Stony Brook Harbor Estates MPS



The properties identified within the historic context of Estate Development on Stony Brook Harbor 1878-1930 are a remarkable collection of architecturally and historically significant Long Island country houses, related outbuildings and landscaped grounds. In a region that is generally celebrated for its monumental estate architecture, the Stony Brook Harbor area is the location of a distinctive concentration of examples of this resource type that retain a high degree of integrity. Sharing both the geographic and socio-economic factors that led to the development of estates on Stony Brook Harbor in the period before and after the turn of the twentieth century, these properties form an unusually cohesive group that is unified by extensive family inter-relationships, historical connections and ties within the architectural profession itself. The fourteen nominated properties represent the full extent of estates developed within the designated geographical area and time span.

Between 1878-1930, Stony Brook Harbor became the focus of estate development and thus mirrored an architectural trend that was taking place elsewhere on Long Island and in other localities nationwide. The fourteen estates developed around Stony Brook Harbor in this period reflect the transformation of an isolated agrarian community into an exclusive enclave of second homes for wealthy urbanites, an event that was due in part to the geographic proximity of Stony Brook Harbor to Long Island Sound and metropolitan New York City and in part to a complex series of historical events that have to do specifically with the development of Stony Brook Harbor and its most prominent family, the Smiths.

Fundamental to the theme is the phenomenon of estate building itself, an important trend in American residential architecture during the decades before and after the turn of the twentieth century. An unprecedented number of American families had amassed significant fortunes in this period and sought to acquire - through their estates - tangible expressions of opulence that would both symbolize and celebrate their new wealth. New York City, which had emerged as the nation's business and commercial capital by the early nineteenth century, naturally attracted business people, industrialists and other professionals and thus contributed to the wealth of a large proportion of these affluent estate builders. Consequently, the environs of the metropolitan New York area were then exploited by large numbers of these wealthy urbanites, while the opportunities for employment, the demand for goods and services and the effect on land values benefited the local population as well. It may be argued that nowhere was the impact of estate building so great during this period as on Long Island, where hundreds of mansions were built and extensive areas of landscaped grounds were developed during a relatively short interval in what had been a largely rural and provincial region. - NRHP, 13 October 1992

Places

PlaceLocaleTypeAsNotedIn
William J Ryan Estate
  • NRHP
The Mallows
  • NRHP
Box Hill Estate
  • NRHP
East Farm
  • NRHP
Beachbend
  • NRHP
Shore Cottage
  • NRHP
James W and Anne Smith Phyfe Estate
  • NRHP
Harbor House
  • NRHP
Thatch Meadow Farm
  • PRHP
By-the-Harbor
  • NRHP
Kate Annette Wetherill Estate
  • NRHP
Rassapeague
  • NRHP
Land of Clover
  • NRHP
Sherrewogue
  • PRHP
Woodcrest
  • NRHP

People

Last Name Name AsNotedIn
Smith: John Lawrence Smith
White: Stanford White

Data »

Data
Theme group category: Groups

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