Friday, June 3, 2011


An advertisement (c. 1923) for 'Broadlawns', the Angeline Rowan Booth estate in Kings Point. Booth was married to Henry Prosper Booth (d. 1909) who was the co-founder with Edward Ward of the James E. Ward Co. and president of the Ward Line.


Doug Floor Plan said...

I think this is ‘Broadlawns’ on Harbour Road (not Broadlawn Avenue) viewed in Bing: Difficult to see much of the house because of the trees but it appears the half moon portico & the dormer windows have been removed; but those flanking fireplaces, which to me look more like sentry towers, remain. The house almost looks like its two houses joined together – I wonder if the ‘V’s formed in the joined roofs are proned to leak. & not that it matters – but in this first view Bing caught a helicopter flying over the bend in Harbour Road, just past the house.

I like the For Sale write-up – not only was this estate fairly self-sustaining but also appears to be home to a flower delivery business. & plenty of staff quarters with an interesting reflection of importance in that there are four rooms & a bath over the stables for the single men but the chauffer is assigned to a suite of five rooms and bath over the six-car garage. There is still a detached garage on the property but I’m counting four garage bays so I wonder if this wasn’t another building originally. I’m guessing of the original 50 acres only 4 still surround the house.

magnus said...

Portico too large, chimneys too massive but the whole thing seems to work to my eye at least. I rather like the place.

And DFP- my guess is that there was no flower business here- and that the accoutrement for packing and shipping flowers was geared towards sending the garden and greenhouse produce into a Manhattan house or apartment. Them were the days as they say.

As an aside, as a gardener myself, and owner of a greenhouse which I had dismantled about 5 years ago- Central American growers and highly efficient shipping have brought the most amazing plants and cut flowers to us at prices that would have been considered shockingly low 20 years ago. Orchids are now almost as common as dandelions for instance and are even offered for sale at my local grocers. If you enjoy gardening, a greenhouse is a wonderful luxury. As an economic proposition in a northern clime, however, it's a disaster.

Doug Floor Plan said...

Magnus, thank you for your insight. I went back & reread the sales brochure & see now a potential buyer is being told the delivery car has its own garage, separate from the family car(s) garage. Another comment about the allocation of staff quarters – the chauffer gets five rooms & a bath, single men each get their own room & share four-to-a bath, but the brochure just says there are quarters for the gardeners over the flower packing house … makes it sound like a big room lined with bunk beds.

I also agree the house is not well designed but it does work somehow. At least the oversized portico distracted from those massive flanking chimneys; with the portico gone this side of the house must look almost fortress-like.

Magnus, sorry you concluded it was time to dismantle your greenhouse; I am not a gardener but understand the joy people take in it. My grocer also has a florist department (which is jam-packed with desperate looking men on Mother’s Day) & yes, the prices for the products in bloom are below what I would spend on just the components, not including labor.

magnus said...

DFP- The greenhouse was a great place to start seedlings. It was also my great pride and joy to grow masses of freesias: Their fragrance is sublime but is all but entirely lost when the blooms are refrigerated for shipping. Alas, I found that almost everything else could be purchased far more cheaply than grown. I do miss the damn thing though, I must admit.

As to the chauffer and his quarters- this probably speaks to the somewhat vaunted position that the proffession enjoyed in the earlier years of the last century when break-downs were frequent and a chauffer had to be something of a mechanic and engineer as well.

The Ancient said...

Meanwhile, elsewhere on Long Island ...

It's heartening to see a huge house torn down to make way for something even bigger. (I guess that's why the hedgies insist on that special, low tax rate!)

Anonymous said...

As far as "Broadlawns" I think that massive portico and fireplaces are amazing...shame to see the portico gone....

Magnus...I'd give anything for a greenhouse...even a tiny one....I was sad to read you had to tear yours down.

Ancient....that's horrible!!! It looked such a beautiful and well maintained we have more info on it before that scum-bag tore it down?

Turner Pack Rats said...

bad idea to take the half moon portico off - that and the chimneys worked together but not so much without the portico. also, it made this an imposing structure but what really made it work was being surrounded by all that landscaping esp flowers. now, with it pinched by all the neighbors, it looks small and crowded.
DFP - If thats 4 acres, then you must be using the same measure in that old joke about why women can't be carpenters - because men keep telling them that **** is 12 inches. that poor house is on a postage stamp lot. i would never tear a legacy house down but i think if i had money to buy one, i'd get it the heck out of there.(in my time and space machine)
magnus et al - re:greenhouse - i always wanted one too and esp. since i raise about 9000 veggie seedlings a year but farmers are always out of money so i invented a low cost hoophouse. i built it out of 3/4" PVC pipe and covered it with commercial greenhouse plastic. i built a 40 foot house for $160 that i at 6'6" can stand up in and it works fantastic. i have to remove the plastic in the winter as it won't take snow but to have a greenhouse for 8 months a year is a real boon and treat. anyone interested, email me - and i'll send plans free which have all the kinks worked out. i've had it for 3 years now and it stood up to a 60 MPH wind. its great and painless to the pocketbook.
re the tepper teardown - WTF - my same old lament - go ahead and build a new mansion but don't kill all the plants and landscaping. up here in the colonies, people move into my formerly rural town from the city and the first thing they do is remove every single living thing from the lot. some don't put anything on the lot but the house - no tree, no shrub no flower - kind of like being in the city, wot? others go and buy all the things they just paid to have removed. the age-old def of insanity. doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.

security word def - "gorth" - 1. unfortunate wedding of famous country singer and offspring of celebrated Japanese monster - the progeny of which still married their sister 2. direction to snowbirds in summer

Turner Pack Rats said...

one more rant - i got looking at neighborhood that used to be Broadlawn's land. i hate it when they name streets for what used to be there, in this case, "COW LANE and ORCHARD LANE". they should call them "Rape of Land Road" or "Development Boulevard" - something more descriptive.

security word def - "bessum" - what the "one" that developed this land and lands end was trying to do without any success.

