Monday, May 24, 2021

"RYNWOOD" the home of Samuel A. Salvage at Glen Head, New York

On May 24, 1928 a housewarming party was given at the new home of Samuel A. Salvage "Rynwood" timed to celebrate the English holiday Empire Day. A now largely forgotten anniversary, perhaps only grandparents will recall the chant Remember, Remember Empire Day, the 24th of May.

... from the British Isles, India and Africa, as well as from Canada and many a point in the U. S. ... came the 1,500 guests bidden to Millionaire Salvage's unique house-warming.

August 19, 1928
A $30,000 Party - Wealthy Samuel Salvage Broke a Record For Lavishness when He Hired a Special Train For His 1500 Guests, and, Brought Them All Down to Dedicate His New Million Dollar Home. 

LET'S give a garden party. Sounds simple and inexpensive. But if you had received word that the British Ambassador had accepted your invitation to be an honored guest and you had a million-dollar estate to dedicate, you might abandon pocketbook control and arrange an entertainment of the proportions of that over which Samuel Salvage recently presided at his baronial Long Island home. It is estimated that the little social function cost the host some $30,000.

***$30,000 in 1928 is worth $468,515.79 today.***

... spats flashing, kilts slapping, shakos a-bob, the famed Black Watch Pipers paraded back and forth on the verdant carpet of lawn, their bagpipes wailing bonnie Highland tunes.

A native Englishman who has taken up his residence in America, Mr. Salvage undertook to reproduce an English country home in the grand manner when he built, his Long Island residence, on a wooded hill, in the exclusive North Shore community about the village of Glen Head. And to celebrate the completion of one of the surpassingly beautiful country seats in a district known far and wide, for its palatial establishments, he decided to stage a unique garden party housewarming. Empire Day—observed by all good Englishmen—and the, dedication of the great estate were celebrated at the same function. Sir Esme Howard, the British Ambassador, came from Washington especially to be present, and other social and diplomatic dignitaries added to the distinction of the occasion by their presence. A military band of 40 pieces, a miniature symphony orchestra, a choir of 70 voices and a troop of Indian players were engaged, and a kiltie band of 22 men was brought from Canada as a special feature. 

The approach road entered the property at a gatehouse at the northwestern corner, curved around part of the northern perimeter, skirted thick woods, crossed a bridge over a ravine, and ended at a circular turn-around in front of the house. To the east of the house and well out of view was a large farm group.

In order that the guests might arrive at the party without any discomfort, and as trains from the city, 20 miles away, were apt to be overcrowded and highways leading to the estate involved in traffic entanglements, the host chartered a special train on the Long Island Railroad to convey members of the party from Pennsylvania station. 

Beyond the two formal gardens on the west side of the house was a swimming pool within its own garden enclosure and a tennis court and, beyond these, a large meadow.

Twelve railroad cars were necessary to comfortably seat the passengers. A fleet of buses several blocks long awaited the arrival of the special at the Long Island village, and transported the guests quickly over the country roads of the picturesque district to the gatehouse of the Salvage estate. 

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

A great stone house, wherein the gatekeeper and his family live, stands beside the ornate iron gateway. A special police guard had been stationed there. 

This profusion of petunias is in the very simple Cotswold garden which relates to the gate house at the estate entrance.

The high stone walls, when passed by the incoming guests, revealed a vivid garden of summer blooms.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

PASSING up a long winding road from the gatehouse through the grounds of the place, the green lawns came to an end and the road led into a wood which crowned a hill. 


On through the woods, a picturesque, high vaulted bridge soon appeared, and after crossing it the motors came to a stop before the entry way of a manor house which a member of the oldest old world nobility would be proud to call his own. 

ENGLISH-STYLE MANSION of the late Sir Samuel Salvage is surrounded by lovely gardens, a swimming pool, dovecot, greenhouse, rose garden, teahouse and tennis court. All this bears witness to the success achieved by Sir Samuel, who came to the U. S. as plain Samuel Salvage, made a fortune in rayon and was knighted in 1942 for his work with British War Relief by King George VI. Two of his daughters married brothers, Frank L. and James P. Polk, descendants of President James K. Polk. LIFE 1946

In spite of the newness of the place, Long Island gardeners had surrounded the house with green shrubbery, and about the manor there was the atmosphere of a home long established.

Upon entering the house, the guests were greeted by the celebrated Jerome of Sherry's. No man in New York has a wider acquaintanceship among the prominent residents of Manhattan and its environs than has he. Jerome handed each guest an address book with a tooled leather cover, upon the back of which an inscription in gold letters—a memento of the garden party. 

Other liveried members of the Sherry staff augmented the representative of the Salvage household in the entrance hall. 

Ambassador Sir Esine Howard, Host Salvage and one-time Presidential Candidate John W, Davis ...... chatted on the greensward.

Guests were directed to the great room adjoining where they were received by Sir Esme Howard, British Ambassador to the U. S., Sir Harry Gloster Armstrong, the British Consul-general in New York, and Lady Armstrong, as well as by Mr. and Mrs. Salvage.

On the east side of the house, beyond grass terraces, were a paved court planned around an existing oak tree, as well as a service court and a fountain garden.

Through the windows came chamber music selections from an orchestra of 16 pieces, playing in the shade of a lofty tree which had been persevered by the structural and landscape architects in building the place.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

Passing through the reception room and out an open door at the other side, guests came upon their first view of the extensive formal gardens, which, like the residence, had just been completed. An uncovered terrace looked upon the west garden.

Westerly loggia of living-room.



The library, sun room, and living room all looked out onto a rose garden and a large flower garden. 

From the other end of the garden terraces could be heard the music of the band of New York's Seventh Regiment. Proceeding in the direction of the music, which was not intermingled with that of the orchestra because of a wing of the house, a fountain was reached to which tropical fish added the vividness of their color and on all sides were plots of flowers in the prime of bloom. 

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect


Particularly attractive were the vari-colored tulips, few of which had stems less than 24 inches in length, blooms that would have taken prizes in any flower show.

Dovecote modeled alter a similar structure at Snowshill Manor in the English Cotswolds. 

A view down a side path in the main garden and a glimpse of the conical tile roof of the dove cote.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

To the right was a tea house, where a dozen men in liveries presided at a table agleam with great silver bowls in which were various delicacies. The background was provided by the woodland trees on this side, but other sides were lined with stone walls with openings leading to steps to surrounding garden plots.


Here a box hedge edges both the main grass path and the enclosed grass circle in the center of which is a severely simple, circular reflection pool above which hang the branches of a large crabapple tree.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

At the far side of the garden there was an opening with steps leading down to a grass terrace, in the center of which was a stone swimming pool. On either side were small bath pavilions of the same structural material used in the house construction and garden embellishments.

The swimming pool is flanked by a hemlock hedge behind which on both sides rise dogwood trees.

The curving steps in the distance (designed, like all the other architectural garden details except the tea house, by Mrs. Shipman) are so planned that their reflection in the pool gives the effect of a waterfall.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

RETRACING the main pathway back to the higher level garden and turning to the floral display through the gateway at right angles, a violet garden was reached, Here were woodland blossoms grouped in large beds in varieties of colors.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

Beyond and up several steps was the open lawn with its stone balustrade, on a slightly elevated terrace above which played the orchestra, surrounded on three sides by the stone walls of the house with the glassed enclosed loggia along the main part of the background.



"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

AN East Indian play was then presented. Clad in costumes of the Orient, the dusky members of the troupe appeared from the far side of the terrace and took their places in a semi-circle while one of their number chanted a prelud with occasional vocal responses from the chorus. A quaint dramatic skit from the East was then enacted, lending an amusingly exotic note to the colorful goings-on in rich Mr. Salvage's Long Island garden.

The Scottish Treble Choir ... in their steel-gray robes they stood on the swimming pool terrace, sang ancient Scottish airs.

Not satisfied with calling an end to the program with features, Mr. Salvage had engaged the Scottish Triple Choir which sang at the other end of the garden, on the steps leading to the swimming pool terrace.

Garbed in their steel gray robes, they offered ancient songs from the highlands, as the sun was lowering behind the far hills.

Mrs. Samuel Agar Salvage ...... smilingly presided as hostess at a garden function the like of which U. S. society has seldom seen.

In the assemblage at the Salvage's elaborate fete were more than 1,500 guests. Garden parties as well attended have been often held in the hill estates on Long Island's North Shore, but few indeed have been the entertainments approaching those presented on this magnificent estate. And few such house-warmings are recorded in U. S. society annals. 

