Monday, January 8, 2024

"RANCHO LAS CASITAS DEL PASO" Flintridge, California

LAS CASITAS DEL PASO - the little houses of the step


Freeman Ford has completed his attractive home above the Flintridge Biltmore, commanding a view of the Pacific ocean. The Spanish building was designed by Edward M. Fowler.

The Los Angeles Times ■ 07 May 1950 - 


Reproduction of Crumbling Monastery Walls

 Helps Give Impression of Bygone Centuries

Somehow you know, with the Rose Bowl below you, that you’re in America. But wandering about Rancho Las Casitas Del Paso in the Flintridge Hills you suddenly feel the impact of time—and what is modern or centuries old blends into a weird twilight zone.

There are flocks of peacocks with their fantastic plumage and Arabian stallions who stand watch at the gates. 


Here in the lush setting of green Southland hills, eight minutes from Pasadena and Glendale, time stands still. You find yourself in the midst of a crumbling Pyrenees monastery and the home of Mrs. Lucille Graf.

Here you find hidden passageways, an Old World cloister, romantic balconies and a prohibition era bar that lifts into a gigantic living room from a secret place below.

The home was designed by Edward M. Fowler of Pasadena for Freeman Ford and was built in 1929. Mrs. Graf and her late husband Fred, a hotel broker, purchased the property in 1941.


Fowler’s authentic reproduction of a group of Pyrenees houses built from monastery ruins, attracted nationwide attention when the project was completed. The Pyrenees house resembles those on the mountain range dividing France and Spain.

To Las Casitas Del Paso come artists and student painters to capture on canvas the charm of the graceful archways, the medieval stone driveways and the posters of Mexico and Spain.

Despite electric light, telephone, modern plumbing and radio, the little houses in the midst of ruins give the impression of having come down intact from the pages of history.


The 42 acres of the Graf estate borders on the Flintridge Academy of the Sacred Heart. Classes of students frequently have been taken on tour of Las Casitas.

The home was used in numerous motion pictures to lend authenticity to the scenes. Walls of Las Casitas are lined with worm-eaten planks taken from the swamps of Louisiana and preserved to give an unusual satin effect.

Secret passageways lead to the room of the mistress—as in homes of the Maladeta district of the Pyrenees. It has a large fireplace and a ceiling of timbers.


Holding a place of honor in the room is an exhibition saddle for use on Mrs. Graf’s Arabian stallion, Roagzah. The horse is a son of Ghazi, an Arabian prize winner.

Protector of the Graf estate is a massive Doberman Pinscher named Derbemar v Ulbricht but called Fritz, for short.

The dog herds the 20 Graf peacocks and is inspector general of any strangers to approach the area.

The cloister, surrounded by a high, concrete wall, contains a fireplace, fruit trees, and an unusual "dunking pool"—a pool deep enough to swim in, but only eight feet across.

Mrs. Graf is particularly proud of her banquet room, a low, barrel-ceilinged room with a long, thick-planked table.

Surrounding the house are cactus gardens, rare plantings and an incomparable view of the mountains and the seas. In the night, there is incomparable silence and peace.

Treasures of the Valley » Mike Lawler
By CV Weekly on August 21, 2014

Best Little Whorehouse in … La Cañada?

Yes it’s true. Allegedly there was a house of, well, if not ill repute, then at least of questionable repute in La Cañada sometime around the 1960s.

My story comes from a local gentleman who had visited the place back then. I’ll keep him anonymous. Because of his fascination with electronics, I’ll call him “Sparky.”

Our story starts in 1929, when a fabulous home was built in the San Rafael Hills of Flintridge on Wendover Road above the Flintridge Hilton Hotel. “Las Casitas Del Paso” was a massive reproduction of a Pyrenees monastery. Faux crumbling walls, romantic balconies, cloisters and secret passageways gave the place an authentic air, as though it had been transported through time. But a secret bar that lowered from the ceiling placed it firmly in the Prohibition era. It sat on 42 beautifully landscaped acres perched on the highest hill above Flintridge, with incomparable views to the sea.

