Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anson Phelps Stokes' Mansion

1928 - The Stokes Mansion two years prior to its demolition. A close look reveals a collapsing roof on the sun room in on the center first floor. There's a general look of abandoment to the place.

One of the most elaborate appearing mansions from Staten Island's Golden Age was that of Anson Phelps Stokes. It occupied part of the hillside land between Hamilton Avenue and St. Mark's Place and looked out over the harbor and New Jersey.

With architects, merchant bankers, Episcopal priest and whatnot in their family tree it would be interesting to see where the heirs of this once prominent family have ended up.

The family was clearly very devout, with Anson's grandfather helping to found the
London Missionary Society. Anson Stokes actively supported the American Bible Society, the American Tract Society and the American Peace Society. His son, Anson II, became an Episcopal priest and resident canon at the National Cathedral. His grandson, Anson III, also became an Episcopal priest and eventually the bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

Caroline Phelps Stokes, one of Anson's sisters, left her estate to the form the Phelps Stokes Fund in order to help improve the housing and education of minorities. Later his other sister, Olivia, used the fund to specifically aid "Negro education". Nowhere on its website does it do more than acknowledge that it was founded by a bequest of Anson's sister Caroline. Her brother Anson and his son the Rev. Anson P. Stokes were both initial trustees of the fund. I wonder if any members of the family have anything to do with the fund at all anymore.

1928 - Same house different vantage point

1874 - The Stokes Mansion and Estate - The heyday of the Island's great estates. To the west is Ladislao de Escoriaza's estate and to
the east that of J.C Green, esq.

1917 - De Escoriza's and Green's mansions are gone, the latter replaced by Curtis High School.

2010 - The only reminder of the Stokes estate is Phelps Place.

1928 - Gate and gatehouse to the Stokes Estate - northside of Hamilton Avenue between Phelps and Egmont

1928 - Gate and gatehouse to the Stokes Estate - northside of Hamilton Avenue looking west from Egmont Place


Nick said...

Very Cool Blog! Will you be kind enough to add The Preservation League of Staten Island's Official Blogger Blog?


Thank you!

Nick M.
PLSI Board Member

The Wasp said...


Anonymous said...

I used to live on the top floor at 11 Phelps Pl. in the early 80's before it was restored. I remember the markers at the entrance to Phelps Place and never knew why they were there. Amazing what the estate had looked like! I'm confused though was 11 Phelps part of the estate? Was it built before the estate was taken down? Would love to know if you do. Thanks.

The Wasp said...

They pretty much sit on the exact spot where the mansion stood. I'm not sure when it was demolished. It seems to have stood between the parallels created by Egmont and Phelps. I need to check out those markers.

Anonymous said...

I live on one of the Van Vredenburgh houses. Perhaps you are related??


The Wasp said...

Only distantly at best. My family comes from Harlem and Yonkers. My "branch" didn't arrive until my dad married my Staten Island mom in '65.