A small army of cooks and waiters prepared and served the delicacies that delighted those favored with invitations. These men took charge of the kitchen as well as the various serving centers and stayed at their posts until the party had come to an end. 

ASIDE from the musical and other features, the Salvage house-warming was a social gathering of a sort seldom held on these shores. For inasmuch as Empire Day, the birthday of Queen Victoria, was celebrated, representatives of various nations in all of the  world were included.

From Canada and the British Isles came many of the garden party guests. Others were from India and Africa and the many other localities under the sovereignty o£ King George and Queen Mary. The Church was well represented with formally garbed clerics.

At the conclusion of the afternoon the most impressive ceremony of the day took place. Returning to the lawn terrace after the vocal program, the Seventh Regiment band took a position beside a flagpole from which waved the Star and Stripes. Nearby was another mast from which floated the British Union Jack. 

With all the guests gathered about and the brilliantly setting sun casting its last shadows, the British Ambassador gave a short address and there was also a talk by Mr. Salvage before lusty cheers were shouted for President Coolidge, King George, the Ambassador and host Salvage.

Uniformed American sailors stood at attention by the pole bearing the American flag, and when the band sounding the national anthem, they superintended the lowering of the emblem. The Canadian delegation presided at the lowering of the Union Jack, to the strains of "God Save The King". 

IT was estimated that the lavish house-warming, which was a celebration of Empire Day as well, cost Host Salvage at least $30,000. What with the special train from New York and the fleet of buses to take the small army of guests from the train to the Salvage estate, and the elaborate program of music, and the ambitious array of refreshments prepared and served by a numerous corps of skilled caterers—the cost would have been nearly that. 

In addition was the expense of the great lawn canopies to be used in case of rain, the expansive special plantings of flowers, the considerable item of decorating the big manor house with rare blooms, and, probably, several thousand dollars worth of incidentals.

The medal's obverse bears bust of Salvage facing right. Around top, • SAMUEL • AGAR • SALVAGE • The reverse bears crown at top, feather at bottom. Flanked by female figure holding what appears to be oil lamp at left and male figure holding chemical reaction vessels at right, DISTINGUISHED / ACHIEVEMENT/  • AMERICAN • VISCOSE • / • CORPORATION • SOURCE

Samuel Agar Salvage is president of the Viscose Company, said to be the largest producers of textile fibre in the United States. He was largely responsible several years ago for the substitution of the word "rayon" for the phrase, "artificial silk", which brought much favorable comment on his behalf from all parts of the world.

"The Point" at Fisher's Island, NY

The Salvages spend only part of the year on Long Island. Their summer home is "The Point" at Fisher's Island, where they go with their two young daughters, the Misses Katharine and Margaret Salvage, soon after warm weather sets in.

"Jenny Fields" house from the movie The World According To Garp. 

While in residence at Glen Head, Mr. Salvage commuted to and from his Manhattan office in his luxurious yacht, the "Colleen", This vessel, a steam craft, is fitted for long cruises and is so equipped and manned that the owner may have his breakfast aboard on his way to town, and returning in the afternoon he may enjoy tea served on deck while steaming up the waters of Long Island Sound. Each summer the Salvages make extended voyages aboard the "Colleen", visiting many of the popular watering places along the Atlantic coast.

Little Miss Katherine Salvage, Fair Sponsor of Colleen

 George Lawley & Son Corp., Builders. Benjamin T. Dobson, Designer. Samuel A. Salvage, Owner. Miss Peggy Salvage, Sponsor. Length over all, 110 Feet; Length on Water Line, 102 Feet; Breadth, 18 Feet. Two Winton-Diesel Engines, 150-H.P. Each. Speed, 15 Knots

A Bow View of Colleen Just After her Launch.

Members of the Colleen Launching Party - The Owner, Samuel A. Salvage, Mrs. Salvage, Mrs. Charles Belknap, Miss Frances Belknap, Mrs. H. A. Wilmerding and Peggy and Katherine Salvage in the Foreground. The Latter
was Sponsor.

Early in World War II, the yacht was turned over to Harvard university's Underwater Sound Laboratory and was used in experimental work to develop and improve sonar equipment, and to develop antisubmarine warfare tactics.

USS Aide De Camp

Mrs. Salvage and her daughters are quite as fond of riding as of yachting and one of the most important departments of the Salvage Long Island estate is its stable of thoroughbreds.

The rambling Tudoresque house, designed by Roger H. Bullard and constructed of limestone, was completed in 1928. Salvage, founder of the American rayon industry

A flagstone path connected the dovecote with a teahouse on the far side of the large flower garden  Near the dovecote were box shrubs, hydrangeas, phlox, and small fruit trees.  Some of the beds near the house were mass-planted with petunias. In the center of the teahouse garden was a pool edged with Bergenia over which hung an old apple tree. 

Around 1980, the grounds around the house were redesigned by Innoccnti and Webel. Shipman's plantings had probably disappeared much earlier, but Innoccnti and Webel did preserve her garden spaces, which remain, as do the dovecote and teahouse.


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

The model was constructed by using cardboard for buildings and the architectural features, and using tiny sticks and bits of sponge for trees and foliage. The architectural and other details were painstaking and accurate, and everything was colored to give the natural effect.

"RYNWOOD" the home of Samuel A. Salvage at Glen Head, New York, is a free interpretation of a British-American country house. Planned so as to take full advantage of its natural surroundings, a rolling terrain thickly wooded with large oak trees, the house and its immediate gardens conform to the varying levels in a naturally graceful and related whole.

He named the home for his wife, Mary Katherine, or “Ryn,” and the wooded acres on which the house sits.

 There is no evidence of a forced arrangement or an attempt for effect, but rather a feeling of repose and inviting simplicity. For a house of such proportions this is not always easy to attain, but it has been accomplished here by a logical irregularity of plan which allows for a low-lying, rambling structure with varying courts and terrace gardens adjoining, each designed so that it is an integral part of the whole.


An antique bell, probably of English origin, complements the quarry faced buff limestone of the gate lodge at the entrance to the Estate of Samuel Salvage at Glen Head,L. I. Roger Bullard, architect.

The approach road entered the property at a gatehouse at the northwestern corner, curved around part of the northern perimeter, skirted thick woods, crossed a bridge over a ravine, and ended at a circular turn-around in front of the house.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

Approaching the property from the main highway, one passes through a walled cottage garden flanked on one side by a small stone gabled gate house. 


The roadway winds easily up the wooded rise to a stone bridge which leads across a ravine to the low-walled entrance forecourt so characteristic of the English home. 


An Old Fashioned Lamp Post in the Forecourt.

The main front being unsymmetrical in design, establishes the simple and informal character which prevails throughout. This is apparent also in the disposition and treatment of the window openings and the bays, the windows of minor importance being leaded with diamond panes and the others with rectangular. 

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect



"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

The entrance porch and large two-story bay are so placed as to conform to the interior arrangement of the plan.


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

The gardens designed to go with the house, which is of the Seventeenth Century Cotswold style, are rich in the appeal of intimacy and simplicity. 

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

At the right and left of the main front, which rightly faces the north, are iron grilled gateways; that on the right leads to the walled-in main garden, and that on the left to a paved court, flanked on two sides by service wings, and on a third by the owner’s study and the billiard room of the main house.


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

A gnarled old apple tree rises from the terrace that lies between the house and the main garden, from which the gate leads to the entrance court.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

On the east side of the house, beyond grass terraces, were a paved court planned around an existing oak tree, as well as a service court and a fountain garden. All of these formal areas were surrounded by a wall.
"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

In this paved court a feature was made of a large oak tree, the roots and base of which are carefully protected by flagging laid on edge as a coping. 

Dog Drinking Trough and Flower Bed in Paved Court.

Ferns and a small drinking trough for dogs occupy the small enclosure around the tree. The paving is laid in a pattern by using worn cobblestones and flagging, with borders left for planting against the walls. 

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect


Beyond this paved court an archway leads through the service wing to the service yard beyond.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

The south side of the main house has a commanding view overlooking rolling country, the main rooms having the full benefit of this exposure. A grass court formed by the library wing on one side and the dining room wing on the other is in interesting contrast with the paved court on the northeast.

The grass court from the south terrace.

These courts, which serve a practical purpose in adding circulation and privacy, have much to do with making the whole design cohesive and complete. The grass court connects by broad stone balustraded steps with a wide terrace below, which in turn leads down by succeeding flights of steps, to a lilac walk and wooded ravine. 