In 1941, it was purchased by a wealthy hotel broker who had probably fallen in love with the estate when he brokered the sale of the Flintridge Hilton to the Catholic Church (today Sacred Heart Academy). After he died, his wife Lucille continued to live in the splendor of Las Casitas with her prize-winning Arabian stallion “Roagzah,” a massive Doberman named Derbemar von Ulbricht, and a large flock of expensive peacocks imported from India. The neighbors had issues with the peacocks, which filled the quiet night with their loud calls. In the 1950s, we find several articles in the L.A. Times about her neighborhood conflicts over the birds, even to the point of Lucille finding the severed head of one of her birds dropped in front of her gate. After several years of neighbor complaints, punctuated with much courtroom drama, a Pasadena judge ordered her to sell or destroy her valued birds.

Perhaps it was this run-in with her neighbors and the legal system, or perhaps she was talked into it by some of the local men. Maybe she just fell on hard times and needed the money. But for whatever reason, local lore says that in the 1960s she opened her home up for “parties” for gentlemen with lovely ladies that she provided. We can’t be sure today if this was her cover for a prostitution business, but I think we might make some assumptions.

This is where Sparky enters our story. Sparky was a HAM and shortwave radio enthusiast. According to Sparky, he was up in the San Rafaels looking for likely high points and peaks to broadcast from when another local radio enthusiast who knew about the establishment invited him up to meet Lucille. For the two young men the place was a paradise. Beautiful scantily clad girls were everywhere. The bar that lowered from the ceiling was still functional, there were gambling tables, and young women lounged in what was perhaps the first hot tub in the area. Also, the peacocks were back, perhaps due to Lucille’s influential connections. Sparky said that parties of men would call in a reservation, tell Lucille what they wanted for dinner, and how many girls to have on hand. After the group had dinner, the rest of the evening was theirs to spend how they wished in any of the many ornate rooms of the estate.

Sparky really hit it off with Lucille as she was a radio enthusiast herself and had a wonderful shortwave setup. She also had set up her mountaintop estate for extra income as a huge ground antenna via several large “weathervanes” in order to transmit commercially without permits. Sparky garnered some special favors from Lucille, and still has photos he took of Lucille’s girls posing nude around his radio equipment.

According to Sparky the operation didn’t last too long. Lucille finished out her life alone on her mountaintop, and when she died the whole estate was bulldozed, and several mansions were built on the subdivided land.

There’s a lot of supposition and innuendo to this tale, and it’s up to you readers to draw your own conclusions. It seems every neighborhood has its “dirty laundry.”

Flintridge Biltmore
How former hotel became Flintridge Sacred Heart

Freeman Arms Ford was vice-president of the Pasadena Ice Company. Ford was the man who introduced California to Whippet racing.

"Freeman Ford’s Arroyo kennel in Pasadena was planned on a grand scale"

Freeman Ford House by Greene & Greene, Pasadena

Ford commissioned a house by the Greenes in 1906.

The Los Angeles Times ■ 23 March 1930 - 

The yacht-residence of Freeman Ford, and to its left of it the quaint beach home of Pauline Fredericks.

Driving up the new Malibu road that leads to Oxnard, several miles beyond Santa Monica, one is startled by the sight of a palatial yacht stranded on the beach. But on drawing nearer, a high, woven wire fence is seen surrounding the boat and the keel is so deeply imbedded in the earth and the stern so admirably arranged for garages it immediately becomes evident that no tidal wave, but some skillful and ingenious architect, placed the structure on the shore.

The “yacht" is the beach house of Freeman Ford, prominent club man and social leader of Pasadena, and it has every outward appearance of a sea-worthy vessel. Its “deck," which in house terms must be translated to “porch" is reached not by steps but by a ladder, and one leaves his landlubber pride and principles behind in clambering up that nautical approach.

Not a single item which would foster maritime atmosphere has been omitted. A huge anchor, attached to a heavy iron chain, has been dropped overboard, and everything from gang-way, and steering wheel, to flag, mast and smoke stack are in ship-shape. The kitchen is a ship’s galley, arranged in a most compact and orderly manner. There are no bedrooms, merely berths, bunks and cabins and the deck is the main dining-room.

The windows are portholes and looking through them over the jade and pearl waters of the Pacific there comes a strong illusion that one is on a vessel China-bound.

When asked why he built the unique beach residence Freeman Ford said: “From my earliest recollections I have always had a boat. Perhaps I sailed one as an infant in the bathtub, I can not remember a time when a toy boat was not one of my most dearly treasured possessions. Fashioning tiny boats out of wood and pasteboard boxes, with whittled out masts and improvised sails was one of my early childhood's most intriguing occupations, and the epochs of my life are marked with the days when I acquired my first tiny rowboat with oars, my first modest sailboat, and then my first sea-going yacht.

