Monday, March 16, 2015

"ALADDIN'S PALACE" THE WASHINGTON RESIDENCE OF MR. EDSON BRADLEY, CONNECTICUT AVENUE AND DUPONT CIRCLE, WASHINGTON D. C.

William Galt house at 1328 Connecticut Avenue.
“not only one of the finest residences in the city, but one of the pleasantest homes.”

     In 1876, a wealthy local flour merchant by the name of William M. Galt built only the second house that was located directly on Dupont Circle. When Galt’s house at 1328 Connecticut Avenue was complete, the Washington Star described it as “not only one of the finest residences in the city, but one of the pleasantest homes.” When they had finally settled into their magnificent new residence, they began to entertain on a large scale. But Galt and his wife only stayed in the house until 1880, when he sold it to Alexander Graham Bell’s future father-in-law, Gardner Greene Hubbard. Hubbard then remodeled and expanded the house. 

     In 1907, Gardner Greene Hubbard’s widow sold the house at 1328 Connecticut Avenue to a Kentucky whiskey distiller, Edson Bradley, who again remodeled and significantly expanded the house. 


STONELEIGH COURT APARTMENTS
Stoneleigh Court cost $1 million when built IN 1905 and its interior was the plushest in Washington. It was once one of the most fashionable hotel residences in the city. The halls were of marble, trimmed with oil-finished birch and oak. The floors were of oak and Alabama pine, and the lobby was finished in marble mosaic. The exterior sported elaborate cornices, and the heating system was considered the latest in comfort. This was the specific design of its owner, John Hay, Secretary of State under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.



March 4, 1907
"HUBBARD HOUSE SOLD --  Edson Bradley Dupont Circle Residence -- PRICE SAID TO BE $166,500 New Yorker Acquires Mansion in Heart of Fashionable Section -- Plans to Remodel and Build Valuable Addition to Present Structure -- On Same Block with the British Embassy. One of the largest sales of property that ever has been made in the Dupont Circle section has been closed by the sale of the Gardiner G. Hubbard property to Edson Bradley, of New York City and Tuxedo. The sale was made during the past few days, but no information was given as to the price received or the name of the purchaser until last night. It is understood that the price per square foot was $10, which makes the consideration $166,500. It is said to be Mr. Bradley's intention to remodel and make extensive improvements on the property, besides making a valuable addition on the southern part. The location is said to be one of the finest in the fashionable section of Washington. For several years, Mr. Bradley, who is prominent in financial and social circles in New York, has been making Washington his winter-home having occupied apartments at Stoneleigh Court. He is well know here, having taken an active part in the social life of the city in Millionaire Colony. The property faces Dupont Circle at the juncture of Connecticut Avenue and Nineteenth Street. It was formerly known as the Galt mansion, and consists of an aggregate area of about 16,650 square feet, which is improved by a large residence. It is on the same square with the British Embassy, and is located near other residences of financial and social people. Its situation and the value of the residence have attracted numerous prospective buyers during the last few years."    

    Even after Hubbard's expansion of the original Gait house, it was still not large enough for the Bradleys. Bradley contracted New York architect Howard Greenley to rebuild the house. Entire rooms were purchased and imported intact from France and installed. When the improvements were complete after four years of work, the house covered more than half a city block and featured a Gothic chapel with seating for 150, a large ballroom, an art gallery, a five-hundred-seat theater with an electric action pipe organ and a reception hall on the second floor re-creating a Roman atrium. It was known as "Aladdin's Palace" due to its sheer size and grandiose nature. During the season, famous divas and world-famous musicians gave fortnightly musicales in the theater.

    "The type of the New York millionaire, lavish in entertainment, is best exemplified by the Edson Bradley's. Their magnificent mansion on Connecticut Avenue portrays the fact that neither money nor artistic taste has been spared in either its interior or its exterior decorations." New York Times 1911
    


 THE WASHINGTON RESIDENCE OF MR. EDSON BRADLEY, CONNECTICUT AVENUE AND DUPONT CIRCLE, WASHINGTON D. C. Howard Greenley, Architect



    The house which forms the subject of this article is one of the oldest in the Dupont Circle section of Washington, having been built, approximately, thirty-five years ago. The block on which it stands was originally owned by the British Government, and  was subsequently disposed of to other property holders, the legation buildings themselves being situated at the southern extremity.