West of this lower terrace there is a formal walled-in rose garden which is just below the main flower garden. 

The rose garden which connects with the grass terrace where the large, well placed honey locust is such a dominant feature. The steps at the left of the rose garden lead to the perennial garden.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

At one corner of this rose garden a round dove-cote with steps gives access to the upper garden. 

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

Opposite, on the north side of the main flower garden, is a small tea house open on the front which, with the high stone walls, shuts in and protects the garden on the north. 

Here a box hedge edges both the main grass path and the enclosed grass circle in the center of which is a severely simple, circular reflection pool above which hang the branches of a large crabapple tree.
"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

A flagstone path connected the dovecote with a teahouse on the far side of the large flower garden. 
"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect
"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect
Grilled Window in Tea House 
"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

West of the main garden an apron of semi-circular steps leads down to the swimming pool and lower garden, at the west end of which a further flight of winding steps leads to the tennis court below. 

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect


The swimming pool is flanked by a hemlock hedge behind which on both sides rise dogwood trees.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect
"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

These terraces and gardens surrounding the house and intimately connected with it have solved the difficult problem of fitting the house into the irregularities of the site, without sacrificing either the original character of the landscape or the many fine existing trees.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

To return to the design of the house itself, the outer walls of “Rynwood” are of rough limestone, buff in color with a good deal of warmth which has already acquired a certain quality of age despite its having been exposed to the elements for only three years. This limestone is adaptable to the careful cutting necessary for the many details which contribute to the charm and intimate quality of the exterior design. 


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

All of the several doorways differ in design, and each has been individually treated in the matter of trim and detail. 


Lantern on the Samuel Salvage House. Roger Bullard, architect. Executed by Samuel Yellen

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

Some suggest a Scottish origin and others a Cotswold precedent. In fact the entire house strongly suggests the simple character of the stone houses of the Cotswold hills.

An open loggia overlooking the garden at 'Rynwood" the home of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq. the stone wall dial which registers the hours combined with the small window is an interesting feature of the gable end. This with the flagged terrace and luxuriant planting relate the garden to the house.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect
The wall sun-dial combined with a small latticed window in the gable end over the arched west loggia on axis of the main flower garden, is an example of an architectural decoration used for a practical purpose.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

The chimney stacks of varying shapes compose with the gable ends to give interesting compositions from all angles. Some of the chimneys are carried up from the ground in stepped weatherings and terminated by diagonal stacks. The roof slates, which are gray with a slight variation toward russet, are laid with a fairly narrow weathering, which diminishes slightly as they approach the lead-covered ridge. Lead, which combines well in color with the limestone, has been used throughout for the casements, leaders and gutters. 

Details of Decorative Leader Heads

Details of Decorative Leader Heads

Many different designs have been used in the leader heads and leader straps to give added interest and freedom to the exterior design. Iron has been used for the railing and flower pot holders of the second floor overhanging balcony and for the grilled window openings of diamond shape in the tea house and garden loggia and for the garden gates. The bell cote surmounting the garage, which serves as a motif of design as well as a practical use, is operated by a pushbutton in the owner’s private study. By means of this bell any of the outside servants may be summoned. As the chauffeur’s cottage, gardener’s cottage and greenhouse are all made integral parts of the entire group of buildings, the relation of these various units and courts to the main house gives a composition of unusual interest.

Corner bay in entrance-hall, overlooking south court.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

Entering the house through a stone gabled porch of modest proportions, with balustered openings on the sides, and through a stone-arched vestibule, one comes into a spacious stair hall having an uninterrupted view through the corner bay window at the opposite end out onto the grass court and south terrace.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect
"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

A warmth of color is secured by the use of some English stained glass medallions set into the latticed casements, and by the hangings of crewel work. The walls are of sand-finished plaster broken by sturdy stone-arched openings leading to the important rooms, and by small doors leading to numerous closets and duffle rooms. The ceiling of the hall is of oak planks supported on hand-cut timbers with chamfered edges. 


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

The floors of the hall, the loggia and the sun room are all of a buff-toned flagging, cut on a diagonal in the hall and sun room, and laid as a pattern in the loggia. 

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

This loggia which leads from the stair hall to the sun room has a groined vaulted ceiling and arched openings giving onto the grass court.

Loggia south of living-room.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect
The large living room is paneled in English oak in the Jacobean style with carved frieze and fluted pilasters and a large fireplace with carved limestone shelf and facing, and carved oak overmantel. The fireplace linings in all of the rooms are of Guastavino tile laid on edge in various patterns.

Living-room fireplace. 

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

 The large room known as the library, which occupies the entire west wing, is open up to the roof ridge, with huge supporting timber trusses and roof rafters.

The "big room" or library.


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

 At one end a gallery is reached by a stone spiral stairway under which is the entrance into this room from the sun room. The two-story bay window on the south side floods the room with sunlight a good part of the day. 

Stone spiral stairway leading to the library and the owner's sitting-room.

The only elevator is in the servants’ area, indicating that Sir Samuel knew how hard the staff worked and its need for some convenience.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect
The dining room has sand-finished plaster walls with a moulded plaster frieze, overmantel and door trim, making an interesting contrast with the several paneled rooms. Lead grilles of interesting design have been used over the openings of the heating ducts in the loggia and sun room.


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

Many of the fireplaces and stained glass medallions were imported from England and English Oak is used throughout the interior. In the lower and upper halls, hand cut timbers decorate the ceiling.


"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect

A heavily paneled room, appointed with a 7th-century Tuscan table flanked by 8th-century Tuscan chairs, serves as Banfi’s boardroom.

An oak panelled recessed fireplace with bookshelves and a bay of leaded casement windows are interesting features of this large bedroom in Samuel A. Salvage’s "Rynwood House" at Glen Head, N.Y. Roger H. Bullard, architect.

Fireplace alcove in the children's room.

 A man's room with eighteenth century furniture. The bed is canopied in blocked linen and spread with blue sateen bound in red. Lord & Taylor, interior decorator.

"Rynwood", House of Samuel A. Salvage, Esq., Glen Head, N. Y. Roger H. Bullard, Architect
 Madgelaine’s coming-out party, a large supper-dance there, was one of the most important social events of 1935.

This English Cotswold was built in 1927 and, while not of historic value, is mentioned because of its exceptional architectural beauty and scope. Owned and built by Irish born Sir Samuel A. Salvage and his wife (nee) Katharine Hoppin Richmond, it was designed by Roger Harrington Bullard and received wide acclaim in the media when the house was completed.

Many social events were held there over the years, the highlight of which was Empire Day late in 1927 when the British Ambassador to the U.S. and many other national and local dignitaries attended the garden party.

Constructed of Indiana limestone, the Elizabethan Manor style was a triumph. Each room on the main floor has a view of the courtyard or terraced garden with access to the garden by way of imported-English doors decorated with Scottish motifs. It had leaded windows, oak panelling, and arched doorways.

The gardens were designed originally by Ellen Shipman and were known internationally for their award winning plantings. location.

Pool Painted Bright Blue
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Agar Salvage of Glen Head have a large swimming pool at Rynwood. Landscaped with successive blooming shrubs and flowers and painted a bright robin's egg blue inside, the pool is the center of the Summer life of the large family and many guests.

Long Island Estate Pools More Popular Than Beaches Many Entertain at New Swimming Places on North Shore — Samuel A. Salvages and Charles McCanns Among Owners

July 25, 1937

GLEN COVE. L. I., July 24. - Society members, both young and old, this season have forsaken the North Shore beaches adjoining their estates in favor of private swimming pools. Many parties that formerly were held on the sand at the shore are now staged with the central setting of the pool in the garden.

The popularity of the artificial swimming place has been growing ever since the harbors became so full of yachts and the increasing motor tourists ferreted out every available beach on which to have picnics. Even the clubs that boast a shore front and bathing beach have built pools for their members who do not care for the uncertain hygienic condition of the public waters. Wide publicity given this season to the pollution of bathing beach waters has made the pool even more popular.

