Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Richmond Terrace as Classical Playground

Once upon a time, when Staten Island was a playground for the more than moderately wealthy, stately homes and near palaces graced the county. One notable location was Richmond Terrace, particularly between the ferry terminal and Westervelt Avenue. The only remaining evidence of this grand period is the weed shrouded Pavillion catering hall on the corner of Westervelt and the Terrace.
Once several ornate, classically columned and decorated homes graced Richmond Terrace looking northward across the bay towards New Jersey and Manhattan. Staten Island actually had a elegance that seems utterly alien to its car jammed streets and too-small townhouses.
By the early decades of the last century these homes, like the great mansions of the Hendersons, Vanderbilts and Lows were being demolished and their land subdivided. I'm not sure when these building met their ultimate fates but by 1928 the property of 386 and 396 Richmond Terrace is clearly overgrown, the first is for sale and both are in disrepair. I don't know where these wealthy families went or what became of them (whence the Pendletons, Barretts, Hendersons and Jewetts?) but at some point these homes and similarly scaled ones across the North Shore seem to have become burdensome or out of date and they left them to decay and the wrecker's ball.

Democratic Party Clubhouse - Now the site of St. Peter's Girls' School

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386 and 396 Richmond Terrace - between St. Peter's Place and Westervelt Avenue - 5/2/1928 - The former is listed on 1917 maps as the "West Day and Evening School" and prior to 1907 belonged to the Pendleton family. The latter belonged to the Wilkinson family. It's hard to tell without zooming in on the original digital photo but the school building has a sign indicating it's for sale.

396 Richmond Terrace - 5/2/1928 -

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404 Richmond Terrace - southeast corner of Westervelt - 5/2/1928 - In 1907 it belonged to one George J. Greenfield, and between 1874 and 1898 the Wilkinson's owned it. Much later it became the Pavillion, a catering hall where my aunt and uncle had their 25th anniversary party.

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Jeffrey Coogan said...

Hi Fletcher. In the course of my own research on the married authors George and Agnes Daulton, your blog popped up. Apparently they lived at 386 Richmond Terrace between at least 1908-1914. What a grand house, but how run-down it was by 1928!

The Wasp said...

Cool info, thanx!