VANDERBILT COTTAGES, Clifton

by Kevin Walsh

I have a backlog of photos from a walk I did in May, 2019, scouting a Fort Wadsworth Forgotten NY tour and I walked from the fort almost all the way back to St. George. On the tour itself, the Park Rangers couldn’t have been more accommodating and we not only got into the fort itself, we also gained entry to one of the officers’ homes, one of a number that are curated and protected by the US government.

Things weren’t quite as accommodating at the grounds of the old Bayley Seton Hospital, where I was run off by one of the patrolling guards in a truck. Somebody let me know in Comments what the state secret is over there, that photography is not permitted?

Adjoining Clifton, Staten Island, has always been associated with the Vanderbilt family; its scion Cornelius operated a ferry to Manhattan beginning in 1810 at age 16, and its main east-west drag is Vanderbilt Avenue, which continues south into the heart of the island as Richmond Road.

I’m fascinated with the Tudors along Vanderbilt. I’ve talked about them before, but not for awhile.

In 1900, the firm of Carrere and Hastings built eight houses along the family’s namesake avenue, from 110 to 144, between Talbot Place and Tompkins Avenue for George Vanderbilt in 1900. Other houses were built for Vanderbilt on neighboring Norwood Avenue; additional mansions were found on nearby Townsend Avenue, but many of them have been lost to redevelopment.

I hope to have more from this walk as I go along.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”

3/5/20

6 comments

Anonymous March 6, 2020 - 5:22 pm

All I have heard is that contractors have been demolishing buildings on the old USPH service hospital property. The building that was Bailey Seton is to remain. The original Marine Hospital has been demolished.

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John March 6, 2020 - 6:51 pm

Those guys were probably hired by the contractors tearing down the buildings. The old Bailey Seton hospital will remain. Unfortunately I was told that the original Marine Hospital is gone.

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Kathryn Chelsen March 6, 2020 - 7:01 pm

George Vanderbilt — the one who built Biltmore in North Caroliia

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Andy March 7, 2020 - 11:09 pm

In September 1958, #242 Vanderbilt Avenue was the venue of a notorious murder case that was never solved. Dr. Melvin Nimer, a medical doctor interning at a nearby hospital, and his wife were viciously stabbed in that home, which they shared with three children, the oldest of whom was their 8 year old son, also named Melvin. After initially suspected as the killer, young Melvin was cleared and went back to his parent’s native Utah where he and his siblings were raised by relatives. Amazingly no one was ever arrested, let alone put on trial, for these murders, to the everlasting dismay of the younger Melvin, himself now about 70 years old.

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Cindy Kleiman May 9, 2020 - 1:31 pm

I used to work at Bayley Seton/St. Vincent’s. One of the outer buildings at the Bayley Seton campus (I believe it was Bldg 7?), connected to the main hospital by an above-ground passageway, was the old Vanderbilt mansion, which would have had a wonderful view of NY Bay back in the day. The building was quite decrepit when I worked there but was still in use, and you could see that it must have once been gorgeous. Its attic had a treasure-trove of storerooms with old lab equipment and assorted junk, etc., as well as a complete iron lung machine. So sad to see what has become of the place. What will the hospital building be used for?

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Cindy Kleiman May 9, 2020 - 1:48 pm

P.S. on Google Streetview, if you go around the Bayley Seton main building on the right side and continue up the road, the old Vanderbilt mansion will be the next building on the left after the hospital building – the long stone building with a double-row of porches (verandas?) facing the Bay.

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