Samuel Agar Salvage(1876 –1946)

....."His chief hobby was growing flowers and in this a vocation he won for three consecutive years, from 1933 to 1936, the gold shields of the Holland Bulb Exporters’ Association at the International Flower Show at the Grand Central Palace, New York. His estate at Glen head, L. I. contained one of the showplace gardens of the country"..... The Cincinnati Enquirer July 11, 1946

American Viscose Corporation

Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon
By Paul David Blanc
"DuPont’s major U.S. rayon competitor, Courtaulds’ Viscose Company. Their two representatives, Samuel Agar Salvage for the Viscose Company and Leonard A. Yerkes for DuPont, served as president and vice president of the Rayon and Synthetic Yarn Association. Founded in 1929, this organization had the superficial trappings of a standard trade association: it included most U.S. rayon manufacturers of the day under one big tent, predominantly viscose producers, but also what remained of those still using other methods, such as cuprammonium.

Salvage and Yerkes called the shots. In the battle over foreign imports, Salvage spearheaded a successful lobbying effort to maintain trade protections (already well established). This was accomplished by the inclusion of fairly hefty duties on imported rayon in the Smoot-Hawley tariff legislation winding its way through Congress in the spring of 1930. Domestically, DuPont and the Viscose Company had already agreed to curtail production in order to stabilize prices through reduced supply, but this effort was being undermined by suppliers that cut prices to increase their share of the reduced market. In July 1931, when the other companies would not fall in line, Salvage and Yerkes agreed to cut their own prices. The Viscose Company and DuPont abruptly left the Rayon and Synthetic Yarn Association, effectively disbanding the group that they had been instrumental in creating."

 June 12, 1908
Yesterday afternoon, at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Flushing. Miss Mary Katherine Richmond and Samuel Agar Salvage were married by the Rev. Henry D. Waller, rector of St. George’s parish, a brother-in-law of the bride. Mrs. Harry A. Wilmerdig, a sister of the bride, was matron of honor, and the bridesmaids were Miss Rita Salvage of England, Miss Helen Campbell of Providence, Miss Sally Thacher of Manhattan, Miss Madeline Weed, Miss Amy Talbot and Miss Sally Brigham, all of Flushing.

George Salvage, brother of bridegroom, was best man. The bride was given in marriage by her brother, L. Martin Richmond. The ushers were F. H. Richmond, Richmond Weed, Harry A. Wilmerdlng, J. Holsworth Gordon, jr., Gordon Gordon and Alexander Sellers. After the ceremony reception was held at the home of the bride's mother, Mrs. David Richmond(Hoppin), at 252 Sanford avenue, Flushing. Over one hundred members of Flushing society were in attendance. Mr. and Mrs. Salvage will reside in Flushing after an extended wedding trip. The bride is the youngest daughter of Mrs. Richmond. She made her debut in society several seasons ago. She is a member of the Flushing Country Club and an expert tennis and golf player. She is also identified with the society of Green Twigs(?).

"Seeing Flushing today, as overbuilt as parts of it are, it’s hard to believe that it was once a town of country clubs and gracious homes, a true suburb."

"The Flushing Country Club was not part of a specific suburban development, but it played a large role in making the surrounding area desirable for suburban homes."

Jan. 5, 1964

GLEN HEAD, L. I., Jan. 4—Lady Salvage, widow of Sir Samuel Agar Salvage, former chairman of the board and president of the American Viscose Corporation, died yesterday in her home on Simonson Road.

Her husband, who was sometimes called the father of the rayon industry in the United States, died on July 10, 1946. He was knighted in 1942 by the British Government for his work for the artificial silk industry.

Lady Salvage, the former Mary Katherine Richmond, was born in Flushing, Queens. She was for many years a leader in charitable work on the North Shore of Long Island.

A founder of the North Country Community Association, one of the older philanthropic groups here, she was also a former director of the Glen Cove Community Hospital and was active in visiting nurse service work. She belonged to the Piping Rock, River and Colony Clubs.

She leaves 3 daughters, Mrs. John C. Wilmerding, Mrs. C. Champe Taliaferro and Mrs. S. Reed Anthony; 12 grandchildren and 4 great‐grandchildren.

Seldom on View in Cafe Society Circles.

Seldom seen among cafe society, the Salvages mix only with the more conservative elegantes on the North Shore, where they have a magnificent estate, "Rynwood", in Glen Head. Most of the family’s brilliant festivities have been held at "Rynwood".

All three Salvage daughters – Katharine, Margaret and Magdelaine – made their debuts at "Rynwood".

A grade A nuptial gathering saw Katherine Hoppin Salvage(1914-2003) and Frank Lyon Polk Jr. married yesterday at Lattingtown, L. I. Here are couple after ceremony. Daily News June 27, 1934

Frank Lyon Polk Sr. was the first undersecretary of state for Woodrow Wilson, and architect of the Versailles Treaty. Related to James Knox Polk, 11th President of the Untied States.

September 21, 1952

....."Mr. Polk was admitted to the bar in 1940 and joined the staff of his father's law firm, Davis, Polk, Wardwell, Sunderland & Kiendl of 15 Broad Street. With the exception of wartime service in the Navy, he remained with that firm until his death(at 40), having become a partner in 1950".....

John C. Wilmerding Marries Mrs. Polk - Mrs. Wilmerding is the widow of Frank Lyon Polk. Her husband, an alumnus of Yale, class of '34, was formerly married to the late Lila Vanderbilt  WebbNew York Times April 29, 1962

John C. Wilmerding, 54, Dead; Bankers Trust Vice President. Before joining the bank Mr. Wilmerding was product sales manager of the American Viscose Corporation.

Margaret Smith Salvage(1915-2010) James Potter Polk(1914-1987)

The Polks, who seem to prefer Salvages and vice versa, were united by still another bond yesterday with the marriage of Margaret Smith Salvage to James Potter Polk. DAILY NEWS APRIL 10, 1937

There married ended in divorce. Margaret married pilot Charles Champe Taliaferro. As Mrs. Taliaferro, Margaret wrote several books including a biography on her husband.

Magdelaine Richmond Salvage Anthony

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Salvage are announcing today the engagement of their youngest daughter. Magdelaine Richmond Salvage, to S. Reed Anthony, son of Mrs. Colt Anthony of Providence, R. I., and the late Andrew Weeks Anthony of Boston, Mass. Daily News November 9, 1939

Silas Reed Anthony graduated from Moses Brown School, Providence, R. I., and Yale University, Class of 34. He was the grandson of Mrs. Randolph Frothingham of Brookline, Mass., on his father's side; and his maternal grandfather was U. S. Senator Le Baron Bradford Colt of Rhode Island. Mr. Anthony was associated with Spool Cotton Co. in New York at the time of his marriage.

Add caption

Shortly after Sir Samuel’s death in 1946, Lady Salvage placed the manor house on the market. In less than 24 hours, Miss Margaret Emerson appeared at the forecourt entrance. She was the widow of socialite Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt and the daughter of the pharmacist, Isaac E. Emerson, who invented the headache remedy, Bromo SeltzerShe lived there intermittently until 1960. 

Margaret Emerson McKim Vanderbilt Baker Amory (1884-1960)

According to Magdelaine Salvage, Miss Emerson inquired only about the purchase price and the location of the “croakie-pitch court” (croquet court). When informed there was no croquet court, she departed “without looking at the pantry, the kitchen, even the swimming pool. My mother simply assumed we had lost a prospective buyer until the next day when Miss Emerson’s attorney arrived at “Rynwood” and negotiated its purchase.

“A team of decorators appeared shortly thereafter,” she continued, “and they worked on the home for nine months. Not once during that time did Miss Emerson ever make an appearance. But a croquet court did”. The new owner ordered a hill on the southeast lawn leveled for that purpose.

Margaret Emerson was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1979.

The gates to "Cedar Knoll" Sands Point, N.Y.

In the 1920’s when all of Sands Point was available for the taking, Margaret Emerson-Vanderbilt specifically tasked her architects and engineers to select the optimal estate setting for her Sands Point, NY Gold Coast Mansion.  After careful consideration, they selected the property with the highest elevation parallel to the New York City Skyline, 80 feet above sea level, all the way to Manhasset Bay at Half Moon Beach. A guest cottage which stands to this day was constructed at the base of the property, a 405 foot Deep Water Dock and bulkhead was constructed.

"Cedar Knoll" Sands Point, N.Y.

TIME 1942 - "Margaret Emerson, mother of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt Jr., was at the Saratoga races, fire broke out in her 24-room mansion at Sands Point, L.I., reduced it to a topless shell." 

The reason she needed a new home and made the purchase of "Rynwood".

