Thursday, December 6, 2012

'Kenilwood'

 'Kenilwood', the George B. Post Jr. estate designed by George B. Post c. 1901 in Bernardsville, New Jersey.  Post was a founder of the brokerage firm of Post & Flagg and son of the noted NYC architect.  He died in the house in 1937 at the age of 72 and his son George inherited the estate.  In 1986 the estate was purchased with plans to be subdivided and in 1988 Mike Tyson acquired the main house and fourteen acres.  Click HERE to see 'Kenilwood' on bing.  The Images of America book on the Somerset Hills says the estate was built c. 1897 by Post as a present for his daughter Harriet's wedding to Thornton Wilson, however that wedding did not take place until 1921.  What makes the Post lineage ever more confusing is the re-use of the name George Post; there was George Browne Post, the architect, and his son George B. Post Jr. (owner of 'Kenilwood').  Post Jr.'s son was named George B. Post Jr. and that Post's son was also named George B. Post Jr. (why isn't he George B. Post IV?)




Photos from Architecture, 1911.

6 comments:

Zach said...

Regarding the use of Jr. over 3 generations of the same name...it appears they dropped the Jr. upon the death of the elder with the same name.

So George Post Jr. was only so until 1913 (the year his father died). He simply then became George B. Post and his son (George B. Post III) became George B. Post Jr (until 1937).

Odd.

Anonymous said...

Why do I visit this blog everyday? It's because of posts like this. I have been a fan of this house since it appeared in a full page ad for sale in Unique Homes in 1986 (I was a 13 year old dreamer and still have the copy). I cringed when Mike Tyson bought it, thinking he would destroy it. When Bing came up with their Bird's Eye View, it was one of the first houses I went on a "quest" to find, and did so after a few weeks. However, until today, I had NEVER seen a floor plan. THANK YOU, ZACH! It's not as creative or imaginative as a 13 year old would have wanted it to be, but so glad to finally see it! Now, can you work on finding a floor plan for 640 Fifth Ave? Oh please, oh please, oh please? It would make a great Christmas present!

WillLDS

Anonymous said...

WillLDS -
You might check the blog of Half Pudding Half Sauce. He has done a number of posts on 640. I am not sure if there were any floor plans in there but he may have some...

The Ancient said...

The Post firm sputtered along for quite a while.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A06E5D8173AF936A3575AC0A9609C8B63

P.S. I have sometimes heard the expression, "a pillage of Posts."

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh no!! Not more heirs with numbers out of sequence!

Architectural Digest did a spread on this place some years back, when Wilson Jr. owned it. So let's see how many degrees of architectural separation we can get going here: Harriet Post later married Sumner Welles, who had previously been married to Mathilde Townsend. Their house in Washington is now the Cosmos Club. Harriet Post was also the cousin of Sister Parish's mother. Thornton Wilson Jr.'s stepdaughter married Frank Richardson--they owned Northwood in Oyster Bay until their divorce a few years back. Harriet's brother George married the daughter of Charles Dana Gibson, whose wife, the original Gibson Girl, was the aunt of decorator Nancy Lancaster, who was first married to the brother of Marshall Field of Caumsett. The Gibsons of course, summered at Dark Harbor, as did Sister Parish's family. Sister Parish and Albert Hadley redecorated "Kenilwood for Wilson Jr.

It goes on, but I'll leave it here...

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh who am I kidding? I was just warming up---let's take this full circle: Nancy Field Lancaster's aunt, Lady Astor, was married to a distant cousin of the Wilsons, of course. And her first husband Henry Field's brother Marshall Field married Evelyn Marshall, whose brother was married to Brooke Russell Kuser, whose husband Dryden Kuser was grandson of the John Dryden who owned the nearby former William Astor Drayton estate (brother-in-law of Thornton Wilson's mother, who was of course the aunt of Vincent Astor who was to become the next husband of Brooke Kuser Marshall.

Got all that?