2011

2011



Dear Gerry,  Thank you for your amazing website. Words fail in regard to the history of Whitemarsh Hall. I am a historian by hobby, my interest is John Wanamaker, who lived at Lindenhurst not too far away. If there are any records of Mr. Wanamaker or his son Rodman visiting Whitemarsh Hall please let me know.
Richard Seifert 
rlseifert50@comcast.net
USA - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:36 AM EST

Hi from canada, My husband is Gino Ingratta and he was looking for Luigi Spallone from Gambatesa. Does anyone know Luigi???  My husband was from Villa Canale, near Agnone in Isernia.
Judy Judy Ingratta 
jai@mnsi.net
Canada - Sep 08, 2011 at 10:22 PM EST

I visited your great website years ago and signed the guestbook then with a quote about the demolition of New York City's Pennsylvania Station. The gist was that we will be judged not by the monuments we build, but by those we have destroyed. You incorporated it into the site. I have loved Whitemarsh Hall since I got hold of a copy of "Twilight of Splendor" in the mid-70s and devoured it. A cousin of mine attended Chestnut Hill College from 1970-74 and used to visit the house and explore it in its decay. She said it was heartbreaking to see. Of the five houses chronicled in that book, I have visited three of the four houses still standing (only Shadow Lawn, another Trumbauer house, now Wilson Hall at Monmouth College in Long Branch, NJ, remains to be seen). Just this week, while visiting New Hope, I realized how close I was to Wyndmoor and finally visited the remains of Whitemarsh Hall. I knew and could see in my mind's eye what was there, and sadly surveyed the present scene. I wonder if you can enlighten me about the abutment with urns in the photographs attached. They lie along what is now Trumbauer Drive. I suspect that from the main entrance, having wound around the plaza, this was along the drive leading up to the house. Anything you can let me know I'd be interested in learning. I see Trumbauer's hand in this, as he was big on urns, but perhaps it was Greber's work, using a very Trumbauer motif already prevalent on the estate. I sincerely commend you on your excellent website (both on Whitemarsh and your family's history) which has given so many of us a wonderful experience in seeing what a magnificent estate once existed, from it's construction through demolition. I'm no poet, but I wrote a verse following my visit. I share it with you here. I think, with your obvious love of the house, you'll enjoy it. Keep up the good work! One last thing I want to bring to your attention, when you click on the link to the pictures in the Photo Archive section on the site, it doesn't open the picture but takes you back to the Main Page. I thought you'd like to know to correct this.

-Here today I’ve come to roam,
O’er Ned and Eva’s pleasure dome,
To see those relics which survive
Along a stark suburban drive

The Philistines have had their way,
As seen today, their wicked sway
Sits cheek-by-jowl, too close I fear,
To Ned and Eva’s Belvedere.

Six pillars stand twixt houses small,
But lead no more to entrance hall
Where cupid’s arrows once were proffered
In marble, ‘neath a ceiling coffered.

No more do Clodions here uplift,
Large platters full of fruited gift,
And Pajou’s seasons all have passed.
Such splendor, sadly, did not last.

Those walls no more and now so mourned
With Reynolds and Romney then adorned,
With Hoppners and Lawrences well displayed,
And tapestries rich, all there arrayed.

The gardens’ glorious symmetry,
Spreads no more for all to see,
As crowded houses here replace
That landscape, which they now deface.

But think of it! Those golden days!
To stroll here then in twilight’s haze,
When beauty reigned across this place,
Long, long before today’s disgrace.

Still, the Stotesburys had their time,
Near two decades in this clime,
They built a house so fine, so grand,
That brought distinction to this land.

Ned and Eva’s domicile,
Suffered such a sad, long trial,
Now laid to waste, time unforgiving,
Their exercise in gracious living.
 

Bob Blake robertbblake@optonline.net
Wyndmoor, PA USA -  Aug 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM EST


Hi, I too, am one of those old souls who mourn the loss of great mansions. But with regard to Whitemarsh Hall..just what did Mr Stotesbury squander at least $55 mil on? Especially since $55mil in the '30's was a truly vast sum of money. I also don't understand why he left his wife so little money to maintain Whitemarsh Hall given that he was so in love with her.
Michael Fisher MichaelSeanFisher@EarthLink.net
Jul 31, 2011 at 1:19 PM EST

Thank you for keeping a record of Stotesbury on the web. I grew up nearby and visited the estate several times as a LaSalle student from 1975-1979 and was blown away by the magnitute of the property. Today's barrons leave little for us to see besides the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation which is incredible. It was great to see it again, thanks
Bill Wiley coyote1_2000@yahoo.com
May 1, 2011 at 2:24 AM EST

What a wonderful site! My parents moved to MacArthur Road in September 1947, when I was six months old, and l lived there until I went off to college. When they first moved in. the only telephone was at the Gate House, so she had to bundle me up in the carriage and take a long stroll just to make a call. I, too, was among the many trespassers on the mansion grounds.
Melanie Sherry Berman melanieberman@live.com
Jul 26, 2011 at 2:03 PM EST


I was so engrossed with the article that you wrote and totally inspired me to dig more about the place. I am from Asia and I have this somehow crazy and weird idea of buying myself a mansion up for sale when I’m already well of on my own; but I guess this whitemarsh hall is no longer reparable. Has anyone bought the land where it stands? I would really appreciate it if you hook me up on news about the abandoned mansions there in PA or anywhere in the US. thanks, – stef
Stephanie Calubayan teppy.bear@yahoo.com
Apr 30, 2011 at 10:23 AM  EST

