Wednesday, November 30, 2011

'Matinecock Point'

'Matinecock Point', the J.P. Morgan Jr. estate designed by Christopher Grant LaFarge c. 1913 on East Island in Glen Cove. Morgan was partner in J.P. Morgan and Co., director and chairman of the board of United States Steel Corp., and vice-president of the board of the Museum of Natural History in NYC among many other things. The house was demolished in 1980 after the surrounding property had been subdivided. Click HERE, HERE and HERE for more on 'Matinecock Point'. Click HERE to see where the estate stood on google earth.


Pictures from The Brickbuilder, 1913.

18 comments:

Doug Floor Plan said...

I think Zach is teasing us -- he found a very nice architectural elevation & partial cross section for 'Matinecock Point' but still no floor plans! Also, no interior photographs, which is kind of surprising (to me) for a house like this.

Zach said...

I've destroyed the floor plans on purpose just to bother you DFP.

But seriously...nothing else was included with these photos in this 98 year old issue of The Brickbuilder...so you will unfortunately have to take it up with their editors...who may or may not be zombies by now.

The Devoted Classicist said...

The exterior images and masonry details were the primary interest of the trade magazine, so the omission of other views is understandable. I enjoy seeing the details despite not being able to actually study them. The house seems to have been particularly well built. Maybe zoning prohibited dividing the house into condominiums?

The Down East Dilettante said...

We all lament the loss of various houses, but this is one that I think was a particular shame---although the house was good, it wasn't exceptional----what was exceptional was le tout ensemble---the way house, garden, landscape and site all worked together. It was just right---a fact highlighted by the ghastly way the point was subdivided post mortem.

The Ancient said...

In re: "Matinicock Point."

The Morgan Library has interior photographs of the house, and they may also have a spare set of blueprints -- or perhaps a floorplan attached to an insurance inventory.

Ask them nicely and they'll probably be happy to share.

Also:

http://corsair.themorgan.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?Search_Arg=Matinicock&Search_Code=GKEY^&PID=R0oCmsOY8kv0gP0oBis-g0_6LG3W&SEQ=20111130121531&CNT=50&HIST=1

The Ancient said...

Matinicock Point Gardens

http://siris-archives.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=TP2267656502V.13474&profile=all&uri=link=3100006~!99798~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=Browse&menu=search&ri=2&source=~!siarchives&term=Morgan%2C+John+Pierpont%2C+Mrs.&index=NAMEP

Patricia said...

I'm curious when this home stopped being a family residence. What brings this to mind is that a fellow I went to high school with told me a few years back that his grandfather had been head caretaker on this estate and how "they" would let the grandkids come and how much fun they would have playing, and with animals that were there. That would have been in the 50s and 60s... so were Morgan family members in residence then?

Mansions of the Gilded Age, Gary Lawrance, AIA said...

I was in the house before it was dynamited. They had a sale where you could buy anything. Windows, doors, sinks,the flagstones. I bought some door knobs. I remember one of the closets had a pile of drawings all thrown about. I wish I had gotten some of those. The house was very large and I remember a center hall going along the front of the house and the staircase going off of that and towards the back. It was not your typical plan. Take a look at my posting on, Mansions of the Gilded Age for views of the house in color before it was destroyed and go to the Magazine article about the North Shore and the estate being broken up. Really one of the great properties that should have been saved. I have seen quite a few articles about the gardens and the whole driveway in the spring was almost a mile of daffodils.

http://garylawrance.blogspot.com/2010/10/mattinecock-point-glen-cove-residence.html

Mansions of the Gilded Age, Gary Lawrance, AIA said...

Maybe some of the drawings are here!

http://findingaids.princeton.edu/getEad?eadid=C0688&kw=

The Ancient said...

GL --

Good catch!

http://catalog.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?SC=Subject&SA=Morgan%2C%20J.%20P.%20%28John%20Pierpont%29%2C%201867-1943%20--%20Homes%20and%20haunts&CNT=50&PID=JADL2sLF2Dyq700nUcKqz4Nsxm&BROWSE=1&HC=1&SID=1

Anonymous said...

I remember that amazing staircase with very short risers which made the climb effortless. Plus loved the ornate wooden spindles. The house had a particularly fine wood panelled dining room, stained a pale green with gilded mouldings if I remember correctly. Also attended the sale and acquired 2 mantles with coal grates and all the marble trim from 2 upstairs bedrooms. This house should never have been demolished but unfortunately for the small minded, nimby residents of East Island who did not want to back the condo conversion that was proposed and actually preferred to see the mansion demolished and replaced by the 4 crappy houses built instead. What a waste of resources and the house was built like a bomb shelter. The attic was all concrete and brick. Very sad.

The Ancient said...

Off-topic:

In that 1948 article from Holiday that Gary links on his website, there's a passage that bears on a discussion we had the other day:

"In the upper floors, for example, hard by the luggage elevator, signs announce "trunk room" -- "visitors' trunk room" -- "maids' trunk room -- "visiting maids' trunk room."

Zach said...

The 'Visiting Maids' Trunk Room' was clearly the predecessor to the 'Visiting Team's Locker Room'.

I can see the maids now...trunks and all, high-fiving each other as their names are announced upon entering the visiting home....a string quartet playing in the background.

Anonymous said...

As the Ancient mentioned again, regarding an elevator on the Oak Point floor plans. The elevator was accessible to the household, but was located in a service corridor. As noted in the 1948 article, most home elevators at this time werent centrally located in the main part of the house since their main function was to haul trunks up to the bedrooms and storage rooms when guests brought luggage to last them several weeks. They also took the occasional guest, It is however, quite extravagant to have a separation of servants trunks from other trunks, presumably confirming that social and class rankings even were delegated to everyday mundane objects.

The Ancient said...

Regarding the separation trunks on the basis of "social and class rankings":

I think there is a much more mundane explanation. The "trunk rooms" themselves were usually not much more than closets on steroids -- often in the eaves of a house. Parking the luggage by ownership probably made it easier for the people who packed and moved the trunks to find what they were looking for without much fuss in a strange house.

(In the country, we have a dozen or so trunks in the attics that belonged to our great-grandparents, and three others that were made specially to attach to carriages that were used for European tours in the 1840s. We ourselves used trunks for long vacations into the Eighties, but gradually gave it up. Nowadays, if you want to use a trunk, it needs to be put in the boot of your Gulfstream 5.)

Anonymous said...

You can still see Mrs. Morgan's daffodils along Mansion Drive every April. Take a drive down-it's worth it.

Robert said...

I had a friend who's dad was in local government. My friend was into photography and the night before they started to demolish the mansion he called me and said his dad cleared it with the security guard to let us into the mansion to take pictures. When we were walking around we came into a large room that had 2' thick doors and behind one of the doors was a small hatch that was painted shut. I asked the guard what was behind the hatch and he tried to open it and it didn't budge. He stepped back and kicked it in and said "have a look". I pulled out a wooden box that had a crystal wall sconce and several spare arms, lamp shades, and other crystal pieces. I asked the guard what was going to happen to the box and he said "take it, after tomorrow it will be crushed. I still have it.

Bonnie said...

I think that before demolition the nuns owned or lased it. Though not attached in ny wy. This was the greatest unnecessary destruction ever on LOng island. I still think of it