Thursday, April 5, 2012

'Spring Hill'

Looking down over the stable and greenhouses at 'Spring Hill', the Henry C. Phipps estate designed by John Russell Pope c. 1903 (for W.L. Stow) in Old Westbury. Click HERE for more on 'Spring Hill' (be sure to scroll past today's post).


HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Off subject - I added a link to a great new site from a author who lived next door to Mona Bismark in BayVille.

OMG email updates!!!

The Ancient said...


Horace Trumbauer house burns outside Philadelphia.

h/t Gary Lawrance

It's alarming to see how fast a fire can spread in less than eight minutes, even with the fire department in attendance.

Kellsboro Jack said...

That Horace Trumbauer property - Bloomfield @ 200 S Ithan Ave. Villanova, PA - has been on the market for a while. In 2009 it was $15.5M, then dropping to $6.9M in early 2011, another $1M less in November ...

No nibbles for the property and now it happens to burn.

archibuff said...

Jack..........while your perseptive suspicions would normally be absolutely correct when a home is not selling or in the way of development and miraculously self-ignites one night, this home was being rented and the occupants were at home along with a housekeeper so even the sleaziest of developers or owners, (insert name here) would be foolish to start a fire, risking the lives of the occupants. The home from the photos, appeared to be in great condition with beautiful interior rooms. Very unfortunate but that fire appears to have caused massive damage and even if a portion of it can be rebuilt, where do you find the craftsmen to restore the lost interiors? Looks like the estate and whats left of teh gardens will finally be lost completely to the horrible subdivisions that now surround it.

Kellsboro Jack said...

The Ancient, I would be very reckless in my posting if I didn't clarify that no intent existed for anyone to suggest a connecting of dots between a fire and the house being for sale.

Rather it was more of a sad commentary that seemingly no one wanted to purchase it and now it's effectively gone. Wiped clean by unfortunately circumstances.

Lodi said...

In Kellsboro Jack's defense - an intentional burn down was my first thought also. I have a very suspicious nature I guess. Here is a link to more video showing the fire spreading into the main part of the house. It was a beautiful place. Makes your heart hurt to watch it burn.

Zach L. said...

That video is nauseating.

The most recent from FoxPhilly:

Police Investigate Huge Mansion Fire
Published : Thursday, 05 Apr 2012, 4:59 PM EDT

The investigation into a fire that destroyed a 100-year-old Main Line mansion has been handed over to the state police.

Police and fire investigators kept busy on the grounds of the Bloomfield estate on Thursday in Radnor, Pa.

Trucks carted in fencing for a temporary perimeter around the burnt out 22,000 square foot mansion.

On Wednesday, firefighters tried for three hours to get the upper hand on the stubborn blaze.

And, some people are still wondering if construction blasting in the ground just a few hundred yards away may have sparked the blaze.

Fox29 spoke with one neighbor who said he heard the blasting just before the fire started.

Zach L. said...

That video also really shows just how difficult it had to have been to fight a fire in a house of that size 100 years ago (let alone more).

Even 40 foot retractable ladders that enabled the fire department to attack the flames from above weren't enough to keep the fire from ultimately consuming the entire top of the house. It must have been beyond frustrating to stand there and watch that happen in person.

Anonymous said...

If you read the article it states that no one was home at the time of the fire. I always fall to the side the place was taken down on purpose.

The Ancient said...

Zach --

You might want to archive those videos for use in some future post about the house itself.

archibuff said...

Anon you should read the latest news from April 5th since CBS Philly and Action News 6 and other articles state the couple renting the home fled the house when the fire was discovered at 2:30 in the afternoon. The fire alarms in the home went off and they left the home with their dogs, so while I would normally blame an owner down on his luck or a desperate developer who wants to move things along, it most likely originated in the service wing and was out of control long before anyone was able to detect it. Unfortunate circumstances. The only suspicious thing is that the home had a sprinkler system and fire alarm yet the blaze looked like a raging inferno. Sprinklers were ineffective. It appears the massive slate roof actually hindered the fire fighting efforts. From the latest photos the home appears to be a total loss.

Lodi said...

I read yesterday in the London Daily Mail (not always the most reliable source, I know)that the husband and wife were in their respective offices upstairs when they smelled smoke and ran outside to ask the gardener where the fire was. (They also rescued their pet rabbit) :) Whatever happened it is a great loss.