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South porch
South porch.

Final Changes to the Mansion and Grounds

Beginning in 1901, and continuing through the next 5 years, minor but important changes in and additions to the estate were made. The splendid barns, still standing on the farm section east of the Post Road, were erected. An Italian garden, starting from a point near the river entrance and laid out in terraces to the highest point of the hill, was planned by James L. Greenleaf and executed under his direction.

The grounds were enlarged in October 1905 when Vanderbilt purchased the estate of the late Samuel B. Sexton. This property of 64 acres, known as Torham, adjoined the Vanderbilt estate on the north and was considered a handsome addition. Sexton's mansion had been destroyed by fire several years before, but there remained some cottages, conservatories, a carriage house, a boathouse, barns, and other outbuildings. All of these, except the boathouse, were demolished in 1906 as part of a program to match the new property with the rest of the estate in what was called "the park plan." The present north gate and stone walls were added to the new section at this time.

In the same year, final alteration of the mansion took place. Architect Whitney Warren of New York directed changes in the drawing room, main hall, and second floor hall. The Mowbray mural in the drawing room, which the Vanderbilts did not like, was removed.

With these changes, the mansion and estate began to look approximately as they do today.

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Last Modified: Mon, Mar 4 2002 10:00:00 pm PDT

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