ORIGINAL HOUSE BEFORE ALTERATIONS
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
BASEMENT FLOOR PLAN
Floor Plan of Old House Before Alterations
FIRST FLOOR PLAN
Floor Plan of Old House Before Alterations
SECOND FLOOR PLAN
Floor Plan of Old House Before Alterations
    It was required of the architect to perform an alteration to the existing house and make additions thereto of greater extent than the dimensions of the original. The photograph of the house, before alterations, conveys some idea of the problem which had to be solved to produce a result satisfactory in plan and elevation, without modification of the existing lines of the old building. The first question to be decided was the advisability of tearing down the existing house in view of the considerable alterations necessitated and a new building studied from the ground up. From the survey it was apparent that the old house encroached to a considerable extent upon the Nineteenth street building lines. These lines had been determined by the Commissioners of the District at a later period and any constructions prior to these determinations could continue to occupy the additional area. In making a preliminary plan it seemed advisable to consider this area. The additional space secured and the possibility of a more picturesque architectural result in the exterior had sufficient weight to offset the more economic project of demolition and reconstruction and the result appears to have proven the wisdom of this decision.

The lot is triangular in shape with the acute angle of the apex on Dupont Circle and the sides fronting respectively on Connecticut Avenue and Nineteenth Street.

    The lot is triangular in shape with the acute angle of the apex on Dupont Circle and the sides fronting respectively on Connecticut Avenue and Nineteenth Street. The disregard of the building lines on Nineteenth Street makes possible a room of ample dimensions on all floors, as will be seen in the plans. Therefore, any new building would necessarily set back many feet further from the apex until sufficient area was subtended by the side of the triangle to permit of the same width now existent; certainly a disadvantage.


    The materials generally used in the construction of the original house were red pressed brick with trimmings of sandstone, surmounted by a semi-Gothic cornice of galvanized iron. Chimneys of top-heavy design soared from the roof, and excrescences of wood and metal projected here and there as porches or conservatories. It was conceived in a style of architecture which flourished in the Victorian era, similar in all respects to the lamentable Eastlake style of furniture, but in this instance executed as the facade of a building. Notwithstanding the lack of taste in the architectural detail the old house bore itself with dignity. Its interesting silhouette of roof and its quiet and unobtrusive color in a setting of old trees, lawns and shrubbery was distinctly agreeable. It was a familiar corner to those who lived in the neighborhood and it seemed worth while to preserve the sentiment attached to the site and surroundings. So it is that while a change has been effected and a larger building occupies the site, there is no abrupt transition to disturb the passer-by as might easily have happened by the intrusion of a new house in all the glare and uncompromising whiteness of marble.

Basement Plan, Showing Alterations and Additions
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
First Floor Plan, Showing Alterations and Additions
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
Second Floor Plan, Showing Alterations and Additions
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
    After this important preliminary had been decided and the plans determined, the next step in the problem was the selection of a style for the treatment of the exterior which would best adapt itself to the plan, not only to the necessary substitutions in the remodeling of the old part, but also that the new and the old should harmonize to produce a definite ensemble. It was evident that any treatment of brick and stone could best be developed in the style of the French Renaissance. The roof of the old house was strongly suggestive of the style, and when connected with the lofty roof of the south pavilion by the long ridge showing on the Connecticut Avenue elevation, produced a most effective sky-line. The diversity of detail in this style, its adaptability to a wide variation in the silhouette of the plan, and the absence of any of the well defined rules of composition occurring in the purely classic, permitted the architect a much greater latitude than would otherwise have been obtainable. As a result, a picturesque and old-world charm has been secured, comparable to an intelligent restoration of some chateau of the period.

NORTH ELEVATION, SHOWING ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
Edson Bradley's remodeled Gardiner Greene Hubbard's home on Dupont Circle in 1907. Samuel Carter's house is to the left, and beyond that is Phillips Row. 


