Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Neighborhood - Cottage Hill

New Brighton around Hamilton Park - 1874

Hamilton Park detail - 1874 - Pritchard House circled in red

Hamilton Park - 1917 Here the Pritchard House is owned by Bertha K. Baker. The only reference I could find regarding her was her membership on the board of the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences from 1907.

I've written at length in the past about Hamilton Park and shown some of the houses that stand where it once stood. Recently my ongoing excavations of the NYPL Digital Collection brought me to this beautiful 1874 map of the HP environs.

I was amazed at the difference in a mere 43 years. The open lawns and gardens of the original Hamilton Park estates and "cottages" are gone by 1917. Some of the original homes are still there (like the Pritchard House at 66 Harvard which remains even today) but their property is greatly depleted and they are coming to be surrounded by newer, smaller homes.

View Larger Map

66 Harvard Avenue - Pritchard House - the wooded back yard on the house's west side used to be a lawn looking out over at the fields and farms of New Jersey. Today its enclosed with a giant hedge and overgrown.

The difference between 1917 and 2010 is less noticeable. The big estates were already broken up in 1917. There were new homes built, but aside from the large estate of Domenico Rorengo (no reference found) and several other larger houses on Buchanan Avenue, any tear downs aren't immediately apparent. I guess most of the cottages came down in that 1874-1917 period.

Hamilton Park - 2010

This is a closeup of the Stebbins property at the north of the Hamilton Park development property. HG Stebbins was a War Democrat, congressman and later the president of the NY Stock Exchange. His estate, which I don't presently have a picture of, was described as castlelike and crenelated. By 1917 it was all gone, as were many of the neighboring mansions to the north along Richmond Terrace.

As usual Forgotten New York has already covered the neighborhood and provided more and much better pictures than I've ever put up. Thanks for making me feel small ;)

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