Archive for the ‘Historic House Trust’ Category

Coe Hall at Plantation Fields

December 14, 2009

To anyone who ever said that Long Island is just one big trash pit with terrible traffic and hideous looking people and not one redeeming feature at all,  I say first off, get back on your meds.  Second, have you not seen Coe Hall at Plantation Fields?

It’s a flipping awesome Tudor revival style mansion on the North Shore of Long Island, about 25 miles east and north of NYC.  (They call it the Gold Coast).  It was built around 1918 by the married daughter of one of three big cheeses at Standard Oil (Henry Rogers, with William and John D. Rockefeller.  Rogers was nicknamed “Hell Hound Rogers” and “The Brains of Standard Oil” and is among the top 25 wealthiest Americans of all time.  He also distinguished himself as a patron and friend of Helen Keller, Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington.  He was also a deputy and eventual business partner with Charles Pratt, the founder of Pratt Institute, in his oil refinery business based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.).

Back to Coe Hall, it’s located on 400 acres near Oyster Bay, and houses the main mansion, an arboretum and several Victorian-era conservatories, among several other less notable buildings.

The main house is well worth the  $10 admission — for the month of December, they had it decked out in Christmas regalia.  A Queen Elizabeth impersonator from the NY Renaissance Fair was also hosting a banquet in the main entertaining space.   I was particularly excited by the full barroom off the den, and the safe next to the fireplace.

The grounds themselves were gorgeous as well — come spring, I will definitely plan another visit.


Historic Old Richmond Town

December 4, 2009
The 314-year-old centerpiece to Historic Richmond Town’s collection of 28 fully and partially restored buildings.

What is Historic Old Richmond Town and do I actually have to call it that?
A museum town, with 28 restored buildings from the late 17th to the early 19th centuries.  There’s a tinsmith, a schoolhouse, a tavern, general store, blacksmith and school, plus a whole lot of private homes.  Some of the buildings were a little down in the mouth — a Colonial Williamsburg gone to seed — but I think it’s pretty cool.  And did I mention it’s smack dab in the middle of Staten Island?!