Thursday, June 28, 2018

"Planting Fields" Long Island Country Estate of James Byrne, Esq.



DETAILS, HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.


 GENERAL PLAN OF HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.
 The residence at Oyster Bay, Long Island, is so wonderfully charming in every way that no single viewpoint serves to bring out all its delightful features. The photograph reproduced here was chosen because it showed better than any other the mass of the house, although much of the best of the detail is hidden. This house, like the gate lodge at Deepdale, is of genuine half-timber construction with the brick filling left unplastercd. The house is in a general way derived from big French farm-houses, many of which were almost chateaux, but is so greatly modified by the introduction of modern elements that its prototype is almost lost sight of. The great strength in modern design lies in precisely such adjustment of old motives to suit modern conditions and their combination with new motives as is here done. It is unfortunate that in this photograph the color of the woodwork, the brickwork, and the roofs is not more clearly differentiated. A tower seems almost impossible of successful introduction into the design of a modern house; that it is possible, and not only possible, but under certain conditions the best thing to do is here proved; yet it is only by the careful study of the roof forms and the treatment of the corners with vertical lines that so beautiful a result can be obtained. Any further detailed critique is not essential; the house itself is its own best exponent.

Black-and-white photographs cannot properly show the best feature of the English houses,— their color. As Colonial work is mainly a study in green and white, sometimes with red brick, one cannot go very far wrong in the color scheme for that style. When, however, it is necessary to combine into a harmonious whole the varied colors of the materials used in half-timber work, the architect is at liberty to indulge his fancy to almost any degree, and upon his color sense rests, to a large extent, the success of the design. There is a great chance for unusual and striking combinations such as the red beam-ends and the white leaders under the black cornice. If a man be not careful he will inevitably ruin the best of designs, while the architect who treats his house as an artist does his picture, keeping in his mind not only the various colors of the house, but the colors of the background and the garden work in the foreground, will, by the use of half-timber, achieve a success impossible in any other style.

GENERAL VIEW OF HOUSE FROM SOUTHWEST.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.


DETAIL OF LIVING-ROOM GABLE FROM GARDEN.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.

GENERAL VIEW OF COURT AND GARDEN FROM SOUTH END OF GARDEN.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND. N. Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.
DETAIL OF PERGOLA IN GARDEN.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.
DETAIL OF BRICK WALLS AND SEATS IN GARDEN.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.
DETAIL OF LIVING-ROOM GABLE FROM GARDEN.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.

DETAIL OF COURT BALCONY FROM GARDEN.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.
The brick is red brown, with headers, all of standard size, but laid on edge, probably a wall eight inches thick with holes throughout the interior, each header running through. The brick texture is similar to that of common brick, but the color varies and the shape is less regular than that required for common brick. The joint 3/8 inch wide is black.


DETAIL OF BILLIARD ROOM GABLE AND NORTH
ENTRANCE TO HALL.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N. Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury. Architect.

DETAIL OF NORTHEAST WING SHOWING MAIN ROAD.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N. Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury. Architect.
PLANS, FIRST FLOOR PLAN, HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY LONG ISLAND. N. Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.


INTERIOR VIEW FROM MAIN TOWER HALL TOWARD LIVING ROOM.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.

DINING-ROOM.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N. Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.

FIREPLACE IN LIVING-ROOM.
HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.

 PLANS, SECOND FLOOR, HOUSE AT LOCUST VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, N.Y.
Grosvenor Atterbury, Architect.



The Matinecock people of Long Island were the first to cultivate the soil and harvest crops on land they called Plantings Fields. Beginning in 1904 Byrne started purchasing farming properties in the area that would become the town of Upper Brookville. There were six properties in all, referred collectively as Upper Planting Fields Farm. 

The Byrne family background was one of the finest in New York. James Byrne enjoyed an income that permitted his four daughters to have proper coming-out parties and to have access to the better drawing rooms in the mansions of Park and Fifth Ave. He found time, and the money, to entertain during the summer at fashionable Bar Harbor, in Maine. No wonder, then, that the Byrne sisters were the most sought-after quartet of belles of the period embracing World War I and the years following.


James Byrne
Harvard Alumni Bulletin, Volume 22

"He was married in 1896 to Miss Helen Macgregor of New York. They have one son and four daughters."

The first Catholic elected to Harvard's seven-man governing body, he was instrumental in establishing Rice University  in Houston. 

Decorated Officer Crown of Italy, 1918; Commendatore of Crown of Italy, 1921; Chevalier Legion of Honor (France), 1921. Member of Executive Committee Council of America Law Institute, 1923-1934, vice president, 1928-1934; member Harvard Corporation, 1920-1926.; Member American Red Cross Committee to Italy, 1917-1919.; Member Phi Beta Kappa.