The blaze, sweeping the structure from cellar to roof, reduced the 30-odd room mansion virtually to ashes, the servants' quarters, chauffeur's and superintendent’s residences, being the only parts reported saved. Palm Beach Post August 23, 1942


He Was Stricken With
Apoplexy While Bathing

Neil Bruce MacKelvie of Hayden, Stone & Co. who represented the firm in New York, was drowned Saturday evening while bathing with a party of his friends off the shore of his estate in the Sound at Sands Point, Port Washington. The Boston Globe - August 19, 1918

The reason "Cedar Knoll" became available. Mr. MacKelvie was only 39 and left a wife and two children.

Margaret Emerson McKim Vanderbilt Baker Amory (1884-1960)

Mrs. Emerson was married four times. Her first husband was Dr. Smith McKim. The marriage ended in divorce. The couple was given a home by Margaret's father, "Quarry Hill" in Irvington along the Hudson. Unknown location.

Margaret was on board her father’s yacht Margaret (named after her), traveling all over the world with Dr. Smith Hollins McKim who acted as the family physician and surgeon. After a whirlwind romance at sea, the two wed when they reached shore at the end of December, 1902.

She then married Alfred Vanderbilt, who was lost aboard the liner Lusitania when it was sunk by a German submarine off Ireland May 4, 1915. Her third husband was Raymond T. Baker, director of the U.S. Mint, and her fourth was the Charles Amory of Boston. Both of those marriages ended in divorce(habitual intemperance). Although entitled to a resumption of the Vanderbilt name, she declined and was permitted to resume her maiden name.

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt

From Alfred Vanderbilts' will - the widow receives $8,000,000 in the aggregate.  Of this sum, $2,000,000 is a bequest in compliance with an ante-nuptial agreement made between them at London on December 15, 1911, and an additional $1,000,000 in cash.  Further provision is made in a trust fund of $5,000,000, the income from which the widow is to enjoy during her life.  

In addition to these bequests the widow receives Mr. Vanderbilt’s camp known as Sagamore Lodge, comprising about 1,526 acres, his houseboat Venture, and all his real and personal property in England, which includes a leasehold on Gloucester House, London.

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt Arriving At Brighton, driving his Coach "Venture", 1909. James Lynwood Palmer (British, 1868-1941)

'A Dandy In Aspic!' The Tragic Loss Of American 'Royalty' On RMS Lusitania!

Millionaire Sportsman, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.

Great Camp Sagamore

After Vanderbilt’s death in 1915 on the Lusitania, his widow kept the Sagamore property until 1954 when it was deeded to Syracuse University. It is now run by the Sagamore Institute, a non-profit organization.

THE DINING ROOM at Sagamore could provide as many as 20 guests with all the delicacies to which they were accustomed, plus the feeling of "roughing it" in a camp. In the early years, until Alfred G, Vanderbilt’s death aboard the Lusitania in 1915, parties of family friends were brought to Sagamore by private railway car. LIFE Jan 2, 1950

PLAYROOM at Sagamore, located in a small house by itself, was half trophy room, half amusement center for family in rainy weather. Trophies include tusks (framing fireplace) from elephant shot in Kenya by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt’s son George and stuffed crocodile killed by Mrs. Margaret Emerson, Alfred’s second wife, on expedition up the White Nile. Sagamore consisted of 1,500 acres, 41 separate buildings, including generating plant. For sunny days there was a boathouse stocked with canoes and rowboats, and guides were available for hiking, hunting or fishing. Mrs. Emerson still brings guests to Sagamore every summer. LIFE Jan 2, 1950

Great Camp Sagamore: The Vanderbilts' Adirondack Retreat
By Beverly Bridger

A side stream known as Hennerton Backwater is one of the most picturesque on the Thames, and as it rejoins the main stream after a course of a mile and a half it has the advantage of having an entrance at each end.

The main stream running parallel to this backwater is distinguished by a long line of houseboats, which conspicuous among them is Mr. A, G. Vanderbilt's “ Venture", perhaps the most luxurious houseboat in the world. It was built by Messrs. Salter Bros., of Oxford, in 1909.

This craft is the most ornate and the biggest houseboat that has ever been on the Thames. She is 120 feet long and over 20 feet broad-so large, indeed, that she can only just get through a lock, and when she was being taken to Henley the level of the water of the river had to be lowered before she would pass under Twyford Bridge. As may be seen, she is splendidly equipped, and many flowers go to her decoration. The Sketch July, 1909

When it was built the Venture cost Mr. Vanderbilt $19,563.76 in 1909 → $551,592.69 in 2019. 


It had a mahogany panelled saloon, a dining-room, smoking-room, four bedrooms, and two bathrooms. It was moored between Shiplake and Marsh Lock and had a garden lawn extending for two and a half, acres, including tennis courts.




Fire destroyed the palatial houseboat Venture, moored at Shiplake, Henley on-Thames, last month. The Venture, once the property of the late Mr. A. G. Vanderbilt, the American millionaire, who was drowned in the Lusitania belongs to a Mr. Thomas, of London, and has been called the most beautiful houseboat on the Thames. The Mercury November, 1935

"The Wayfarer" -- Alfred G. Vanderbilt's yacht, anchored in the fine harbor at Southport, N.C. Fort Caswell in the distance. 

Stone entrance to Kamp Kill Kare on Lake Kora.
"Once a private playground for the Vanderbilts, Lake Kora invites your family and friends to experience this extraordinary property as a Great Camp of your own for a rejuvenating few days, a week, or a month at a time. A full staffed and all-inclusive rustic paradise."

In Alfred's will to Margaret was also Kamp Kill Kare. Alfred purchased Lieutenant Governor Timothy L. Woodruff holdings to protect who would be his neighbor at Camp Sagamore. New York assistant district attorney Francis Garvan purchased the property from Vanderbilt. The will was not amended to reflect the change. 

"Wayfarer" -- Alfred G. Vanderbilt's private rail car.

Vanderbilt Suite in the Vanderbilt Hotel

I find nothing in the 1913 will pertaining to the Vanderbilt Hotel. The family sold the property in 1925.  After Alfred’s death Margaret gave up the family hotel suite, which was taken over briefly by the newly organized Women’s City Club. Soon afterward, it was occupied by operatic tenor Enrico Caruso.

1021 Park Avenue
House on the left is the De Koven townhouse  which still stands.


New City Home at East 85th St.
Formerly Occupied by Astor

Mrs. Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt has leased as her city home the residence of Amos R. E. Pinchot, at the north-east corner of East Eight-fifth Street and Park Avenue. The premises were occupied last year by Vincent Astor. Worthington Whitehouse, Inc., negotiated the new lease.

Since the death of her husband in the Lusitania disaster Mrs. Vanderbilt has been living at Lenox, Mass. 

The Pinchot house was built a few years ago. It is four stories and occupies a site with a frontage of 42.2 feet on the avenue and of 82.3 feet on the street. The rental is about $25,000 a year($635,000 - 2019). The Vanderbilts formerly occupied a suite of rooms on the eighteenth floor of the Vanderbilt Hotel, of which Mr. Vanderbilt was the sole owner.

The widowed Mrs. Vanderbilt had begun coming to Lenox with her two little boys, renting first Shadowbrook and then Ventfort Hall. She would have been familiar with Lenox as a visitor to her husband’s cousin (Emily Vanderbilt SloaneElm Court) as well as other society cottagers.   Mrs. Sloane’s daughter (Lila Vanderbilt Sloane Field) was a good friend would become a neighbor having built High Lawn in 1909.

The landscape of Erskine Park was graced with lagoons, marble bridges and crushed marble roads. The splendid serpentine front driveway was lined with majestic pines. 

 In 1916 she bought for $250,000 a portion of Erskine Park, a huge estate developed by George Westinghouse with a deed stipulating the removal of the old Victorian mansion.

Neighboring High Lawn Farm and The Mount the property had driveways in both the towns of Lee and Lenox.

Mrs. Vanderbilt hired New York architects Delano and Aldrich to design her a Colonial Revival house with two story porticos overlooking the lawns and lagoons on one side and Laurel Lake on the other. 

Memorial to Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt
 A memorial on the A24 London to Worthing Road in Holmwood, just south of Dorking. The inscription reads, "In Memory of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt a gallant gentleman and a fine sportsman who perished in the Lusitania May 7th 1915. This stone is erected on his favourite road by a few of his British coaching friends and admirers". The memorial carries an image of a horse's bit.

She sentimentally called the place Holmwood after a beloved spot in Surrey she and her husband Alfred had frequented early in their marriage. Within days of moving into her new house, Margaret Vanderbilt married again -- the Raymond T. Baker, director of the U.S. Mint.


