Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Playhouse at 'Greentree'

 The T. Markoe Robertson designed playhouse to 'Greentree', the Payne Whitney estate designed by d'Hauteville & Cooper c. 1903 in Manhasset.  It was on this indoor court in 1927 that Whitney was stricken ill and soon died from "acute indigestion" leaving behind the largest ever estate recorded up to that time at $180,000,000.  Click HERE and HERE for more on 'Greentree'.  Click HERE to see the estate on google earth and HERE on bing.  Click HERE to see video of people playing on the Greentree court in 1997 via youtube.

Photos from Architecture, 1914.


Anonymous said...

love the pool!
the tennis court I believe is for"court tennis" which
is very different from what the general public today
knows..there were only a handful of facilities built in the US.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Well, this is a grand start to your sixth year. I've never seen thsee photos before. What a treat. Deep, quiet grand luxe. If Mr. Whitney ever asked himself, "How rich am I", he did not have to look far for the answer. It's all rather like a dream, isn't it?

Speaking of dreams, so long ago that it might have been, I went to a party in Palm Beach, as surreal as any I've ever been to anywhere. Among the waxwork guests was a creepy plastic surgeon, who pointing to our elderly hostess, as fully renovated, lifted, and resurfaced as Ronald Perelman's beach house, looking as if she had been embalmed when younger, all while rubbing my arm a bit too suggestively, asked "Isn't she wonderful? She's all my work", as surely as Dr. Frankenstein must have asked for admiration for his monster. But I digress---why am I telling you all this? Because another among the guest was a thin, refined woman of fairly great age, with an auburn pageboy hairdo that suggested that for her 1928 was not yet over, a face painted on like a mask with deepest red lips, and as I remember, a long cigarette holder0---but I may have imagined that last detail. She was pointed out to me as the former Cordelia Biddle Duke, the widow of T. Markoe Robertson, the architect of this playhouse.

Zach said...

T. Markoe being the son of the architect R.H. Robertson.

The younger Robertson had a place in Old Westbury as well as his father's house in Southampton:

The Devoted Classicist said...

What a treat!

Patricia said...

DED's anecdote remind me how much I miss Dominick Dunne's writing about these same sort of folks. Wonderful stuff.

Dovecote Decor said...

It took me a minute to place the fellow who took the video. I knew he looked familiar, but we have all changed so much. I looked through a few of my other videos and saw his older brother--my first kiss and probably his 1,000th! It made me smile. I have never seen this play house, but the pool....its a stunner. I'm having a love affair with swimming pools these days. Have you seen Ed Hollander's new book, The Private Oasis? It is a stunner. Thanks for the smile.