Saturday, May 25, 2013

Charles L. Tiffany, Residence, New York City 1884


Charles L. Tiffany, Residence, New York City.
   The Charles L. Tiffany residence stood at 19 East 72nd Street. Designed in 1882 by Stanford White of McKim, Mead and White. The residence  constructed in 1883-85 at a cost of over $500,000, was designed as a triple house. The lower floors were for the owner, the founder and senior member of the well-known jewelry house of Tiffany & Co. The third floor was designed for Tiffany's daughter, and the floors within the roof were designed for his son, Louis C. Tiffany, who had White follow his specifications in decorating his apartment in the old Dutch style. 

   Click HERE to view the original sketch drawn by Louis Comfort Tiffany - the sketch Stanford White used to inspire the final design. Elevation sketch, photo and first floor plan from THE MONOGRAPH OF THE WORK OF McKIM, MEAD & WHITE, 1878-1917 originally published in 1920.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Playhouse at "Florham"

   In 1922 Ruth Twombly commissioned architect Whitney Warren to design a pool and tennis-court building that she jokingly called her "playhouse" on the grounds of "Florham", her mothers estate. The Warren designed tennis house contained one of the finest indoor courts in the country. Its ultra-fast sand surface was watered twice daily for an extra-speedy bounce. A Grecian swimming pool, fifty by twenty-five feet, was decorated with wall and ceiling murals by Robert Chanler. The building contained changing rooms, guest rooms, and a handsome pine-paneled drawing room. Ruth employed a English barmen and a Swedish Masseuse. 

An aerial view of the "Florham" estate grounds showing the Playhouse in the foreground.
 Demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the College at Florham Student Center. Click HERE to see the Playhouse still extant.  

Playhouse with indoor tennis court, swimming pool, and "card room". The playhouse also had bedrooms where Mrs. Twombly and her daughters would stay when returning to "Florham" in the winter.

Another view of the Warren and Wetmore designed playhouse that was destroyed to make way for the College at Florham Student Center.

The Playhouse designed by Warren and Wetmore at "Florham"..

The rounded entrance to the Playhouse designed by Warren and Wetmore.

A close-up view of the rounded entrance to the Playhouse designed by Warren and Wetmore.
A view of the Chinese temple bell in the foyer of the Playhouse.

A view of the interior of the Warren and Wetmore designed Playhouse.

Pine-paneled Drawing-room at the Playhouse at "Florham". 

The swimming pool in the Playhouse at "Florham".

The swimming pool in the Playhouse at "Florham". Murals by Robert Chanler.

The swimming pool in the Playhouse at "Florham".

The pool in the Playhouse at "Florham". Murals by Robert Chanler.

A view of the tennis courts at the Playhouse at "Florham".
   Click HERE to view the model farm complex "Florham Farms".

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Millionaires as Farmers - The "Florham" Fairyland


The Produce From Their Estates Brings Them Small Fortunes.

The produce sent to market by just seventeen multi-millionaires of New York will exceed in value 1/2 million per annum. The Conservative, 1899

  With the millionaire farmer or florist the pursuit is generally a fad; his grounds are the most expensive that money can buy; his barns are princely structures; his hot-house plants are the finest that soil and science can produce; his milk is skimmed and churned by the latest methods ; his cow is nurtured as kindly as a baby. She is guarded by day and by night; her food must be of the most delicate flavor; the water she drinks must be filtered; she has mats to lie on and her horns are polished. She has the attendance of a famous veterinarian.

  The poultry plant of the millionaire farmer is equally fine. Science relieves the hen of maternal duties; her chicks are hatched by the incubator and housed in grandeur.

  The millionaire farmer does not follow the pursuit to clear a fortune. But he sells the produce; that is a part of the fad.

  In Madison, N. J., lies the princely estate of Hamilton McK. Twombly, son in-law of W. H. Vanderbilt and next to the largest producer in this part of the country.

  He owns a beautiful park, traversed by macadamized roads and covering nearly 400 acres***later over 900***. It is called "Florham" and connects with "Florham Farms".

  The palatial residence cost one million dollars. It is a wonder of domestic architecture, but the farm in its way is as wonderful.

  Mr. Twombly averages in the neighborhood of $75,000 a year from the sale of produce. The sale of the milk from his farm averages $2,000 a month; his flowers from $20,000 to $30,000 a year.

  He supplies the Madison market with milk, cream, butter, vegetables and flowers, and sends large consignments of flowers to New York.

