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Title [Louis H. Meyer estate, east front]
Object Name Print, Photographic
Date ca. 1885
Collection Staten Island Geographic Collection
Description Original B&W print on brown cardboard mount with gold edges. View of a large 2 1/2-story house with a mansard roof; there is a tower in the center, and a wide porch. The house is seen from across the lawn, with a curved path leading to the house. Near the porch is a fountain with water spraying from a vertical pipe in the center. Near the house, a man stands between two girls; they are holding hands. Another man stands at right; he is raking the lawn. Handwritten inscription in pen on reverse: "LH Meyer's residence / East front, fountain playing on Lilly pond".
(Keywords: New York, Gilded Age)
Print size 7.875 x 9.5
Ownership and History In this photograph, Louis H. Meyer stands in front of his house on his estate, known as Fox Villa, in the Fort Wadsworth area of Staten Island, New York. Mr. Meyer, a prominent businessman, was the first president of the Staten Island Savings Bank, and he and his wife Anna lavished money on their twenty-acre estate. Contemporary descriptions noted that the house had more than twenty bedrooms, and a dining room that could seat 60. He imported trees and shrubs from Europe to create romantic vistas on the property, built greenhouses for tropical fruit, and constructed a grotto where he produced Shakespearean plays. The home later became the Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat House.

An inscription on an identical photograph identifies the two girls as "Herma & her friend Elsie." Herma was Louis H. Meyer's granddaughter Hermanna Rupe (1878-1962); her parents were Wilhelmine F. (Meyer) and Albert Christian Rupe. "Elsie" is identified in other photos as Elsie Fischer.
Earliest Date 1883
Latest Date 1888
Subjects Estates
Lexicon Sub-category Documentary Artifact
Associated People Meyer, Louis H.
Rupe, Hermanna
Catalog Number PH01.1050
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, January 2016.
Legal Status Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.