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Beaux Arts Park Historic District


The Beaux Arts Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Beaux Arts Park Historic District includes five residences (a total of eleven contributing elements: ten buildings and one structure) that compose a residential enclave located in the center of the incorporated village of Huntington Bay. Situated on Northport Bay, the village of Huntington Bay includes the shoreline of the East Neck Peninsula from the east bank of Huntington Harbor to the west bank of Centerport Harbor. The residences within the Beaux Arts Park Historic District are located within a single block along two short private roads called Upper and Lower Drives. The Tudor Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style dwellings date from c.1905 to c.1915 and represent a dramatic departure from Huntington's persuasive conservative local building tradition. There are no intrusions.

The dwellings in the Beaux Arts Park Historic District line the north side of Upper Drive, which follows the ridge of a hill, and the south side of Lower Drive, a narrow winding lane situated on a terrace halfway down the hillside. The rear of the dwellings face each other. All of the dwellings share a scenic view of the shoreline to the north. The Beaux Arts Park Historic District residences have generous landscaped lots and most retain their original carriage houses/servants' quarters. The Beaux Arts Park Historic District is bounded by Locust Lane on the west and Huntington Bay Road on the east, which run perpendicular to Upper and Lower Drives. The boundaries of the Beaux Arts Park Historic District are clearly delineated as a result of the surrounding modern residential neighborhood and the Beaux Arts Park Historic District's uniformity of period design.

The Beaux Arts Park Historic District contains five large stucco residences dating from c.1905 to c.1915 that exhibit a variety of decorative details from the Tudor Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style architectural idioms. The spacious, rambling homes have distinctive design features including steeply pitched slate or pantile roofs, irregular plans, casement and multi-pane windows, a variety of towers/parapets/porches, and an abundance of decorative wood and wrought-iron ornament. All of the properties but one have combination carriage houses/servants' quarters that complement the main dwellings. Although many of the outbuildings have been altered for use as garages, the majority of the residences have received few, if any, alterations and retain a high degree of architectural integrity.

A noteworthy example of the Beaux Arts Park Historic District's distinctive residential design is the Spanish Colonial Revival style Count Berizzi House located at 26 Locust Lane. The two and one-half story building has a three-story square tower and an enclosed porch with decorative wrought-iron balustrade. Ornate low-relief plasterwork enhances the window surrounds and cornice line. The red pantile roof projects over the stucco walls which are punctuated by bands of windows and round-arched entrances.

A fine example of the Tudor Revival style of architecture in the Beaux Arts Park Historic District is the Dr. Coe House located at 7 Upper Drive. The two and one-half story dwelling has prominent half-timbered gables with decorative bargeboards, a central projecting entrance pavilion with parapet, bands of multi-pane casement windows, and heavy dark wooden trim. The other three residences exhibit an eclectic blend of architectural details from both the Tudor Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival styles of architecture.

Significance

The Beaux Arts Park Historic District is architecturally significant as a small, residential enclave composed of distinctive Tudor and Spanish Revival style dwellings associated with the development of Huntington's north shore as an exclusive residential community at the turn of the twentieth century (c.1905-1915). As a result of its isolated location in relation to the village of Huntington, the Huntington Bay area did not develop until the end of the nineteenth century when it was found desirable by contractors and wealthy individuals for its scenic vistas, undeveloped shoreline, and proximity to New York City. Originally advertised as an exclusive residential community, the Beaux Arts Park section of the village of Huntington Bay was planned between 1900 and 1917 by the Bustanoby Brothers, wealthy New York City entrepreneurs. Developed around an 1870s waterfront hotel and a 1905 casino, Beaux Arts Park was initially to contain nearly one-hundred residences; however, only the five properties that compose the Beaux Arts Park Historic District were built. Containing architecturally significant examples of early twentieth century Tudor Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style residences, the buildings within the Beaux Arts Park Historic District represent a dramatic departure from the persuasive conservative local building traditions that dominated the town's architectural development from the mid-seventeenth to mid-nineteenth centuries. The Beaux Arts Park Historic District is one of only two surviving examples of the planned residential communities (see also Bay Crest Historic District) that characterized the turn-of-the-century residential development of Huntington Bay. With related outbuildings and scenic views intact, the Beaux Arts Park Historic District represents one of the last historic phases in the architectural and residential development of the village of Huntington.

The incorporated village of Huntington Bay is situated on Huntington Bay and includes the shoreline of East Neck from the east bank of Huntington Harbor to the west bank of Centerport Harbor. As a result of its isolated location in relation to the village of Huntington, the area did not develop until the end of the nineteenth century when the rest of the town experienced a tremendous population increase as a result of its popularity as a fashionable summer resort. Until the 1870s, the area known as Huntington Bay was composed of several large farms. By the 1880s, however, with such magazines as Scribner's Monthly extolling the virtues of the town, attention started to focus on Huntington's north shore with its scenic vistas, beachfront, and undeveloped land within reach of New York City via the railroad. Between 1880 and 1920, the Huntington Bay area was extensively developed by a variety of contractors and wealthy individuals.

Shortly after the turn of the century, Beaux Arts Park was planned by the Bustanoby Brothers, prosperous New York City entrepreneurs. Beaux Arts Park first appears on the 1909 Belcher-Hyde map as the area between Locust Lane and Bay Road. On the map, the park is serviced by a series of private, winding lanes and divided into over one hundred lots. The Bustanoby Brothers centered the development around the hotel and casino which were located at the northernmost edge of the park, overlooking the bay. The hotel, originally known as Locust Lodge, was built in the 1870s in the American Shingle style. After acquiring the property, the brothers referred to the hotel as the "Chateau Des Beaux Arts," from which the community was named. In 1905, the Bustanobys built the casino in the exuberant, eclectic mode of the Beaux Arts architectural style. The casino and hotel were separated by a large formal garden with walkways. Unfortunately, both buildings are no longer extant.

Beaux Arts Park was advertised as an exclusive residential community for the wealthy and elite. A variety of bungalows, chalets, and villas were to be built in what was described as the "French taste." By 1917, however, the casino and hotel had become the Huntington Golf and Marine Club, and bathing houses and a club house had been built. Based on the scant historical record that survives, it is apparent that the Bustanobys had lost control of the real estate venture by 1917. Between c.1905 and c.1915, only the five residences which compose the Beaux Arts Park Historic District were built along Lower and Upper Drives.

In their Tudor Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style of architecture, the large, rambling stucco homes represent one of the most distinctive and complete departures from the persuasive local vernacular building tradition that had dominated Huntington's architectural development from the mid-seventeenth to mid-nineteenth centuries. As well-crafted and stylish examples of their type and period, the dwellings reflect the architectural sophistication that was altering Huntington's streetscapes at the turn of the twentieth century. In particular, the dwellings are characteristic of the picturesque mansions built on Huntington's north shore during this period. (Many of these mansions are included in the Beaux Arts Park Historic District as individual components and/or within the Bay Crest Historic District). In addition, the dwellings also represent one of only two extant planned communities (see Bay Crest Historic District) of the many that dramatically altered and shaped the early twentieth century residential growth of Huntington Bay.

With its architectural integrity and picturesque setting intact, the Beaux Arts Park Historic District represents one of the last historic architectural and residential phases of development in the village of Huntington.

  1. New York State Department of Parks & Recreation, Division for Historic Preservation, Beaux Arts Park Historic District, nomination document, 1985, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Beaux Arts Park Historic District Map

Street Names
Huntington Bay Road • Locust Lane • Lower Drive • Upper Drive North

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