  Mr. Twombly peddles milk at ten cents a quart—eight cents in summer— in a $1,200 wagon, drawn by a pair of $1,500 thoroughbreds in gold mounted harness. The farm wagons are hauled by $1,000 thoroughbreds.

  The cow stables are finished in hard wood. They are built upon English models, regardless of cost.

  The dairy, lined throughout with tiling, is one of the finest in the United States. There are about 150 head of Guernseys on "Florham Farms", imported thoroughbreds, which furnish for market 800 gallons of milk a day. Mr. Twombly's prize cow is the famous Rutilla's daughter.

  The garden at "Florham Farms" grows the finest vegetables known to the soil. The greenhouses are famous. Their walls are laid with Portland cement to stand hundreds of years. The most notable is the palm house, which towers sixty-four feet, topped by a mammoth dome. ***The gardener came from the royal conservatories at Kew in England***

  The greenhouses are classified. ***the largest in New Jersey***Mr. Twombly makes a specialty of growing orchids and chrysanthemums. Most of these he ships to New York. ***The farm and greenhouses supplied all three of the Twombly homes with produce, dairy and flowers all year long***

  Mr. Twombly encourages his gardeners by rewards, and it is said that they receive a certain percentage upon what is sold.

  The superintendent of the estate is Mr. E. Burnett, a polished gentleman, a Harvard graduate and school fellow of Mr. Twombly in his boyhood days. Gossip fixes his salary at $10,000 a year, but that is not official. THE END.

The model farm - "Florham Farms" designed by McKim, Mead & White - 1894


The wedding of Florence Vanderbilt and Hamilton McKeon Twombly in 1887(THE MOST COSTLY WEDDING DRESS ON THIS CONTINENT ), was the first official linking of the names Florence and Hamilton. The couple, worth an estimated $70 million(producing an annual income of $3.5 million, or $70,000 a week), named their 1,000-acre Afton estate "Florham" using the first syllables of their first names. Mr. Twombly established "Florham Farms" for his son Hamilton Jr., as a nine-hundred-acre working farm designed to be run on scientific principles, just as George Vanderbilt was doing at Biltmore.  

In 1899, the Twomblys and Dr. Leslie D. Ward, millionaire owner of "Brooklake Park", agitated for a new borough to be split from Chatham township and called Florham Park(Broomtown). Villagers amiably expressed their willingness. The Twomblys in turn agreed that the "Park" in the new name commemorated Dr. Leslie Ward's estate called "Brooklake Park". Click HERE to read the introduction to MANSIONS OF MORRIS COUNTY and learn about the appeal the area had as a summer escape from the heat of New York City. HERE for more on the history of Florham Park, NJ.

"Florham Farms"

THE "FLORHAM" FAIRYLAND The Country Gentlemen, 1905

 The delights of country or farm life are never more truly realized than on the estates of some of our multi-millionaires. The conditions of life in some of these vast establishments are well nigh perfect and of course not to be attained on the average farm; yet one must always look with pleasure on such ideal establishments as "Florham Farms", the country home of Mr. Hamilton McKown Twombly, one of New York's leading financiers and bankers.

  Mr. Twombly is a country squire in the fullest sense of the word, and his property, "Florham Farms", is one of the representative places of this class in the United States. Situated about two miles east of Morristown, N. J., most of the land was once considered absolutely valueless, but in the quarter of a century that it has been in Mr. Twombly's hands, the land has increased in value from $10 an acre to a price estimated at $500 to $1000. And all this because of the scientific methods which he has put into operation since gaining control of the property.

"Florham Farms" consist of 900 acres, all under-drained and under cultivation. The farm proper comprises only 750 acres of this tract, as the other 150 are laid out in the park surrounding the mansion. The farm itself is entirely separate from the park, being separated from it by a public highway, so that in reality the farm has no connection whatever witb the magnificent park in the center of which stands one of the finest mansions in New Jersey.

  Although Mr. Twombly is a banker and is at his offices in New York during banking hours, he is the moving spirit of his farm, and watches every detail of it with as much care as if his income depended on it, and indeed the farm is a revenue producing establishment, turning in a profit to its owner each year. This makes "Florham Farm" somewhat unique in the way of millionaire country estates. While it is true that Mr. Twombly farms for pleasure, he also obtains a handsome dividend on his investment.

  His great hobby is cattle—Guernsey cattle —and it would seem this year that his hobby had been a source of much pride to him, as he carried off the blue ribbon for Guernsey cattle at the world's fair in St. Louis. Mr. Twombly had a large number of cattle entered in the cattle exhibit at this fair, he having between 25 and 35 cattle there, which won for him the premier championship for breeder.