“I have owned a yacht of one sort or another ever since I was a young lad. and I like the simple, primitive life of ships. I like to get away from the oppressive luxury of houses with their soft carpets, and coddling, cloying atmosphere, and giving a "yachting party" on board the beach yacht-house is much simpler than taking a crowd of people out to sea. In the first place they don't get sea-sick and if a storm comes up one doesn’t have that horrible feeling of responsibility for their lives!

"We have had a few admirals down on the ’yacht’ as guests, and quite a number of prominent local and eastern people, including celebrities from the motion picture world and all of them have been pleased with the simple manner in which we entertain. It is my belief that all kinds of people like to get away from the stuffiness and stupidity of conventional houses.”

Appropriate enough in architectural design seems the tall lighthouse which stands beside Mr. Ford’s boat residence. But besides the lighthouse tower there is a patio with a fireplace like a stage setting and wings and doors opening along a row like actors’ dressing-rooms, for all the world like a theater. And what could be more fitting for the beach Home of an actress. For this quaint conceit is the home of Pauline Fredericks.

OLD WORLD TOUCH—Mrs. Lucille Graf and her watchdog, Fritz, near replica of walls of a Pyrenees monastery, on her Rancho Las Casitas Del Paso in Flintridge.

Pasadena Independent 13 Nov. 1957

Lucille Graf of 1690 Wendover Road,  Flintridge, passed away Nov. 9, 1957.

Sunday, August 20, 2023


John Hay Whitney
Artist: Deane Keller
Yale University Art Gallery


THE FLAVOR OF THE SEA  • • •   REFLECTED IN THE DESIGN OF A Boathouse on Long Island La Farge, Warren & Clark, Architects

   THE essential requirements of this building
were to provide the owner with docking facilities; a storage space for boats and aeroplane: pleasant temporary quarters for entertainment: and living quarters for his yacht captain and family.

***A small motor in the cavernous garage was
attached to two planks and was used  to generate just enough force to put Jock's seaplane in motion; after which it would gain momentum and take off across the bay.***


   There is accommodation for two cars in the boat storage space and cars may be parked here until required on return from trip by boat, or, if preferred, the car may be driven through the passage to the end of the dock where there is space for turning and where, in bad weather or in case of hurry, a car can receive passengers from boats.

   Primarily the purpose was to facilitate travel to and from the city, by water or air, for the owner whose estate is about a mile distant from the shore. The building is so planned that the owner may leave his residence by motor and reach the boathouse in about five minutes.


95 Lake Road, Manhasset, Nassau County, NY, 11030

   Telephone, water and fuel-oil outlets are provided at end of dock for the use of boats.


   The matter of land drainage and sewage disposal, because of the low level of the surface, was also a difficult problem. A system of septic tanks and a double system of straining and restraining the effluent through gravel beds and finally releasing it into the Bay through the rip-rap walls has given
entire satisfaction. The rip-rap walls were built out into the Bay to retain clean beach sand, which was barged to the premises to make a clean bathing beach over the muddy shore.


   The materials selected for the construction of
the exterior walls were hand split British Columbia red cedar shingles. These have butts varying from 2" to Yi" thick and exposures from 10" to 6". Absolutely no finish was applied to these, but they have been left to weather to a silver gray in the salt air. This natural change has already taken place to a marked extent in the course of one year.
The posts are hand adzed, solid pine timbers. The rubble stone, which was jointed with much care, is a golden brown local outcropping found in Greenwich, Conn. and barged over the Sound to Manhasset. This stone was selected for its excellent match in color with the weathered shingles. 


  To construct the main door of the boat storage space so that it would admit an amphibian plane was also a problem. A clear opening of 40 feet wide by thirteen feet in height was required for this. The method of hinging the center doors and then sliding the pivoted doors back flat against the walls in the limited space was a challenge to ingenuity of architect and builder alike.



     The main room on the second floor, designed as the clubroom on the plan, is cruciform in plan, size about 50' x 30'. Opening this is a broad portico overlooking the Bay. Corner spaces cut off the clubroom by the trusses are devoted to telephone room, refreshment room, lavatory and wood storage. 

95 Lake Road, Manhasset, Nassau County, NY, 11030


    Everything possible to give a flavor of the sea has been incorporated in the detailing. This accounts for the rope moulding in the ceiling beams; this is hemp rope of various sizes with ends seized and nailed in place. Incidentally, this is a very economical effect in comparison with carving.


