? Pave a new one. Does a century-old alleƩ of trees slice a usable plot down the middle? Tear it out. Does a former formal garden cover the required lot size? Bulldoze it & put in a foundation. It breaks the heart.

Security word - reheri: returning to work at the Hair Club for Men.

Flo said...

"is the customer teaching the developer to build...poorly planned houses, or is the developer teaching the customer to want...Discuss."

It's both, the edge going back and forth in a very shaky balance, but despite unsold r.e. inventory, I think the developer has the upper hand right now primarily by owning desirable land, secondarily by putting an upgradeable-at-a-cost passable product out there that can be adapted by additional trades to the Dream as perceived. In OLI, eg, the owner of Lands End already knows he just needs 5 people out there who'll want those historic lots, who'll want the fairy dust associated with the less-factual-than-whispered Daisy Buchanan dream. Moreover, the developer already knows those 5 customers are coming in the door with a decorator and landscaper. So he doesn't need to throw money at finishing out interiors or exteriors to convey The Possible Dream, all that's necessary for the developer to do is provide a passable semblance of a we're-better-than-they-are shell: the butler's pantry, the high ceilings, the THICK slab marble countertops in the wet areas, the 4 car garage, the library that signifies, and so forth including 3 fireplaces.

Anonymous said...

Great house, awful subdivision. The new walls and gates on Jericho Turnpike look like the entrance to an over the top cemetery.Of course, the location on Jericho turnpike across from a bowling alley doesn't help. When Kirby Lane was still a thru street you could enter from 106 which was far preferable. There were covenants preventing the subdivision, which were disregarded.

NSP

ChipSF said...

Magnus - I remember when the house was offered for sale in 2000 it was "First time ever on the market, owned by original family, etc.". I think you may be right, he was a nephew.

Anonymous said...

LGB..."millions of people pay the premium required", and most are in debt or living off credit. A very large population of Long Islander's cant' even touch one of the homes on this site...even the wealthy seem to be leaving by the droves...look at all the homes for sale in Old Westbury and the Five Towns area, my town (Rockville Centre), you can't walk down a block on a weekend without seeing an "Open House" sign,or for that matter a few "forcloser" notices. I honestly don't consider it a privilege being taxed up the ass because I live 45 minutes from the city, and being able to see a pimple on my neighbors nose through a window cause our homes are built so close together.

Anonymous said...

LGB...I'm sorry...I didn't mean to be so argumentive, and this is not the place for that kind response, so again, I'm sorry and didn't mean to insult. But alot of people are really struggling here,and not just people like me,even the wealthy are feeling it, these taxes are simply unreasonable.....for all of us. I'd rather be a lower foot-man for some rich bugger who maintained a hundred or so acres, then pay taxes to what I feel is a slightly cloaked socialist regime. I will no longer respond on this site with any social or political views...this is not the place and sorry if I offended.

wooded bliss said...

Otherwise,a beautiful home, I think..Must have had an awesome view, back in the day..Very well sited. A solid provenance and built by some of the best of thier day.. I think its very well priced, taxes aside.

lil' gay boy said...

Anon 9:17, no need to apologize; your point is quite well taken and valid to this forum, too. Times are tough.

My only point was that despite tough times, people will place a premium on location for whatever reason ––– a better chance for their family, better education, better opportunities ––– that living close to the city affords. Simple economic forces at work. It is a world-class city, after all.

It's also part of what makes these houses so endangered ––– the land they sit on will always be more valuable (and more endangered) as long as more people can be squeezed on it.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for you guys. Is Long Island the only place in the country that has or had so many great estates and the only place where they are endangered.

I have this dream/fantasy that if I ever win a huge, really huge Powerball, I would buy one of these great estates and restore/preserve it as it was and perhaps offer limited visitations by the public. Oh, by the way, I live in Florida and have had a long term admiration for these great estates. I am deeply saddened seeing what is happening.

The Down East Dilettante said...

There are many regions where there were a lot of great estates, but Long Island is definitely where the style was set as to quantity and quality, and took hold in the popular imagination---and the size of the Island, combined with its East End resorts and North Shore estates, made it a leader of fashion. Many major cities had their regions of Great estates--Philadelphia's main line, Boston's own North Shore and outer suburbs (where can be found Castle Hill, one of the greatest), Westchester County and the Hudson Valley, Fairfield County in Connecticut, the San Francisco suburbs, Santa Barbara---the list goes on. And the great estates are just as endangered in almost all of them. Some, like Greenwich Ct, are the victims of their own popularity, others, like Boston's North shore or Philadelphia's Main Line by many other factors. And how could I forget Chicago's North Shore, also the site of some of the most stylish great estates of the era?

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Inspired by the 85-degree weather and the multitude of early Spring bulbs{sorry DED/TPR} -
***Remnants of Gardens***

I always try and peruse the area of the daily Estate of the Day and see what new LIGC items I can find or update. "Kirby Hall" has the HistoricAerials link added along with the Stone Hill development website that has a little more on the mansion. -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8079057&lon=-73.5266769&z=17&l=0&m=b&show=/2374684/Kirby-Hall

Check nearby to where the stable/garage stood. Across the street stood "Ivy Hall" -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8079057&lon=-73.5266769&z=17&l=0&m=b&show=/14364613/Ivy-Hall-Terrace-Garden-Wall

One of three homes for Virginia Fair Vanderbilt after her divorce from Willie Jr. Follow the wikimapia links to the other two. The HistoricAerials link shows remnants of the grand scale of the garden. -


http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8044381&lon=-73.5491967&z=17&l=0&m=b&show=/19494363/LIGC-Garden-Wall-Remains-from-Virginia-Fair-Vanderbilt-Estate

This question has been asked with never a answer - what happened to the facade of "Greanan" -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.804365&lon=-73.5600221&z=17&l=0&m=b&show=/2579880/Greanan

Follow the link marquette.edu/chapel for the whole story.


Hiding in the trees -


http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8106667&lon=-73.5582304&z=17&l=0&m=b&show=/19320147/Oak-Hill-Walled-Garden

"Knollwood's" Walled Garden -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8289432&lon=-73.5348415&z=14&l=0&m=b&show=/4398734/Former-Knollwood-Walled-Garden

Check the Muttontown Preserve tag for added YouTube links about Knollwood and King Zog.

This one threw me for awhile because I expected the garden to face the water not the roadside{plus its missing its top floors}. -

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.8840667&lon=-73.5491967&z=17&l=0&m=b&show=/19234969/Effendi-Hill

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

To find a comparable area to LIGC you would look to England as the locals did in creating their estates.

The Down East Dilettante said...

hphs (someday, I'd love to hear the root of your name, btw), you've been a busy boy

The Ancient said...

TDED --

I always assumed he started as Hard Sauce, but mellowed.

P.S. HPHS -- Great post.

Anonymous said...

Look at Michigans estate area...most all of what is left is up for sale with no takers.