  He also won the grand championship prize, as well as dozens of first and second prizes; in all, including prizes down to the sixth and seventh, he had a big basketful. Some of the prizes which be won are as follows:

  Guernsey champion 8218, first-prize two year-old and grand champion bull; lmp. Pride of Home 14447, first-prize aged cow and female grand champion; first-prize breeders' herd; first prize for get of Rutila's Sheet Anchor 5701, and, with his own sister, Sheet Anchor's Rutlla 9170, first prize as produce of one cow (12 pairs shown); first and second prizes given by A. G. C. C. for tested cows; western Guernsey breeders' special, and 23 additional prizes of lesser note. Except three aged cows, all the animals exhibited were bred at Florham.

  Out of Mr. Twombly's herd of 160, 24 qualified for the Advanced Register. What farmer would not like to own a cow that produces 790 pounds of butter a year? This means an average of over two pounds a day, and is the record of the great prize-winning cow Charmante of Gron, a six-year-old which he bred at "Florham Farms". He has other cows which have produced almost as much butter in the course of a year. To name a few of them: Pretoria, four and a half years old, with a record of 695 pounds; Itchen Buila, five years old, 640 pounds; Pride of Home, eight and a half years old, 623 pounds; Itchen Daisy, two years old, 622 pounds; Minette of the Isles, six and a half years old, 580 pounds, and so on with a list of 24, the smallest producer of all yielding 412 pounds of butter. Most of these cattle were bred on Mr. Twombly's estate, but some of them were imported. For years, Mr. J. L. Hope***what happened to Mr. Burnett?***, the very able superintendent of "Florham Farms", has been making trips abroad purchasing the best cattle be could find on the Isle of Guernsey; thus he has kept the herd up to a high standard as the results of the competition at the world's fair make very evident.

The Farmhouse at "Florham Farms"
This shows one of the buildings at the home of the noted Florham Guernsey Herd, ably managed by the veteran expert, Mr. John L. Hope, who may be addressed at Madison, N. J. We believe that he has at present only bulls to spare-bulls of the highest blood values and greatest individual excellence.
  A glance at the accompanying pictures will show what Mr. Twombly considers a proper plant for a stock farm. The farm cottage, for instance, is a brick and stone structure, the main part of which is two stories and a half high, while the wings on either side are each a story and a half high. It was built at an expense of about $12,000; is commodious, containing fourteen rooms, and is occupied by Mr. Hope.

The "Florham Farms" Creamery
Group of Barns at "Florham Farms" 

  The farm house is on the west side of the square, the other three sides of which are made up of the creamery, shown in one of these pictures, the barn and the offices and blacksmith shop, which are not shown. In the center of the square is the water tower; the tank in this tower supplies all the buildings with water, and the windmill which supplies the tower can be seen just over the creamery. There is never a time when the tank is not full, and when the pressure is not sufficient to give all the buildings a good supply of water. Each building is also equipped with fire hose, which can be connected with a main at a moment's notice, and the pressure is sufficient to send a strong stream over any of the buildings.

The "Florham Farms" Cottages and Water-Tower

  This group of farm buildings, which occupies a quadrangle 750 feet on each side, is about the center of the farm. The land is all low, very much lower than that of most farms surrounding it; yet so well has it been under-drained that water does not stand on any part of it more than a few hours after the heaviest rainfall. In fact, any lot on this farm will dry quicker than any lot on any contiguous farm. A vast system of ditches leads from every part of the farm to the Whippany River, which runs through one part of it. At one time, years ago, the farm was flooded two or three feet deep with water every spring and fall, and it was part of what is known as the Whippany flats, a hunters' paradise; but under the management of Mr. Twombly the river banks have been slightly built up, the channel somewhat deepened and straightened, so that now the biggest freshets will not flood an acre of his ground  All the ditches are filled from the drain pipes leading underneath the surface in parallel lines. The sub-draining of this farm has cost probably $50,000 at least, and as much more will be spent before the work of draining the farm is completed as now mapped out. New systems of drains are put in every year, the work being extended until within a few years from now there will not be one foot of low land but has drain tiles underneath.

  While stock raising is the principal industry of "Florham Farms", it is not the only one. Grain, wheat, rye, oats, potatoes, and in fact a general line of farm produce are raised— most of them vastly superior in quality and size to that raised on other farms in the same neighborhood. For instance, last fall one field of corn was grown, the average height of which was over 15 feet from the ground to the top of the tassel, while many stalks measured 17 and 17 1/2 feet in height. Many of these cornstalks were on exhibition in the surrounding towns. Standing in front of a store, the cornstalks looked like enormous fish-poles, as they reached well above the second-story windows and were as thick at the base as a man's wrist. In the field this corn was like a forest of young willows; while the corn was excellent in quality, yet the quantity was not such as to make it especially desirable to grow stalks of such vast height. Although the farm produces an abundance of corn, vegetables and hay, It does not produce sufficient feed for the cattle. Everything is consumed, and a great deal of grain is bought in addition.