CONNECTICUT AVENUE ELEVATION
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
CONNECTICUT AVENUE ELEVATION, SHOWING ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
DETAIL OF ENTRANCE, CONNECTICUT AVENUE,
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
CONNECTICUT AVENUE FACADE
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
DETAIL OF CONNECTICUT AVENUE FACADE
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
SOUTH ELEVATION, SHOWING ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
REAR ELEVATION SOUTHWEST CORNER
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
19TH STREET ELEVATION, SHOWING ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
    There were many problems to be solved during the course of the work of alteration and re-construction. Careful experiment was necessary to determine the scale of the detail, the proper elevations of the new stone cornices and courses, and finally the amount of stone to be used in contrast with the brick. The result of all this study and experiment was, first, to imitate the old brick work as closely as possible, and permit such discrepancies in color and texture to become gradually effaced by the effect of time and weather: secondly, to use stone sparingly, its use being restrained to constructive purposes for the most part only, as, for example, in the sills and lintels, parapets and balustrades, etc. The use of quoins was almost entirely eliminated except where necessary to tie into the brick work some projecting motive, such as balcony or oriel window. Indiana limestone was selected to replace throughout the original sandstone. The reveals of the windows were but four inches in depth, making the substitution of the new stone lintels and sills comparatively easy. The old brickwork was carefully removed and built in around the new stone work and any remaining amount preserved for distribution in the walls of the addition. The architect was fortunate in being able to avail himself generally throughout the first floor of a quantity of very unusual old stained glass, which by rare chance required no alteration to fit the windows except in the clear leaded field surrounding it. In the other windows the quaint and curious designs in the leading of the field of the stained glass were utilized. The effect of the glass, the slight reveal, and the delicate carving of the stone ornament makes of each window a very beautiful detail in the dull rose color of the brickwork. Canopied niches occur over the great arched entrances to shelter antique stone statuettes which the owner proposes to secure for the purpose. Sculptured grotesque and gargoyles appear unexpectedly and a frieze of dancing children attractively decorates one of the members of the oriel window corbel. The roof is of heavy dark blue slate of narrow width, and the crestings, gutters and leaders of bronze or heavy copper.

    The interior reconstruction presented perhaps the greater difficulties.   It was found necessary to remove everything except the floor beams. Old plumbing and gas piping was torn out and the whole house literally cleaned down to the brickwork.

    Many unforeseen conditions presented themselves. It was found that three additions had been made to the original house, and the contractors had neglected the ordinary precaution of honing the new brickwork into the old. After the old plaster had been removed, it was possible to look out of doors through these apertures in the walls.

    The plans of the basement and the first and second stories of the new and old house are illustrated. It will be seen that the entrance to the house is from the driveway passing under the first floor and running from Connecticut Avenue to Nineteenth Street, and finished in white enameled brick and terra cotta.

IRON ENTRANCE DOOR IN RESIDENCE OF EDSON BRADLEY ESQ., WASHINGTON, D. C.
MADE BY
 Wm. H. Jackson Company
ENTRANCE VESTIBULE 
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
DETAIL OF VESTIBULE CEILING
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
DETAIL OF VESTIBULE CEILING
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq., Newport, R. I.

Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.

     The entrance vestibule, a part of which was originally the old laundry, is wainscoted in Italian walnut in color to match the elaborately carved choir stalls shown in the illustration. The floor is of Istrian and Numidian marble with an inset panel of Hispano Moresque and Rouen tile. On account of the limited height available the ceiling was designed in low relief and decorated in dull gold and polychrome, with a wood back-ground of soft old blue. It will be noted that there are small panels inserted in the wainscot below the cornice line. These, with many other rare and curious antique carvings of the renaissance period in carved gilt and polychrome wood had been collected by the owner in the course of many years’ travel and are actually built into the woodwork of the rooms, forming an essential part in their embellishment. In order that the magnitude of the work of using this collection may be appreciated, it was necessary for the architect to photograph and catalogue some three hundred objects; some three thousand tile of different varieties, and, additionally, the furniture, tapestries and stained glass as well as obtain the dimensions.

STAIR HALL AT ENTRANCE TO EAST GALLERY
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
    From the vestibule one passes up to the first floor by the great staircase at the end, arriving in the great hall designated as the East Gallery with a length of sixty feet and a width of eighteen feet.

    One feature especially noticeable is the beautiful reception hall on the second floor, a representation of a Roman atrium. Chairs of the muses, tapestries, tablinums, vases, real Pompelian ones at that, were all collected abroad at an enormous cost. There is no jarring note. The floors are made of Egyptian wood laid in tiles.

