Friday, May 18, 2012

The Gardens of 'Gardenside'

 The gardens of 'Gardenside', the Frederick A. Snow estate designed c. 1900 in Southampton with landscaping by Clarence Fowler.  The residence was originally built for Francis Lewis Wellman, attorney and partner in the firm of Wellman & Gooch.  Snow was also an attorney and president of Snow & Snow, a real estate and insurance firm.  These 1914 photos were taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston.  In 1982 the house and gardens were extensively remodeled.  Click HERE to see 'Gardenside' on bing.




Photos from the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress).

9 comments:

magnus said...

I do believe that Gardenside, substantially remodelled, eventually became the summer residence of Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan and was the setting of a famous Vogue photograph of her in her latter years.

Mme. Balsan's great-grandaughter was a friend of mine in childhood. Her parents lived in a cottage on the grounds of Gardenside, and I would visit regularly for what today they call playdates. Occasionally, we would be invited to Mme. Balsan's for lunch. My step-mother told me years later that she realized what a pain in the ass I was going to become when, returning home from one of these lunches (I was about 6 at the time), I announced, "Mme. Balsan must be very rich. She has two chandeliers in her living room".

Doug Floor Plan said...

Referencing an earlier comment made by Ancient -- you're not likely to find 'Gardenside' today by recognizing the garden ... which is a shame.

I like your story, Magnus & think you did well establishing criteria for wealth at the age of 6; I'm not sure what criteria you'd use today but it would probably include an infinity pool.

Zach said...

magnus...

Do you happen to remember where on Ox Pasture this place is located?

The Down East Dilettante said...

I remember where Gardenside is located. Here you go: http://binged.it/Kopvkx

Unless I'm mistaken, the little cottage at the rear of the property later became the property of uber decorator Mark Hampton?

The Down East Dilettante said...

Gardenside today:

http://www.corcoran.com/property/listing.aspx?Region=LI3&ListingID=39066

The Down East Dilettante said...

Blogger The Down East Dilettante said...

Here's a link to the Horst photograph that Magnus references of Mme. Balsan in the drawing room that she added to 'Gardenside'. If I remember correctly, the 18th century boiserie was brought from one of her previous houses. One presumes the superb 18th century chandelier above her is one of the two that inspired Magnus's astute observation?

Actually, I was also the sort of six year old who was acutely aware of the trappings of wealth, and I think that there are quite a few clues in this photograph. Hard to believe this is the daughter of the man who built 'Idle Hour'. What a difference a generation makes.

Speaking of the trappings of wealth, one also has to remember that 'Gardenside' was Mme. Balsan's idea of downsizing in her old age, when her country estate became too much. Just for the heck of it, here's a picture of her in the drawing room of the Palm Beach house to which she also downsized when she sold her famous 'Casa Alva' in Manalapan. Mme. Balsan must have been very rich. She had two 17th century red lacquer cabinets in her drawing room :-)

Gardenside drawing room: http://www.flickr.com/photos/herry/2222496311/

Palm Beach drawing room:
http://books.google.com/books?id=cUkEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA57&dq=consuelo%20balsan%20palm%20beach&pg=PA56-IA2#v=onepage&q=consuelo%20balsan%20palm%20beach&f=false

magnus said...

And the Palm Beach house later became the residence of a "Grand Dame" of a very different order- "Dame" (and she really was a dame) Celia Lipton Farris who, judging from photographs, replaced Mme. Balsan's very real and very good Louis XV and XVI furniture with overly shiny and overly gilded 19th and 20th century renditions of same. I'm sure she thought it an improvement.

Anonymous said...

long way to drive just for lunch.

Me said...

The LIFE Magazine Vanderbilt story that featured Mme Balsan and carried the elegantly dressed portrait of her indicates that photo was taken in "Palm Beach." However, I see a lot of conflicting stories online about the origin of the Horst/Vogue photos. Some report they were taken in Palm Beach at the residence on El Vedado Way and others suggest they were taken at the "Gardensides" residence in Southampton. Any thoughts, verifiable records? I must admit, I've not seen the Vogue book and perhaps there's a notation there.