Hello there! I just wanted to tell you how wonderful your website about WhiteMarsh Hall is. I must have spent hours on your website looking at the pictures and reading the information there. It pains me to see our historical buildings being torn down. Such a piece of work this mansion was ! I envy the time you were able to spend there ! Well done !
Belinda
belinda_green@oh.rr.com
Apr 9, 2011 at 6:10 PM EST

A moving tribute to this great house, its owners and architect. Your personal photos were extremely poignant. The research was excellent. I grew up overseas in Greece and Turkey. I understand the magnetism and power great architecture has over the observer. Most of what I saw in the ruins of ancient Greek and Roman temples also affected me in a similar way to your impressions. There is something magical and tragic about crumbling stone that once was a house revered or temple adored. You have not only the modality of free movement through the monument/house and the ability to touch the remaining ruins, but there is the smell of the stone, wood, and plaster. And the strange effect of spring flowers and herbs wafting through the remains. The thrill of 'invading' the privacy of the home/temple, occupied or not, is also a sensation. To ruminate on its history, the people who inhabited the place, to take in the surrounding views...yes, I understand. My family travelled the lands of the ancients to the moderns (Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, France) and it was not the very modern that impressed me -- it was what I was later to understand as the Renaissance through the Gilded Age - the Beaux Arts. Seeing the models first hand on which US architects based their domestic and public buildings is important to understand how the Greek and Roman models were adapted through the ages. It also indicates how poor our current ability is to reproduce any likeness of the great monuments of the past. It is a terrible shame that Whitemarsh was not preserved as many as were in Newport. The barren slopes and remaining few pieces jutting from the landscape become a romantic halo from which even more can be imagined. Thank you.
John Henry
johnhenry@cfl.rr.com
Apr 08, 2011 at 9:05 AM EST

As a young boy I grew up next door to the estate and played on the grounds before the salt company took it over. My grandparents knew the family – although considered him “neauveau rich” as the saying goes.
Michael Donahue donahue.mg@gmail.com
Mar 13, 2011 at 9:47 PM EST

Hello… Really enjoyed this website, the pictures and the stories of the Stotesbury's. I recently found and old scrape book from my grandmother when she attended West Palm Beach High School in 1925 and 1926. I also found pictures of the "El Miraso", that my Great Grandfather had taken as he worked as a carpenter for Mr. Stotesbury. I fell in love with the story, the time and knowing my Great Grandfather was there made it all the more interesting to me. I also found pictures of another Mansion that my grandfather was involved with, the building of the "Casa Nana," I was happy to hear it is still their, but very sorry to hear they tore down "El Miraso". My husband works for a wonderful man here in Bloomington, Indiana. Mr. William Cook and his wife have worked hard to save two glorious hotels located in southern Indiana, they are French Lick Hotel and Spa and the West Baden Hotel, (listed as the 8th wonder of the world at one time). Thank you for putting all this together it is "Magical"
Cathy Minett Murphy camurphy2@comcast.net
Bloomington, Indiana - USA Mar 29, 2011 at 9:56 PM EST

I have been visiting your Whitemarsh Hall web site for a couple of years. The home amazes me, and its decline saddens me. I wish it could have been preserved. I would have made a special trip from California to visit. Please consider my E-mail address for Whitemarsh Hall, WhitemarshHall@Wilkinsonlaw.net
Daniel B. Wilkinson
dan@wilkinsonlaw.net
Ventura, CA USA - Mar 20, 2011 at 4:51 AM EST

I first heard of the estate when we moved to wyndmoor in december 1963, you yourself gerry told me all about it and you lived on the cul-t-sac just above leewood across from hartwell’s tennis courts but back to the future, when we were in school I went to supervisiors meetings trying to get the township what a valuable keepsake they had off paper mill, the answer was always oo much to restore too much room and too much to maintain but just after they tore it down I was talking to judge eastburn and he finally agreed with me but the damage was already done. that would have been a great public space, township building, library, and police station, they could have rented out the ballrooms and been the envy of every other township in surrounding areas. but as they always say, hind sight is always 20/20
Eddiott eddiott@verizon.net
Mar 11, 2011 at 1:38 PM EST

It is indeed a shame that such a grand mansion and gardens had to be destroyed. You would think some school or church could have bought the estate as a retreat, or for some other purpose, as so many of the grand estates of Long Island and Westchester have been used for. The loss of Whitemarsh Hall was a loss to the community as a whole. Think what the mansion would be today if some computer billionaire had bought and restored it in the 1970s! Alas, another great estate is gone. We should do all we can today to preserve and protect the few great estates that remain, otherwise a beautiful part of the history of our country will be lost.
laurence almand laurencealmand@yahoo.com
Jan 7, 2011 at 4:52 PM EST

Hi Gerry, It was very nice to look at your website. The old photos and history you have listed is nice to read about. My family is also from Avezzano and many of my great grandparent's family was lost in the earthquake on January 13, 1915 as well. One day I hope to have a nice website such as yours for family and researchers to refer. I see that you have a Palumbo listed in your surnames but I could not find where Palumbo is found in your ancestral lines. I believe we have corresponded a few years back but am not sure if we knew of this match before. Best of luck in your continued research, you have created a treasure chest of memories for your family.  Regards,
Stephanie Palumbo Trotter StfPalumbo@aol.com
Denver, CO USA - Jan 1, 2011 at 7:09 PM EST