She built a $100,000 addition to the house and in 1920 built a $75,000 concrete stable which housed her many horses, 32 carriages and sleighs and a Viking coach which her husband used in England before his death.

Former Fox Hollow School Mansion To Be Renovated Into Luxury Rentals

In 1939, it was purchased by the Foxhollow School for girls.  In 1942 the school also bought The Mount next door. The school closed in 1976 and the property became a condominium complex and resort. The plan is to turn the 25,000 square-foot mansion into 11 high-end rentals.

"Holmwood" Staff Buildings
2 Fox Hollow Rd, Lenox, MA 01240

A daughter, Gloria, was born to this marriage, which ended in divorce in January, 1928. In October, 1928, Mrs Baker was married to Charles Minot Amory of Boston. This marriage ended in divorce in 1934, when she legally resumed her maiden name.

Gloria Baker, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, and Margaret Emerson

Gloria Baker was one of the nation's most popular and richest women when she made her 1938 society debut in a $50,000 dress. Gloria, who one newspaper cited as having "more suitors than her mother had husbands," married first tin heir Henry J. Topping, Jr., then Brigadier General Edward H. Alexander.

"Chez Sagamore"
Owned by Margaret and her fourth husband, Charles Minot Amory. The house, a gift from her father, located at 240 Banyan Road, has since been demolished and the land subdivided. The house to the left is the Villa "Leoncini", located at 235 Banyan Road and designed by Howard Major. Amory formerly was married to Gladys M. Munn, who became the wife of Herbert Pulitzer.
Arcadia Plantation

Her other large inherited property was Arcadia, Isaac Emerson's antebellum rice plantation in Georgetown, South Carolina. He named his estate Arcadia in reference to the idyllic pastoral utopia of Greek mythology.

Eventually, Margaret’s son George Vanderbilt III inherited part of the Vanderbilt and Emerson fortunes and all of the South Carolina plantation properties that Dr. Emerson had owned. George married Louise Parsons, and they had one daughter, Lucille.

Sagamore Farm

Established in 1925, it was owned by Isaac Edward Emerson who assembled the property as a gift for his daughter. After his death and on his instructions, Margaret passed it to her son Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr. on his twenty-first birthday.

The training barn at Sagamore Farm.

Sagamore Farm

Everyone got a farm.....


After his life was cut short when the Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915, Oakland Farm was left in trust to his eldest son, William Vanderbilt III, who took ownership on reaching majority in 1922. He lived here permanently up until the end of World War II. By the end of the 1940s, he sold the house and farm and developed the land for housing.

4607 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu 
THE HOUSE, decorated by Robert Ansteth. Ltd., of Honolulu and designed by Vladimir Ossipoff, effectively combines modern with Chinese and Hawaiian. There are outdoor living areas including an intimate court with hau arbor for informal parties.
She maintained a residence at 4607 Kahala Avenue(demolished) for several years before she sold the property to

NEW KAHALA RESIDENTS—Henry J. Kaiser, West Coast industrialist, and Mrs. Kaiser smile happily in the entranceway of the Hawaiian styled home they have purchased in Kahala. It is the beach home of Mrs. Margaret Baker Emerson at 4607 Kahala Avenue. The Kaisers, who have been guests at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, leave tonight for their Lafayette, California, home. They plan to return in a month or so to take over occupancy of their newly acquired Island residence. Honolulu Star-Bulletin February 25, 1954

Margaret moved into a new home down the beach at 4663 Kahala Avenue(demolished). Cost then was $27,906.50($515,107.81 - 2019). Plans for the building were prepared by C. W. Dickey.

1020 Fifth Avenue New York City

Margaret Emerson died in 1960 at her Fifth Avenue home not far from where she received the news of the Lusitania. She was then known as Mrs. Emerson and her funeral was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral. 

The building’s architects, Warren & Wetmore, designed 6 of its 13 apartments with “rooms of noble proportions,” as the 1925 sales brochure stated. 

I don't know what floor Margaret owned at the time of her death. Below are some photos showing the opulence offered for tenants.

Forth Floor
1020 Fifth Avenue.

Salon 5th Floor
1020 Fifth Avenue.

7th Floor Salon
1020 Fifth Avenue.

7th Floor Dining Room
1020 Fifth Avenue.

Eighth Floor Salon
1020 Fifth Avenue.

Original Penthouse Salon, original owner Samuel H. Kress
1020 Fifth Avenue Penthouse.

1020 Fifth Avenue Penthouse.

Dining Room
1020 Fifth Avenue Penthouse.

1020 Fifth Avenue Penthouse.

STREETSCAPES | 1020 FIFTH AVENUE Where ‘Sumptuous’ Is No Exaggeration By CHRISTOPHER GRAY JUNE 10, 2007

New York imported the designation "glamour girl” in 1938 for its outstanding debutante of the winter social season.

Eleanor (Cookie) Young, 1936 Gloria (Mimi) Baker, 1937 Brenda Frazier, 1938

Even though Brenda’s debut party was far more publicized, Mimi’s was far more costly and elaborate. It was given at her mother's country home at Sands Point, L.I. The outdoor swimming pool was roofed over to make an al fresco dance floor. There was a river of champagne. The orchestra played straight through the night until broad daylight. And Mimi’s dress came from Paris. More than 1,000 guests, representing most of the gilt-edge social names, were there.

New York society wonders as it follows the doings of beautiful Gloria Baker, rich Vanderbilt relative and daughter of Mrs. Margaret Emerson, and Howard Hughes, multi-millionaire aviator and movie producer. Here you see them together at Palm Beach, Fla., and now the wires tell of their meeting again at Palm Springs, Cal. The St. Louis Star and Times  • 05 Feb 1936

At various times gossips have selected for her the following fiancés: The earl of Warwick,
recently divorced; Bruce Cabot, movie actor; Sir Robert Throckmorton; Bobbie Parks, orchestra leader and Howard Hughes, the aviating film magnate.

Henry J. (Bob) Topping and Miss Gloria Baker


Gloria Baker, who will marry Monday a freshly divorced multi-millionaire playboy was a debutante of last season but she is rated a topnotch “glamour girl.”

What is this thing called “glamour?”

Gloria Baker's mother's first husband was Alfred G. Vanderbilt.

Gloria Baker’s mother's father was Isaac Emerson, founder of the Bromo Seltzer fortune.

Gloria Baker’s half brothers are Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr., and George Vanderbilt, young multi-millionaire sportsmen.

Gloria Baker's father was Director of the U. S. Mint.

Glamor Girl Gloria Baker

Glamour? Gloria’s got it. She may have even more because her fiancĂ© is heir to 14 millions of dollars.

Gloria Baker Topping, Henry J. Topping, Brenda Frazier Kelly and John S. (Shipwreck) Kelly at Stork Club. Gloria has signified intention of obtaining divorce from Topping. 


He wouldn't answer her letters. He wouldn't come to the phone when she called him long distance. He tried to avoid a meeting when she traveled 900 miles to see him.

Before their marriage in 1938 Topping did everything but handsprings to keep Gloria from marrying John (Shipwreck) Kelly, now the happy husband of another glamour girl, the former Brenda Frazier.

Shipwreck, then a bachelor, was top man in Gloria's life in 1937 when her mother, the four-times wed Margaret Emerson McKin Vanderbilt Baker Amory, took her on a world cruise. Topping took passage on the same ship. Gloria forgot Shipwreck and married Topping in 1938.

It was said to be an excellent match with “money marrying money.” Actually, Topping “married” more money than Gloria did. His share in his grandfather’s tinplate fortune is not huge. Her inheritance in the headache remedy fortune of her grandfather, Isaac Emerson, is bound to be tremendous.

The Miami Herald • 14 Jan 1953 Topping Marries Again
TIN PLATE HEIR Bob Topping, one of Actress Lana Turner’s ex-husbands, married ski Instructor Mona Moedl in Salt Lake City. 

***Their home in Salt Lake City was sold to writer Ernest Hemiway.***

News of the wedding was telephoned to Topping's actor-friend, James Cross, who made the announcement in Hollywood.

This was the second marriage for the bride, who is Topping’s fifth wife. In addition to Miss Turner he formerly was married to Mimi Baker and Arline Judge

Jayne shadduck Topping Durant

Toppings first wife was Actress Jayne Shadduck, one of the first female pilots in the United States, Jayne flew a six-passenger plane from Detroit to New York in 1937, for which she was featured in Life magazine. It was reported that she received $500,000 in an out of court  settlement to end the marriage so Henry could marry Mimi.