    At one end of the clubroom is a great fieldstone fireplace with an overmantel map of Long Island painted by Philip Bower



     The cast iron fireback is a copy of an antique Roman has relief showing shipping at about the time of Christ. It was modeled by Tom Jones, sculptor.

95 Lake Road, Manhasset, Nassau County, NY, 11030






95 Lake Road, Manhasset, Nassau County, NY, 11030


   The boathouse, planned as it was upon swampy ground and just at the high-water mark, offered some difficult and interesting problems. In the first place, it was found necessary for security to support it upon concrete piles jetted and driven to a safe bearing on sub-strata. Two hundred of these 12" square, precast piles were required. Reinforced concrete pile caps connect these piles and form the foundation for the building. The boiler room, which is below the high-water mark, had to be a water tight compartment. For this purpose German super-cement was used and has so far shown no defect.

wikimapia location

   Aphrodite was built by the Purdy Boat Company and launched in May of 1937 for Wall Street financier and later Ambassador to the Court of St. James, John Hay (Jock) Whitney of Manhasset, Long Island.

The trip down Long Island Sound and the East River to lower Manhattan took 45 minutes. On foggy mornings, the captain would navigate by the clock, making each turn in his route after a certain number of minutes of running time.

   Whitney’s chauffeur would drive him, still in his pajamas, to his boathouse on Manhasset Bay each morning. Once on board Aphrodite, his valet would help him dress in the master stateroom. Then he would go to the forward cockpit, which is sheltered by its own windscreen. Whitney would sit up there as he rode to work every morning and read the Herald Tribune, which he later owned.


   Whitney also entertained the luminaries of the era on Aphrodite. Shirley Temple celebrated her sixth birthday on board. While working on “Gone With The Wind,” which he co-produced with David O. Selznick, Whitney took its star Vivien Leigh out for a cruise. During WW II she would run up the Hudson from Newburgh to Hyde Park before FDR’s train, checking the train lines for sabotage.


"Greentree" at


                Manhasset’s Historical Gem

   Payne Whitney married Helen Hay, the sister of his Yale roommate. As it was common to give a home to a new wife during that time, Payne Whitney built Greentree Estate in Manhasset for Helen as a wedding gift in 1904.

   Payne Whitney and Helen had two children; Joan Whitney Payson (1903-1975) and John Hay “Jock” Whitney (1904-1982). Joan, a sports enthusiast, would later become the first owner of the New York Mets. And Jock would become perhaps the most prominent Whitney in the history of the family, accomplishing more than his contemporaries could have imagined.

  ***1930 John Hay Whitney's Wedding***

   Jock’s first marriage was to Mary Elizabeth Altemus (known as Liz Whitney) and lasted from 1931 to 1940. 

   In 1942, he married Betsey Cushing Roosevelt, the former daughter-in-law of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Jock adopted her two daughters from her previous marriage. 

 Property of the Greentree Foundation From The Collection Of Mr. And Mrs. John Hay Whitney: Fine and Decorative Works of Art 

A rough stucco front with lines of red brick trim, including a crisscross pattern across the parapet wall, and leaded glass windows.

   Mr. Whitney had the architect Ellery Husted destroy the Sterner stucco fantasy and replace it with a chaste brick neo-Federal design.

The John Hay Whitney House 163 East 63rd Street

                    A Lot of History for Just One House

2011 Kips Bay Show House

182 East 64th Street

    Lenox Hill townhouse, former home of John Hay "Jock" Whitney.

2 Beekman Place, New York, NY

   2 Beekman Place, the high rise building designed by Rosario Candela. The penthouse belonged to Mrs. Betsey Cushman Whitney. She moved there because NYC rerouted an exit from the Queensborough Bridge, forcing traffic on to East 63rd Street. The Whitneys' town house was on that street and she couldn't handle the noise.

The house is of modern design with flat roofs throughout, and large glass areas to take advantage of the views. Construction is of frame, with exterior finish largely of California redwood, moulded and run horizontally. A pinkish brick of large size also has been used in portions of the house and there is some local stonework.

Big Whitney House Being Erected on Fishers Island

   In the decorative scheme gay and bright materials are being used throughout in keeping with the summer living which the house was designed. As a basis for the landscaping plan, a large number of small trees were brought over from the mainland.