  Mr. Twombly takes great interest in the work on his farm. At least once a week he makes a tour of inspection of every part of the grounds, buildings, looks over the accounts and generally supervises the work. With him it can hardly be said that farming is an avocation, since, although it is his hobby, he devotes so much time to it with such excellent results. It would be hard to say how many hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in bringing "Florham Farms" to its present state of perfection. Certainly a quarter of a million would not cover it, but for every dollar spent, the farm is worth two dollars now. For farm purposes alone, "Florham Farms" is worth easily half a million dollars, and is earning a good dividend on that capital. THE END.

  After the death of Hamilton Jr. Mr. Twombly lost interest in his model farm, the farm no longer self-sustaining fell into disrepair. Nothing remains of the farm complex. On the death(1954) of unmarried daughter Ruth Twombly, "Florham Farms" was sold for the site of the Esso(Exxon) Research and Engineering Center. Redeveloped in 2008 as The Green at Florham Park. New home for the New York Jets Training Center.   Click HERE to see original location at wikimapia. At BING parts of the  drainage system dug over one-hundred year ago are still visible. Aerial view from 1931 at

 A view of the farm complex at "Florham Farms". The area is now the practice field for the New York Jets. The farm had prize Guernsey and Holstein cows, and was the first dairy in the United States to experiment with playing Mozart and Brahms to expedite the hand-milking process.

A view of the water tower and other farm buildings.

Farmhouse cottage.
Another view of the farm complex.
Another view of the farm complex.

A view of the water tower at the farm complex from inside Farmhouse cottage.

A later photo of the farm complex with ivy-covered buildings.
A later view of the farm buildings.

A later view of the farm buildings.
A later view of the water tower.

A later view of the water tower.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

New Photos of "Winfield Hall"

New photos of  "Winfield Hall" at added March 2013.

False door to the left meant to balance the door not seen into the Marie Antoinette Bedroom. Long hallway led to Mr. Woolworth's  Empire bedroom on the far left and private sitting room across the way, decorated in a Tudor/Elizabethan  style.  To the immediate right was the Italian bedroom. At the very end is access to the private enclosed porch that stretches the whole lenght of the west side.
Click HERE for more on "Winfield Hall".

Saturday, May 11, 2013

MR TIFFANY'S ORIGINAL SKETCH For the Seventy-second Street Home

For the Seventy-second Street Home

  Commissioned by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1882. Once the largest private dwelling in New York, Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide called it "the most conspicuous dwelling house in the city." While the structure is due to the designs of McKim, Mead & White the concept was Mr. Tiffany's son Louis Comfort Tiffany.  The residence stood at the northwest corner of Madison Avenue(892) and Seventy-second Street(27).  It was here that L. C. moved to from the "Bella" penthouse.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

2000 Feet of Iron Railing - " Castle Gould"

Anchor Post Iron Works - 1909

  2000 Feet of This Iron Railing We Erected for Howard Gould at "Castle Gould", L. I. No expensive foundation walls were necessary, it being supported on heavy cast iron foundations set in concrete. All our wire fences have galvanized anchor iron posts, and will not rust off at ground line.

Anchor Post Iron Works - 1909

  Click HERE to see the two entrance gates to "Castle Gould".

Wednesday, May 8, 2013



 Large Driveway Gates - Opening, 20 feet wide, height 25 feet. Side Gates - Opening, 10 feet high, height 15 feet. Height of Railing, 10 feet.


 Large Driveway Gates - Opening, 20 feet wide, height 25 feet. Side Gates - Opening, 10 feet high, height 15 feet. Height of Railing, 10 feet.
   The Entrance Gates shown in above illustrations are of colossal proportions  and are considered by Architects to be the finest examples of hand forged iron in the United States. The production of such a magnificent composition  in iron illustrates the great strides America is making in the production and devolpment of wrought iron forges as a fine art. J. L. Mott Iron Works 1904.


  Click HERE to see entrance or Upper Gateway at wikimapia. Click on the Google logo(bottom, left) at wikimapia to access Street View. You can "travel" down the road to the service or Lower Gateway and view the decorative fence along the way. has current photos of the gate and lodge, click HERE.