Friday, April 5, 2013
The Upper West Side's "Colonial House" in Color.
The Furniss estate briefly extended up to 104th street and Riverside Drive, and it did extend all the way to the edge of the Hudson River, but over the years lots were sold off or given away to his children and the construction of Riverside Drive cut off the river access. Furniss and his wife had passed away by 1880, their daughter Margaret sold the lots south of what is now 99th street to John N. A. Griswold of Newport, Rhode Island. Then in 1899 Griswold sold the lots, which had remained undeveloped during his ownership. This left a still ample piece of property for an already vastly different city from when the house first went up - the entire block from 99th street to 100th street from West End Avenue down to Riverside Drive.
Eventually the old Furniss mansion had become an artist’s colony of sorts. A playwright by the name of Paul Kester lived in the house during its final years and would very often hold rehearsals in the big living room. Gertrude Stein lived in the Furniss house from February to late spring 1903. The Furniss house finally gave way to the ever growing city, apartment house construction and the old saying "the land is worth more than the house". The Old Colonial White House" was torn down in 1904.