"one of the more opulent houses. Severely modern, it cost upward of $500,000 to build, and the grounds were once equipped with a seaplane ramp."

   The site is a relatively high ridge of land running east and west, falling off sharply on the north side, and toward the road.

   Unusual characteristics of the site dictated in a large measure the plan of the house, which is designed basically on an L-plan with a long wing containing the master’s rooms running along the ridge and parallel to the beach, and the service wing at right angles to this. The house is designed on three different levels, although it is only two-stories
high at any one point.

The main entrance is on the interior of the L-plan and at the intersection of the two wings. On this level are located the entrance hall, large living room, dining room and screened porch overlooking the beach. Also there is a room designed for the use of children and a guest room. Lending from the dining room are the kitchen, pantry and service facilities.

   An unusual feature is that the living room and dining room, both opening on the porch, are designed with large sliding glass doors, which may be opened in fair weather to create a single living area of the three units.

   On the highest level of the house are the master's quarters with two rooms and baths. One of these rooms has been designed as a study and office for the owner and both open on living decks commanding a superb view of Long Island sound.

The lower level of the beach wing contains three master bedrooms and a beach room with dressing rooms and showers. Also on this level the servants’ rooms and at the extreme end of the wing on the inland side is a carport to house two automobiles.

   A small terrace house, with built-in barbecue grilles, has been constructed for outdoor living.

   Architects for the house are Matthiessen, Johnson & Green of New York and Stamford. Design work was started by the architects in August, 1949.

The Greentree property in Saratoga Springs, New York adjacent to the backside of the Saratoga Race Course and Yaddo, an artists’ community and retreat.  

    In 1920 Edward F. Simms aquired land bordering the Yaddo property. Simms, a Kentucky horse breeder and owner, had made a vast fortune in the oilfields of Texas and Louisiana and used a portion of his income to develop the beautiful Xalapa Farm outside of Paris, Kentucky. 

Edward F. Simms

    In 1930, the Saratoga property transferred to John Hay “Jock” Whitney, scion of the famous first family of American racing. While no official transcript of the circumstances exists to common knowledge, rumor has long had it that Simms lost the property to Whitney in a friendly game of cards.

Add caption

   In addition to the main house, a guest lodge and staff housing, the present-day property includes two 400-foot long barns with 100 total stalls and a manager’s office. 

1933 photo showing the members of the Whitney family at Saratoga. From left to right: Mrs. C. V. Whitney (Gwladys Crosby Hopkins); John Hay Whitney (Jock Whitney); Mrs. John Hay Whitney (Mary Elizabeth Altemus); and C. V. Whitney.

  Under various names, and with the assistance of sister Joan Whitney Payson, Jock Whitney eventually bred more than 130 stakes winners between 1934 and 1982.

 The property was acquired by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley in January of 2008.

   Greentree Stud owed its existence to the familial strife engendered by the hasty remarriage of William Collins Whitney after the death of his first wife. While Harry supported his father, his brother Payne had actively opposed the remarriage. For this principled stand, Payne would receive less than a tenth of his father's estate and had become so estranged from the family that he was not even present when his father passed away.

   Ultimately he would benefit from the estate of his uncle, Oliver Payne, who felt that Whitney's remarriage was a slight to his sister and rewarded his nephew with a bequest of 50 million dollars that did much to ease the inequity in inheritances and helped reconcile the brothers.

   Uncle Col. Oliver Payne acquired  the vast longleaf forested sanctuary in 1899, enlisting his friend Stanford White to make subtle additions, add a sunken garden, and give a Gilded Age flourish to the Greek Revival mansion.

   In 1944, Greenwood was inherited by John Hay Whitney.

The property was originally owned by a Thomas County pioneer family and rose to renown under later owners, the Payne and Whitney families, who helped establish the County’s reputation as a winter resort.

   THE MAIN HOUSE WAS BUILT BETWEEN 1835 and 1844 and is one of the few surviving structures designed by English architect John Wind. Later twentieth century additions were designed by Stanford White of the firm McKim, Mead, & White. Mr. White declared Greenwood “the most perfect example of Greek Revival architecture in America,” and it remains one of the finest instances of that style in the state. 

In 1993, a devastating fire ravaged the main house. The exterior was painstakingly restored; however, the interior remains untouched and is little more than a shell.