EAST GALLERY
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
    The ceiling of this room is particularly noteworthy, being an extraordinary example of Italian renaissance wood carving and decorating known to have been the work of some Lombard artist of the sixteenth century. This great gallery forms the principal circulation of the first floor of the house connecting with the main stair hall and the elevator of access to the upper stories: to the porcelain room at the north end, the dining room at the side, and the music room at its southern end. A glance at the plan of the old house and of the house as remodeled may be found of interest in observing the general arrangement of the rooms of this floor and the manner in which the present plan was developed. The owner’s requirements were, as will be seen, that the rooms should be of ample dimension. Fortunately, the ceilings throughout the old house were high, being something over fourteen feet in the first floor, thus creating an excellent proportion in the present rooms. It is the usual custom that nothing in the way of furniture or hangings be allowed to interfere with architectural lines in the design of house interiors. In the instance of this house, the architecture has been subordinated to the furnishings with perhaps one or two exceptions where the designation of the room seemed to require the reverse condition. The effect of this subordination and absence of wall treatment is not unpleasing, serving as it does to display to better advantage the owner’s extraordinary collection of tapestries, rich velvet and embroidered textiles and furniture. The architecture is to be found in the ceilings or the embellishment of doors and windows and is in itself composed of antique panels, mouldings, columns, friezes, entablatnres and the like, all of which in their delightful tonality of ancient gilt and polychrome furnish an admirable background for the textiles and other rare objects of early art.

    The main stairhall occupies the same position as in the old house, but the stair itself was entirely remodeled and five beautiful old gilt Corinthian columns used as newel posts with a rail of wrought iron, beautifully executed after an ancient rail discovered in Arezzo, Italy.

PORCELAIN ROOM Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.

    The Porcelain Room is at the extreme north end of the house, looking over Dupont Circle. Here the walls are hung with a soft green silk material, an agreeable background for the great Italian renaissance mantel. The porcelains from which the room takes its name are displayed in cabinets and furnish an extraordinary color note, particularly in the Rose and Peachblow families and the black Hawthorns. The ceiling, although modern, has been so designed and decorated that it appears to be of real antiquity, the effect being obtained by the use of boards of different widths for the panels; a treatment with acids after the wood had been fired and the charred surface removed and finally the painted decoration laid in with water color.

DINING ROOM
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
DINING ROOM WITH VIEW PASSAGE TO WEST GALLERY
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.

    The Dining Room was originally two apartments. By the removal of the partition between it was possible to secure a dimension of nineteen by thirty—six feet in the present arrangement. It is panelled from the floor to the ceiling in oak and hung entirely with tapestries. with the exception of the fireplace and window end of the room. An old portrait by Coello over the mantel, fragments of antique glass and the extraordinary color and variety in the old tapestries and hangings, give that indispensable air of dignity to the room. The ceiling is of plaster of geometric tracery pattern, in detail similar to the ceiling of the long gallery in Haddon Hall. The color of the oak in the panelling has been carefully studied and a soft bone gray tint has been secured without any of the disagreeable yellow tones usually observed.

MANTEL IN WEST GALLERY
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.

DETAIL OF WEST GALLERY CEILING
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.

    From the Dining Room one passes at the left through a corridor into a large room, sixteen by thirty-two feet, known as the West Gallery. This is in the new portion of the house and is directly over the driveway. The mantel and the ceiling of this room are both composed of old wood carvings in the owner’s collection, adapted to their present purpose. The color scheme in general is furnished by antique green and early Genoese “Jardiniere” velvets in combination with the gold and polychrome of the ceiling and woodwork. Over the mantel hangs a medallion by Andrea della Robbia and at the side a figure of the Virgin and child by Verrochio, both very rare specimens.


DETAIL DOOR FROM MUSIC ROOM TO WEST GALLERY
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
MUSIC ROOMThe music room, back of the atrium, large as an ordinary drawing room, is a complete museum of musical instruments, including an electric pipe organ. Here fortnightly during the season famous divas and world-famous musicians give musicals that are notable for their artistic merit.
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
MANTEL IN MUSIC ROOM
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.

    Both the East and West Galleries communicate with the Music Room, which is by far the most important apartment of the first floor. In dimension it is thirty by sixty feet, with an elliptical arched ceiling eighteen feet in height. In order that the acoustic properties might be properly satisfied in addition to the sentiment of the architect in the design of the decoration, the ceiling has been suspended from girders located in partitions just below the level of the third floor, and by this means avoiding the use of heavy beams spanning the ceiling. The scale of all of the detail, in the wood and in the plaster has been kept very fine and the prevailing color note is white throughout. The only color in the room is that furnished by the furniture and the tapestries with the metallic gold of the great bronze and crystal lustres and side brackets. The floor is of white mahogany of geometric pattern seen in the great apartments of the French chateaux and furnishes by its dull yellow tone a further note of color to the advantage of the room.