Anonymous said...

Different house?,+Kings+Point,+New+York:nelat:34.0953795360101:nelong:-118.425196978713:swlat:34.0927044284401:swlong:-118.428041661545:nosp:0:adj:0/5872/style=auto&lat=qt3b77&lon=8vpqnx&alt=-24.352989&z=19&h=81.596986&pid=5874

Doug Floor Plan said...

TPR – you are correct that the remaining land around ‘Broadlawns’ is far less than four acres; I was distracted by the trees & probably the hope that a more respectful amount of real estate remained. My revised guess is that less than two acres of the original 50 remain. I guess ‘postage stamp’ kind of depends on what you’re used to – this house still has privacy from the street &, to me, looks squeezed mostly because the owners chose to fill up the back yard with a full-size tennis court & a swimming pool, both at an angle on the lot, & whatever else that is back there.

Anon 12:02pm – the Bing link you provided goes to a house two doors east of the house I linked to. Yes, the house you identified has a half-moon portico but the chimneys are at the ends of the house & not on the long side as Zach’s photo of ‘Broadlawns’ shows. I think it’s far more likely that a subsequent owner removed the portico than relocated at least two chimneys. Anyone feel free to disagree with me.

lil' gay boy said...

No Doug, you're not mistaken; I recognized it immediately from Zack's posting in his "When ________ Was For Sale" series a while back. The house our Anon friend spotted was known at the time as Beachleigh; and although on much reduce acreage, still nicely sited for incredible North Shore sunsets & Manhattan skyline views.

I wonder just when Broadlawns' White House-like portico was demolished & why; politics or economics?


Security word - dabiale: nickname for the output of a microbrewery on the grounds of a religious retreat.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Property in question is "Grove Point". Estate for Samuel Vernon Mann, Sr. with landscaping by Beatrix Jones Farrand.

We lost "Broadlawns" sometime after 1994. It stood here -

Google Earth has it still standing in 1994, empty lot in 2000, current structure built soon after that.

The perfect circle cutout to the sea north of Broadlawns was part of the Alphonse Henry Alker estate "Idlewilde".

"Gracefield" to the south -

Doug Floor Plan said...

HPHS, in case I haven’t said it before I’ll say it now: your powers of Internet research are way impressive!

You are correct that the house I identified as ‘Broadlawn’ is not the same house you found historic pictures of, so clearly ‘Broadlawn’ was somewhere else. I can’t identify ‘Broadlawn’ in the 1966 Historic Arial you linked to (but that’s me & my limitations) but you state that ‘Idlewilde’ was to the north, which I think would put ‘Broadlawn’ without water frontage & in the sales brochure Zach posted it says, “frontage on Manhasset Bay.” (which is why I went down the coastline looking for the house) I’m afraid I have only a question here, not an answer. On the back of the 1 cent picture postcard you linked to it says, “Box 150 Great Neck NY Aug 2 [can’t read rest of date] N. dear, this is the type of house of wealthy [can’t read word], shore frontage, house cannot be seen from road – large estate.”

I’ll also point out that all the locations we’re looking at are in Kings Point & all the photographs are labeled Great Neck – but I remember Zach has said town lines sometimes moved around so that may mean nothing.

Doug Floor Plan said...

I'm going to correct my previous comment: As best I can make out the postcard reads:
“Box 150 Great Neck NY Aug 27, '7
N. dear, this is the type of
house of wealthy [can’t read] on
shore frontage. Houses can-
not be seen from road –
large estates.”
To me this still supports that 'Broadlawn' fronted & could be seen from Manhasset Bay.

I searched the shoreline again on Bing & believe HPHS is correct that 'Broadlawn' has been demolished.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Perhaps another Realtor gilding the lily as they say??? I detect a "curve" facing west looking towards the pond where I think the place stood matching the post card view. It would have stood at the top of the rise looking west having a full 360 degree view. It fits the Spinzia info just not updated to its demo. The kicker for me was HistoricMapWorks has the Booth property land locked with Mann and Alker fronting the shore. No other homes stood between Booth and Mann so its possible access was limited re: post card.

If you move the 1966 map to the other side of the pond you'll find still standing "Cedar Pond Farm"{demolished} for Edward Alker son of Alphonse. Next property over was owned by brother James Ward Alker. House looks to be heavily renovated

Anonymous said...

My relative's family developed Broadlawn Harbor. The land came from two adjacent estates. I remember him telling me that they demolished two wings on the original mansion. It was difficult to sell. Jimmy Walker, the Mayor of NY looked at tit. There was a famous opera star that was looking at it too.

The family lived in the old carriage houses because no one wanted them. They were the last to sell. WWII and material shortages made it the whole development business a very tough deal.

I'm not sure about the waterfront location. Waterfront houses were not a big seller at the time. They went for less.

There's a greenbelt right outside Broadlawn Harbor Yacht club that's actually the graveyard from one of the estates.

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Anonymous said...

I grew up in what was left of "Broadlawns". Sometime in the past the columns, the porticos, the third floor, and one chimney was removed. Possibly there was a fire? I assume the 50 acres was broken up at the same time. By 1950 the house is what it is now. The single chimney shows that the house faced East Shore Road, now it faces Broadlawn Ave. The acreage was about 1 1/2ac.