   Beyond the architecture, Greenwood is historically significant because of the many prominent Americans who were guests at the estate. President Eisenhower hunted quail on the grounds and Jacqueline Kennedy sought refuge at Greenwood after John F. Kennedy’s death.

   Such was Jock Whitney’s passion for plantation life that he was said to have immediately optioned the movie-rights for Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind.” 

   In addition to producing “Gone With the Wind,” Jock Whitney was an investor in Technicolor.

   In 1930, as a wedding gift to his bride, Whitney gave his wife the sprawling hunt country estate known as Llangollen.

   They divorced in 1940 and she kept the estate along with a $3 million check.

   Whitney was a major backer of Dwight D. Eisenhower and a member of the New York Young Republican Club. Eisenhower appointed him United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, a post held sixty years earlier by Whitney's grandfather John Hay.

The property, originally named Holthanger, was built in the 1930s by British architect Oliver Hill, who was inspired by the white-colored modernist houses designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

   Cherry Hill was the former UK country estate of Ambassador Whitney. Ambassador Whitney was not only an heir to a large fortune but a pioneer in the concept of venture capital, as well as an influential philanthropist. He renamed the property after the exclusive Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, Colorado, where he and Dwight D. Eisenhower often played golf, close to the President’s ‘Summer White House’.

   With their wealth, exquisite taste, and refined aesthetic, the Whitney's created a style that was the envy of post-war British society.  This home was the perfect setting for their fabulous art collection, which included both Old Masters and Impressionists, and for their extensive entertaining.
    Betsy sold Cherry Hill in the mid-1980s following Jock’s death in 1982 at age 77.

Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia

   One of only seven long-wheelbase Bentley S3s built, chassis number 'BAL2' was sold new in the United Kingdom via H R Owen to John Hay 'Jock' Whitney, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune and US Ambassador to the Court of St James from 1957 to 1961. One of the world's wealthiest men, Jock Whitney resided when in London at Wingfield House, Regents Park but kept the Bentley for his private use at another of his properties: Cheery Hill at Wentworth in Surrey. 

Jock: The Life and Times of John Hay Whitney 

   John Hay Whitney was a man of extraordinary accomplishment in business and philanthropy. Among the many organizations he founded were J.H. Whitney and Company, the oldest venture capital firm in America; the Whitney Communications Corporation; and the John Hay Whitney Foundation "to help people achieve social and economic justice, with particular focus on those who experience discrimination in our country because of race, gender or economic condition." He was a captain in the Army Air Forces during World War II and received the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star awards. Like his grandfather, he also served as Ambassador to Britain, being asked by President Eisenhower to be Ambassador to the Court of St. James in 1956, a post he and Mrs. Whitney served in for four years. Mr. Whitney was Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the New York Herald Tribune from 1961-1966 and Chairman of the International Herald Tribune from 1966 until his death in 1982.

Kelly created a museum-like setting filled with antique chests, furniture and artwork of great beauty, and seating arrangements dressed with leopard, tiger and zebra skins. Objects d’art are surrounded by the heads of a rhinoceros, water buffalo, yak and exotic deer. Game birds are stuffed and suspended from the eighteen-foot ceiling. A rare narwhal tusk (given to Mr. Kelly by Mr. Whitney) hangs over the giant stone fireplace and an elephant tail sprouts wire-like hair in another corner of the room. The startling polar bear, leopards and tiger skin rugs stare back in defiance—mouths frighteningly agape.

   The Boathouse was left to his friend John Sims "Shipwreck" Kelly.

The Payne Whitney House  at 972 Fifth Avenue
Childhood home of John Hay Whitney and sister Joan.

The Venetian Room designed by Stanford White.

  In 1949, the room was dismantled and stored at the Whitney estate "Greentree" on Long Island. It remained there until 1997, when Mrs. John Hay Whitney donated it to the French American Foundation, which underwrote its reinstallation in the house.

   While studying at Yale University, Jock Whitney was a participant in the sport of rowing. As told by author Edward Bowen in his book “Legacies of the Turf: A Century of Great Thoroughbred Breeders (Vol. 1),” Jock Whitney concluded that having shorter hair would cut down on wind resistance and allow his rowing crew to travel faster; the haircut he subsequently requested wound up being known as the “crew cut.”

   Thanks to an inheritance of $100 million, Jock Whitney was one of the richest men in North America. Forbes ranked him among the seven richest men in the world in the 1970s. 

John Hay “Jock” Whitney