The house was expanded again in 1911, with the addition of a private, 500-seat theater for the Bradley’s to host live productions for their guests.  Social columns written in 1908 claimed that Mrs. Bradley denied the existence of the theater, not wanting to boast about their opulence, in what must be the first home theater of its kind in America. The theatre is now a part of the library of "Seaview Terrace".
     Metropolitan opera stars performed in the theatre/ballroom and jazz was performed for the first time in Washington, D.C. at the Bradley’s Connecticut Avenue residence. Special trains from New York came to Washington for parties and musicals at the Bradley house.

VIEW IN ORATORY LOOKING TOWARDS THE ENTRANCE
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.

ORATORY VIEW OF ALTAR AND RETABLE
Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.

Ceiling in Oratory in Residence of Edson Bradley, Esq. , Washington D. C.
Decorations executed by
Mack,  Jenny and Tyler
15-17 West 38th Street New York Cit
y

    At one extremity is an alcove with the great mantel. On the right is the organ and on the left a doorway leading into a tower staircase communicating on the second floor with the owner’s private apartments and on the third floor with a den or library consecrated to his individual use. Perhaps the most extraordinary room of this floor is a chapel or oratory, entered through a door concealed great tapestry on the south wall of the music room. Its purpose is entirely for the exhibition of a most extraordinary collection of old ecclesiastical carvings in gilt and polychrome, in early Gothic and Renaissance, and of sixteenth century stained glass. The floor contains a most unusual panel of tile, forming a great carpet or rug of brilliant color iridescence, in which are to be found examples of Rhodian, Damascus, Tunisian and Hispano Moresque tile. Another unusual collection of tile is seen in the great arched door in which old blue and gold Rouen tile of the fifteenth century forms a border and softit panel. The great altar at the chancel end of the oratory is probably the most striking feature, but the wings of the great screen at either side, still lack a series of figures at the top to carry them to the ceiling line. Provision has been made by a system of speaking tubes over the organ and terminating high up in the side walls of the oratory so that the sound of the organ is conveyed with diminished intensity and produces a startling effect.

    The second floor of the house is devoted entirely to the living apartments of the owner and his guests. Here a certain architectural scheme of decoration has been carried out, the walls of the room being paneled and hung with silk textile of pale green or yellow tones. The woodwork has been painted white and the doors are finished to a dull surface in light brown mahogany. The mantels are of white or Istrian marble, with the exception of two early English mantels in wood of the period of Grinling Gibbons, and an extraordinary polychrome mantel of the Italian renaissance period.

    The third floor of the house is given over to the servants’ quarters with the exception of the owner’s den and a guest room at the north end of the building. The finish of the house throughout has been carried out with extreme care; the best of materials having been employed and no attempt made to carry the work on with the haste which usually results in subsequent repairs to the plaster and the painted work. In fact, there are no cracks whatsoever to be observed in the plaster of any of the rooms, after a period of a year from the date of the completion of the work.

    The bath rooms are tiled throughout with non-crazing tile with door trims and window sills of white marble.

    The kitchen, laundry and pantries are also wainscoted in tile with rubber tiling on the floors and the balance finished in white enamel, creating not only an appearance of cleanliness but perfect sanitation.

     The heating of the house is by hot water and is both direct and indirect. The air for the indirect supply is obtained from the driveway through a large bronze grille, by this means securing a constant atmospheric pressure. Where direct radiation is used, the radiators are concealed by panel backs under the windows, avoiding interference with the curtains and the generally unsightly appearance of exposed radiators.

    The hot water supply of the house has been made specially adequate: a boiler of some four or five hundred gallons capacity being heated by a special furnace and located in the same room with the heating plant, so that the care of the two systems is thus simplified. By this means a constant supply of hot water is insured throughout the house, not matter what the draught may be upon the system in the service departments.

    Whatever the success of the result obtained by the architect it is largely due to the interest displayed at all times by the owner and his intelligent and generous co-operation. Without this encouragement it seems probable that the work of alteration could not have advanced to its logical conclusion. It is believed that the house as it stands to-day presents a certain charm which is the direct result of the careful study expended thereon and conveys the appearance of having been built very many years, which makes it all the more livable and homelike in its first impression.



HEINIGKE AND BOWEN
Maker of All New Leaded Glass and Setting for Antiques, Residence for Edson Bradley
   
    Almost instantly the Bradleys became a regular item on the society pages of Washington newspapers. Edson’s daughter, Julia, had a splashy and well publicized “coming out” party in 1894 that drew a crowd of the rich and powerful to the castle.



