Sunday, January 8, 2012

'Conyers Farm'

'Conyers Farm', the Edmund C. Converse estate designed by Donn Barber c. 1904 in Greenwich, Connecticut. Converse was president of the Bankers Trust Company and a founder of US Steel. 'Conyers Farm' consisted of over 1,000 acres with numerous outbuildings and a large working farm that supplied the town with much of their produce. Converse died of a heart attack in 1921 though there were unsubstantiated claims he had been murdered and the house eventually fell into disrepair. In 1980 the entire estate was purchased by Peter Brant for $18 million and the property subdivided with houses on considerably large lots. Converse's main residence was purchased by Ivan Lendl but suffered an arson fire in 1985 during renovations and was demolished. Click HERE for a 1983 NYTimes article on the subdivision. Click HERE to see where the main residence at 'Conyers Farm' stood on google earth.






Photos from Architectural Record, 1906.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh to go back to a time when even simple utilitarian structures like the clock tower/water tower received special artistry and attention. What a fantastic architectural design.

The Ancient said...

Zach --

Why do you say his death was in any way suspicious?

(According to the NYT, he died at a hotel in Pasadena, surrounded by his family, at 72, after suffering a heart attack the night before.)

Zach said...

From the '83 Times article:

"Greenwich Probate Court records of the time said, according to the local newspaper, that while Mr. Converse's death was attributed to a heart attack, there were suspicions, never substantiated, that he was murdered."

The Devoted Classicist said...

The six-car fieldstone garage with chauffeur's quarters was renovated and added to by Alan Wanzenberg and Parish-Hadley in the mid-80s for airplane broker Henryk de Kwiatkowski. Mr. Kwiatkowski's portion of Conyer's Farm was 80 prime landscaped acres, including several guest houses and a stable for his thoroughbred racehorses.

The Down East Dilettante said...

I remember passing this place on childhood visits to my aunt, and wanting to see more---all those gates along the road, the tantalizing outbuildings...

I always thought the de Kwiatkowski job was very attractive and appropriate---a last burst of restraint before the steroid houses hit Greenwich.

Do I remember correctly that just a few years back, some other gazillionaire wanted to build a very, very very large house in Conyers Farms, and his neighbors, whose houses are only very very large, protested?

It would seem in Greenwich, that the big house cow had long since gotten out of the barn.

Anonymous said...

Is that recessed lighting in the upper part of the living hall and gallery?

The Devoted Classicist said...

I do not think it is recessed lighting, but decoration of the beams.