The Man Behind Lana Turner’s Chrysler Hubcaps

Gloria Baker Topping Weds Brig. Gen. Alexander of AAF West Palm Beach, Fla., April 28, 1944(AP)—Gloria Baker Topping, 24, first of the society glamor girls, was married to a 42-year-old brigadier general of the Army Air Forces today in a surprise ceremony at the Morrison Field post chapel.

1944 Press Photo Gloria Baker Topping engaged to Brig.General Edward Alexander

The Miami Herald • 21 Apr 1956 • AF General Buys Island Showplace

Brig. Gen. Edward H. Alexander on terminal leave as deputy commander of the 18th Air Force, paid about $115,000 for the home, according to stamps on the deed.

One of the showplaces on New River, it was purchased from the French shipping magnate and importer Horace E. Vernet. The home contains 12 rooms on the first floor, including maids’ quarters; six bedrooms, a dressing room and three baths on the second floor and three bedrooms and two baths over the garage.

There is a large porch on the first floor and an enclosed porch on the second floor. The home is on about two acres of land.

General Alexander and his wife are on their way here from his headquarters at Langley Field Air Base in one of their two yachts. Since the purchase, the Alexanders have had the interior remodelled by the Venice Con-
struction Co. at a cost estimated at more than $10,000.

General Alexander commanded the Air Force "Hump” operation during the war, ferrying supplies from India over the Himalayas to China. He’s retiring at the age of 53.

His wife was a noted society beauty who married and is divorced from "Bob" Topping. The home, at 73o Isle of Palms, was built in 1940.

LANDMARK PURCHASED—Long familiar to New river sightseers is this island home. Situated at 730 Isle of Palms, the home faces the river and the Intracoastal waterway. The dwelling contains five bedrooms in addition to servant's quarters and was sold by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Reed to Horace Vernet, Greenwich, Conn

$30,000 Home Slated On Lauderdale Island
<Special to Miami Daily News>
FORT LAUDERDALE. Jan. 18,1941 — DR. Richard Reed has awarded a contract at $30,000 for erection of a dwelling at 730 of Palms, C. B. Schoeppl is architect.

AT THE TIP of the Isle of Palms is the home of Horace E. Vernet. an importer with other homes in Greenwich, Conn., Brittany in France and near Geneva in Switzerland. Built in 1939 it has been owned by Vernet for three years. His niece, Elizabeth du Fretay, visiting here from France last year, won the title of Miss Fort Lauaerdale. The Miami Herald 07 Mar 1954

1953 Florida Miss Fort Lauderdale Elizabeth Du Fretay

Iron grill work over the patio. library and entrance doors and windows accents the Mediterranean aura of the pink and white stucco exterior.

One of the home’s more prominent features is a stark entrance foyer accented by a plain, but graceful, spiral staircase.

The stately Horace Vernet home at the end of Isle of Palms has taken on a new look within .... decorators have transformed the interior into a “not too southern and not too northern” decor, under the supervision of new owner, Mrs. Edward H. Alexander, the former Glorla Baker Topping, much publicized New York debutante of the thirties.

FORMER PALM BEACH colonist, Mrs Edward Alexander and her family have joined the ranks of full-time Lauderdoleons. She's pictured in her island home, chosen for its easy access to ocean.

The attractive, soft spoken Gloria who has been following her husband, Air Force Brig. Gen. Alexander around, says all they want to do now is relax in their new residence. Except for sea jaunts on one of their two boats, they intend to remain at home, Gloria laughed. Gen Alexander is in Washington, D. C. this week going over final papers for his retirement.

"We've been fishing all day" Gloria remarked. She had just been admiring a "huge" lumberjack son, Tony, landed from their backyard dock.

Tony arrived recently from Admiral Farragnft School in St. Petersburg, but her daughter, Sandra won't be down until mid-June.


When she leaves Mt Vernon Seminary in Washington, Sandra will go to Long Island or a visit with Gloria's mother, Mrs. Margaret Emerson, and to see her cousin, Lulu Vanderbilt make her debut.

Incidentally, don't confuse Gloria Alexander with Gloria Vanderbilt. . . This is often done, she laughs, since her two half-brothers are George and Alfred Vanderbilt.

The Alexanders are welcome additions to the Ft. Lauderdale colony . . . we can be proud to claim them . . . Gloria chose this city over Palm Beach where she used to spend much of her time when married to Bob Topping.

Gloria Mary Alexander Taylor (Baker) Birthdate: June 06, 1920 Birthplace: New York, New York, NY, United States Death: April 26, 1975 (54)

Gloria Baker Taylor, a society figure, died yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she lived. Her age was 54.

Mrs. Taylor, known to her friends as Mimi, was the wife of Sidney Taylor, a bookseller. She had previously been married to Brig. Gen. Edward H. Alexander, who commanded the Air Transport Caribbean and India‐China Wings in World War II, and earlier to Henry J. (Bob) Topping.

Surviving are a son, Henry J. Topping Jr.; a daughter, Mrs. Sandra Topping Sack, both of New York; a half-brother, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, and four grandchildren.

Isaac E. Emerson was born in Chatham County, N.C., in 1859. His family moved to Chapel Hill in 1868. Emerson was graduated from the University of North Carolina as a chemist in 1879. He worked out and patented the formula for Bromo-Seltzer, a headache remedy, upon which Emerson's immense wealth was based. Emerson organized the Emerson Drug Company; built the Emerson Hotel; was president of the Citro Chemical Works of America, Maywood N.J.; chair of the American Bromine Company; and controlling owner of the Maryland Glass Corporation. During the Spanish-American War, he led his own naval force, earning the rank of captain.

Captain Isaac Emerson Mansion at 2500 Eutaw Place, Baltimore, MD
Margaret's' childhood home in Baltimore, MD.

The home was opened originally with a concert-dinner, at which the late Mme. Nordica was soloist(first American Diva). To the north of the building Captain Emerson laid out an Italian garden, containing many marble and bronze pieces of statuary.

One House At A Time, Inc. Receiver's Auctions, June 9, 2016.
 Sold price $460.000.

Originally built in 1895 the home was lived in by Captain Emerson and his family until 1911 — at which time, he divorced his wife after 30 years.  Two months later, he remarried and built the Emersonian, a large apartment building that could possibly be the “mother of all spite houses“, as it blocked his ex-wife’s view of Druid Lake.  He and his new wife lived in the top floors of the building so that he could always look down on his ex-wife. 

Emersonian Apartment
 2502 Eutaw Pl, Baltimore, MD

In 1940, the City Directory listed as Emersonian residents the great merchant-manufacturing princes of Baltimore: Hecht, Strouse, Bendann, Schoeneman, Bernheimer, Straus, Katz, Wiesenfeld, Lebow and Hochschild.

Baltimore scarcely had a finer address.

Emerson's four-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment was on the 7th floor. 

The apartment had a great hall 31-by-29-feet with Greek-inspired columns and a 12 1/2-foot ceiling with the Seal of Baltimore painted on it.  

One of the few floors exempted from renovation work done by Rozimam Development Inc.. The rest of the Emersonian was stripped to make way for modern apartments.

Other appointments included a carved marble mantel and wood paneling in the living room, ceilings with Greek key-designed plaster work, a huge kitchen with pink Vermont marble sinks with a large enclosed porch, and balconies with views of the Druid Lake Park in Reservoir Hill.

Fireplace in Dining Room.

The Mansion in the Sky had been empty for more than a decade. It was used several years ago for a scene in the movie "Homicide" starring Joe Mantegna. 

Original entrance gates.

Capt. Emereson built a hotel in town that did really well. The hotel need a supply of fresh milk and so he started a dairy farm, and that is where Brooklandwood came in. 

Gates today. 

Garden side.

Bromo Seltzer earned him a chunk-o-change and a bunch of other things worked well for him too. He needed lots of blue glass to sell his Bromo Seltzer in and so started a glass factory that soon was making lots of money, invented fizzies, those fruit flavored tablets kids love to drop into water to watch them bubble and sometimes even to drink, 

Back view of the mansion.  

Originally built by Charles Carroll of Carrollton as a home for one of his daughters. Charles Carroll was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The original house was built around 1798, the two wings being added later.