   In August 1922, the Bradleys' sixty-room summer home near Syracuse, New York, was destroyed by fire. The Bradleys were able to escape to safety aboard their yacht. Nothing but the stone walls of the house were left standing. Finding themselves now without a proper summer home, the Bradleys decided to move from Washington to Newport, Rhode Island—not just themselves, but their entire house as well.



In the 1920's, Bradley had much of the house dismantled and shipped to an oceanfront property in Newport, Rhode Island, where it was rebuilt, larger and grander than before and then named “Seaview Terrace”. The current building on the Dupont Circle site, originally built as an apartment building, dates from 1926.

    The Bradleys had their Dupont Circle house dismantled and shipped to the new location in Newport over the course of two years. A preexisting Elizabethan Revival mansion named "Seaview Terrace" was already on the new Newport site, and the Bradleys' Dupont Circle house was incorporated into its design. Work on the exterior continued for two years and required the use of many railroad cars and trucks and was one of the largest buildings ever to be moved in this manner. Rooms that had been imported intact from France and first installed in Washington, D.C., twenty years earlier were moved again and reassembled in Newport, and the new building was constructed around them. The project cost over $2 million, and when it was completed, it was the largest privately owned summer cottage of the Gilded Age.

    The abandoned shell of the old Bradley house stood until 1931 when the Dupont Circle Building was constructed.    


MRS. EDSON BRADLEY

      Mrs. Bradley became famous for what was dubbed the "American Beauty Ball" which has taken its place in the social history of Washington. She used so many 'American Beauty' roses to decorate the house for the dance that the market for the flowers was exhausted for days afterward.American  In the great ballroom, with its hangings of gobelin tapestry, were floral decorations reminding one of Italian cities. In the centre of the ballroom a huge fountain played, giving out a myriad of colors. Around this were placed huge growing rose trees ladened with blossoms, in each four corners of the room an arbor of American beauties was formed, and in each bower there played a fountain. Long lanes of American beauty rose trees were formed from each arbor, and rustic seats were placed along the sides. Here the dancers promenaded and sat out the dances. In the music room jardinieres as large as tubs were effectively placed and filled with American beauty roses.

    In 1890 Edson purchased property from the Tuxedo Park Association and built "Garnwill". He sold his estate to Thomas H. Brown in 1931. The Bradley property is now vacant land, demolished in the late 1930's. Stables from the estate survive.


154 EAST 70TH STREET
"one of the city's show places", was the home of Stephen H. Brown (1864-1917) and his wife who were active in society and collectors of medieval art. The son of Vernon H. Brown, head of the Cunard Steamship Company, Brown was a member of Vernon C. Brown & Co. and for many years Governor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Later in the life of Edson Bradley it became his city home. The house was converted to educational uses in 1932. Manhattan High School for Girls

In 1929 Edson Bradley purchased "Caprice" from Mrs. Henry P. Tailer in Roslyn, L. I., renaming estate "Silver Maples". He was leasing the property by 1931.
E. Belcher Hyde, Inc. 1927

"SILVER MAPLES"
"Silver Maples" is wedged between  "Claraben Court" at the top of this view and  "Lynrose" at the bottom. At the right is the former Willets estate, now the Engineers Country Club
Stony Brook University Libraries 1938

BING VIEW
Remnants of foundations and garden walls can still be seen.


August 15, 1930

"20-Room Suite in River House Purchased by Edson Bradley

A triplex maisonette of twenty-rooms in River House, with a private garden and separate driveway, has been purchased by Edson Bradley for occupancy by himself and his daughter, Mrs. Herbert L. Shipman, widow of the Suffragan Bishop. The house is being erected by James Stewart & Co. on the East River blockfront from Fifty-second to Fifty-third Street. The plans for the apartment were drawn by Bottomley, Wagner & White, architects, and provide for drawing room, dining room and foyer with fourteen-foot ceilings. The third floor of the maisonette will extend the entire depth of the building, terminating on the riverfront in a large library."

    "Arcadia" was built in 1915 on the north side of Wellesley Island. At nearly 300 feet long, it was the largest bungalow-style building ever erected.  The property is now part of Wellesley Island State ParkBesides the Thousand Island bungalow the Bradley's had a houseboat with the same name. The hundred-foot length and seventeen-foot beam of the houseboat provided seven staterooms and three baths, with hot and cold water in every room. "Wahtoke" was their yacht they sheltered in after the fire. Earlier yachts owned by the couple were the "Oswegatchie" and the "Klotawah".

    Edson Bradley died in London on June 20, 1935 traveling with his daughter.    

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