Helen MacGregor Byrne
Portrait on wall in the library of the families New York City townhouse.

James MacGregor Byrne
Gardner Cox, 1938
Portrait in the collection of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
After law school and a two-year clerkship with a New York law firm James MacGregor Byrne  joined the Harvard-Columbus expedition. He was a foreign service officer in 1946, following work as a special assistant to the American Ambassador to Argentina. A representative of the U.S. in Berne, Addis Ababa, and Tunis, he returned to Washington in 1958 to serve as the assistant chief of the aviation section of the Department of State. Mr. Byrne became coordinator of the senior seminar program in foreign policy at the Foreign Service Institute in 1960 and then a member of the U.S. mission to NATO two years later.


Helen Byrne, 1919

  Bryne's oldest daughter, Helen, married Hamilton Fish Armstrong.  


Helen Byrne Armstrong Lippmann, 1938
  Scandalized in a divorce Helen married Hamilton's best friend, Pulitzer Prize winner Walter Lippmann in 1938.

NEW YORK • (AP) — 18 Feb 1974  Helen Byrne Lippmann, 76, wife of retired political writer Walter Lippmann, died Saturday. A Red Cross worker in France during World War I. Mrs. Lippmann was national director of the Voluntary Nurse Aide Corps during World War II. She and her husband frequently entertained political and intellectual leaders in Washington.


Shelia Byrne Taylor
WANTS TO BE FREE.
London Cost Him Millions, Reno Will Cost Him Wife

(Special to the Daily News)

Reno, Nev., Dec. 9, 1932—After sacrificing an expected inheritance of several million dollars in order to live in London, Francis Taylor, son of the late Moses Taylor, New York banker, was still there today when his socially prominent wife arrived here to seek a divorce.


Taylor, whose father founded one of the oldest banking fortunes in the East, is a brother of Mrs. Langhorne Gibson, daughter-in-law of Charles Dana Gibson. Another sister of Taylor, is Mrs. Robert Huntington, sister-in-law of Vincent Astor.

Wedding a Knockout.(1925)


The wedding, at the Church of St. Ferdinand des Ternes, was the most brilliant of the Paris social season, notwithstanding no formal announcement preceded it. It was about the time of his marriage that young Taylor incurred the displeasure of his father by his choice of London as residence. Three years later, after the death of the banker, it was revealed that the youth had been cut off in the will, with the sole provision that a $1,000,000 trust fund be established for him upon the death of his mother, now a resident of Marrakesh, Morocco.




Her friends will blink and peer twice at their favorite newspaper this morning when they read that Sheila Byrne Taylor quietly slipped up to Greenwich, Conn. yesterday and was married to Heyrick Pease, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pease of London. Daily News (New York, New York) • 23 Nov 1933


Sheila B. T. Pease
 One moment, divorce; next moment, marriage.

Sheila Byrne Taylor Pease, socially prominent daughter of one of Manhattan's leading lawyers and former wife of Francis Taylor, Newport heir to one of America’s oldest banking fortunes, obtained a decree from Heyrick C. Pease, of London, with whom she eloped to Greenwich. Conn., six years ago. Immediately after receiving the decree, Mrs. Pease was married by District Judge William McKnight,who gave her the divorce, to John Felix Charles Bryce, who was divorced in England three years ago. Bryce, an Etonian, is the son of Maj. Charles Bryce of the Coldstream Guards and the late Lady PhillimoreDaily News (New York, New York) • 19 Dec 1939


A&P HEIRESS WED TO FORMER BRITISH AGENT


Josephine Hartford Bryce
 1950, Salvador Dalí

A&P Heiress Mrs. Josephine Hartford O’Donnell Makaroff Douglas today embarked on marriage No. 4 with twice-divorced John F. C. Bryce, ex-British intelligence agent.The new Mrs. Bryce is the granddaughter of the grocery chain founder, George Hartford.

The newlywed Bryce was divorced a few days ago in Miami by Mrs. Sheila Byrne Taylor Pease-Bryce.  The Los Angeles Times • 09 Apr 1950


John Felix Charles Bryce was a close friend of Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series of spy novels.


MISS BEATRICE L. BYRNE
Town & Country 1921
Third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Byrne, of New York, one of a lovely and lively group of girls. In this photograph there is a reflection of the beautiful brow of the mother of the family who was Miss Helen MacGregor. The quartet consists of Mrs. Hamilton Fish Armstrong, and the Misses Sheila, Beatrice and Phyllis Byrne.