As you can see there is a line of carriages waiting to let the guests off after nearly a mile ride up from the from the front gates. The rear gates were actually just a stones throw from the Big House, but decent folk never came in that way.

 When Emerson owned "Brooklandwood" it was not only a farm but also a place of entertainment. Emerson added a golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, and a creamery onto the mansion. He hosted parties and other events at "Brooklandwood" for which people came from miles away to attend.

Outside view of stables.

Paddock area. Now classrooms.

In 1952, the Brooklandwood manor house was sold to St. Paul's school

Rear gates.

Entrance into St. Paul's School.

Brooklandwood Farms was a place for motorists to visit in the 1920's and 30’s, when his dairy herd of pure-bred cattle provided the raw material for a retail milk and ice cream outlet on the premises. In the break-up of the property, the Emerson barn served many years as a summer theatre, The Hilltop.

In 1977 the Montessori Society of Central Maryland purchases the Emerson Farm Dairy buildings and seven acres of property with plans to renovate and build an educational facility.

Hotel Emerson

In 1963 the Emerson gained a notoriety when a drunk white Charles County tobacco farmer named William Zantzinger berated, then struck, black hotel waitress Hattie Carroll with his cane, causing her death. The incident and the trial surrounding it became notorious not only for the accounts of Zantzinger’s boorish and racist behavior but for the mere six-month sentence he received after being convicted of the crime of manslaughter. The light sentence prompted Bob Dylan to immortalize Carroll’s death in one of his most powerful songs supporting civil rights, “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”.

In its later years, the Emerson was known for its “Hawaiian Room,” a seemingly immersive tiki bar. A lot of ephemera has been collected on this facebook page.

Crab Flake Maryland, Charles Bitterli, Hotel Emerson

"Whitehall" Narragansett, Rhode Island

"Whitehall" was the summer estate of Captain Emerson and his second wife, Anne Preston McCormack Emerson.

Stone Pillared Driveway Once The Site Of The Whitehall Mansion

"Whitehall" Narragansett, Rhode Island

"Whitehall" Narragansett, Rhode Island

"Whitehall" Narragansett, Rhode Island

"Whitehall" Narragansett, Rhode Island

"Whitehall" Narragansett, Rhode Island

"Algonquin Manor"

A little more than a year after the Captains wedding on August 22, 1912, Emilie married Charles Basshor, who at age 45 was 11 years younger than his bride. A few close friends attended the ceremony at the St. Johns
 German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jersey City, New Jersey. Margaret, “due to a temporary indisposition,” could not leave England to attend her mothers wedding. The couple took a European honeymoon before taking up residence at the Eutaw Place mansion. Their union did not sit well with Isaac. Immediately after hearing the news, he asked Baltimore's Circuit Court to relieve him of paying alimony to his ex. He did not think he should have to support another mans wife, particularly one whom he thought “was abundantly able to provide for her.” The Court turned him down. Undaunted, he took his case to the Court of Appeals, where he met a similar fate. Emilie continued to receive her alimony.

In November, the newlywed couple moved from Eutaw Place in Baltimore to Algonquin Manor, an estate on the Choptank River two miles from Cambridge, Maryland. Named for the Indian tribe, the estate had been the former summer home of the late U.S. Democratic Senator from Maryland, Isidor Rayner. Described by the Baltimore Sun “as one of the show places on the Eastern Shore,” the three-story, 17-room house sat on
135 acres that sloped gently down to the Choptank River, affording the occupants a water view that stretched for 12 miles. Original growth shade trees dotted the lawn. Life in the country and the dairy farm they created there agreed with the former Baltimore residents so much that Emilie sold her Eutaw Place house in May of 1913.

Basshor died from blood poisoning caused by an accidental(?) bullet wound to the head in 1914 at the manor. Soon after Emilie sold the property and purchased  a residence/hotel near the Boardwalk in Atlantic City where she died in 1921.

Capt. Emerson repurchased the Eutaw Place house in 1923 to protect his real estate holdings. At the time the house was the location of the Amity Club, the in-town social club of affluent Eastern European Jews and forerunner of the Woodholme Country Club.

Bromo-Seltzer King
 The Opulent Life of Captain Isaac "Ike" Emerson

In 1960 "Rynwood" was sold to F. W. I. Lundy of Lundy’s Restaurant in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Lundy, who died in 1977 at the age of 82, never lived in "Rynwood"; it was one of 70 properties that he owned. 

Frederick William Irving Lundy 

The home remained empty and neglected and allowed to fall prey to the elements.

Add caption
In 1979 Mansions & Millionaires show planners negotiated with the Lundy family for use of Rynwood. The “trusted servant" of Lundy was a source of information for heating units, electrical wiring, and needed repairs, until one day he failed to appear. He had been indicted for allegedly appropriating Lundy assets. 

Lundy directed Ciro Autorino to load several lobster crates with cash and valuables from the Lundy apartment. Lundy instructed Autorino to transfer the lobster crates to a vault(the size of a suburban living room) in a mansion that Lundy owned in Brookville, Long Island. It was one of several properties Lundy bought, furnished and had maintained by caretakers — but never visited.

A week after the goods were transferred, $500,000 in cash was stolen from the Brookville vault. Lundy apparently never suspected that Autorino had anything to do with the theft, because the manservant
remained with the millionaire until Lundy died on Sept 6, 1977. Indeed, in the last 14 months of his life, when Lundy was confined to a wheelchair, he became almost totally dependent on Autorino.

During that last year of the eccentric recluse’s life, the servant, with the aid of several accomplices, took his boss for $11 million

Designers' Showcase 79 created the ambiance in the original Study.

The theme “Art in Design” was highlighted when artist-designer Gloria Vanderbilt was honored with the North Shore Community Arts Center Award.

NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

The Spanish Colonial Revival building was designated a city landmark in 1992. It’s probably New York City’s sole surviving pre-World War II restaurant building with that architectural style, according to the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation report about the property.

It was constructed in 1934 in conjunction with the government-sponsored redevelopment of the Sheepshead Bay waterfront in the mid-1930's.

On special occasions, like Mother’s Day, it drew 15,000 customers; on a typical Sunday it served about 10,000 and on a typical weekday 2,000.

Click on THIS LINK for an inside look of the abandoned restaurant. 

Recommend links for more on Lundys - 

Lundys of Sheepshead Bay by Kingsborough Community College

Landmarks Preservation Commission March 3, 1992; Designation List 243

"Lyons Lodge"
 Wawarsing, NY 

A 60-acre private lake, an estate complex with a 5,400 square-foot home, extensive landscaped grounds that connect to a boathouse and dock, icehouse, dairy and poultry barns. The house, known as Lyons Lodge, has a stone farmhouse at its center with French provincial additions of grand proportions. There are six bedrooms, four bathrooms, three fireplaces and a vaulted-ceiling living room with wood floors.

Lundy Farm
"Lundy Farm is committed to small-scale organic agriculture and supports farm practices that propagate responsible stewardship of our land and resources."

Lundy bought the original farm in the 1920s. He acquired more land from farmers during the Depression and regularly spent weekends there. The property was part of the $11 million swindle. When the heirs found out the deed was in someone else's name it started the investigation that implicated Ciro Autorino and others. They were told a swap was made of $20 million in art for the 5400 acre estate. It turned out the valve was only $5,000. The heirs ended up buying back the property for $300,000 to avoid a court battle.

His estate sold it to Litas International, Inc. in 1981. After Litas filed for bankruptcy in 1994, a liquidating trust was created to dispose of assets to pay creditors.

The bulk of the Lundy property is now part of the Sundown Wild Forest Preserve.

"Rynwood" became the corporate headquarters of Banfi Vintners, a wine importing concern, and is known as Villa Banfi. The company purchased the mansion in 1979 for $1.25 million and put four million dollars into restoration. In August 2019 the company put the property on the market for an asking price of $23 million.

Drawn by Maxfield Parish.


  1. What a well researched, well documented post full of interesting related links and stories to accompany the amazing story of Rynwood and it's survival, virtually intact, throughout the 20th century. Hopefully it will find a sympathetic buyer who appreciates caring for this amazing architecturally significant property so it continues to survive well past the 21st century.

  2. What a happy moment to see this post and such delight as the story keeps unfolding!! Your effort and work are more appreciated than you might realize! The amount of research, photos and information is a gift to all of us who love beautiful historic homes, estates, architecture and just as much, their history and stories. Thank you very very much!! Been keeping a bit of an eye out for news about Rynwood, hoping it's sale will be great news.