HEARTBREAKS OF SOCIETY

Beautiful Beatrice Byrne Could Have Had Her
Choice of a Dozen Wealthy and Handsome
Suitors, but She Rejected Them All for a Titled
Englishman Whose Financial Demands Wrecked

Their Romance — and Her Life
  

The man who finally, awakened in the heart of Beatrice the great love; the love that comes to a person of her nature only once.

He had a title in England, along with his charm and his financial liabilities. He needed money as much, or more, than he needed to set up a household of his own, independent from the father and the mother who had been trying to promote a matrimonial match to save the family estate.

It was typical, and ironical, that Beatrice Byrne should meet him of all her wealthy suitors, and lose her heart to him. Other beaus disappeared and the field was relinquished to the one man with whom she was willing to share her life.

Theirs was a perfect romance — for several months. Then came the heart to heart talks about money. She wanted nothing, in that respect, but there were certain demands he felt her family should meet.


Beatrice Recoiled as the Man She Loved Pointed Out That the One Thing He Required Was for His Bride to Bring a Fortune to the Altar.

Not that he didn't love her, Beatrice Byrne, who had the pick and the choice of swains all of her days, heard the suggestion with horror in the eyes that used to be quizzical..... Money, she was told, would make her a bride!

THERE was never another meeting between the girl with her dreams and the man with his needs. There was nothing but confusion on her part, a nervous upset and finally, a complete breakdown.

Members of the Byrne family rushed to her side and took her away from England, the scene of her one great heartbreak. In Switzerland, everybody said, she would find the surcease she needed so desperately.

Beatrice Byrne found that surcease in the summer of 1927.

She found it while she was strolling along the bank of a stream, her nurse at her side, and they were talking about the flowers that had come and must go soon, now that autumn was paging winter - The nurse turned to pick a nosegay. That was when she heard the splash.

She was walking across a bridge over a torrent when her body was seen suddenly to hurtle into the raging stream, which rushes down the mountains to a lake fifteen miles away. Witnesses were unable to say what had caused her to fall. The body was not recovered.
Beatrice Byrne, her questioning eyes tightly shut, drowned that day under the still surface of the waters in Switzerland. There was no official investigation to find out how it happened. The Atlantic  Constitution May 1949

Youngest daughter Phyllis was  was a debutante in 1925She graduated from Mrs. Randall McIver's school in New York and studied in Europe. She married Gardner Cox of Cambridge, Ma. in 1937.

"a smaller, less academic school - Mrs. McIver held classes only in the mornings."


"A couple who entered our lives in these years were Gardner Cox, the painter, a man of great charm and integrity, with rugged features and bushy eyebrows, and his lovely, gamine wife, Phyllis Byrne Cox, one of the most enchanting and exasperating of women. Gardner was doing a portrait of my father, and he would bring Phyllis along to relax his subject during the sittings. My father adored Phyllis, and so did I. She was a gifted pianist, and she was also an impulsive, outspoken and ultimately poignant woman. Reared a Catholic, she had turned sharply against the Church and looked on those who remained in it with incredulity and scorn. She had had a fling in London with Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, I learned later, and her sister Helen had caused much scandal by divorcing Hamilton Fish Armstrong, the editor of Foreign Affairs, in order to marry his best friend,
Walter Lippmann.


The Coxes’ rambling house, built originally in 1807 and latterly occupied by the great botanist Asa Gray, was around the corner from Gray Gardens East. They gave excellent parties and provided Cambridge with a captivating taste of upper-class Bohemianism. Gardner went on to become a leading portrait painter."

EXTERIOR
RESIDENCE OF JAMES BYRNE, ESQ.
A.  Wallace McCrea, Architect
Follow THIS LINK for a post on the Byrne New York City townhouse.


"GUY'S CLIFF" 
Bar Harbor, Maine
In 1926 Byrne commissioned Guy Lowell to remodel a large stick style style cottage into a Tuscan Villa.  The Byrnes hired Beatrix Farrand to design a series of terraced formal gardens, cascading down a steep slope.
Follow THIS LINK for more on "Guy's Cliff".



SITE OF THE W. R. COE RESIDENCE.PROPOSED CONFORMATION OVER THE BYRNE HOUSE RUINS.
The entire Byrne estate, with the existing house, was sold to William Robertson Coe in 1913. After the original house on the property burned down in 1918, Coe commissioned the architectural firm of Walker & Gillette to build a new home on the same site. 

Country House of Character


Follow THIS LINK for an earlier post on the Byrne estate.



















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