George McKesson Brown Estate -- Coindre Hall
|Location||Brown's Rd., Huntington, New York, USA|
|Area||13 acres (5.3 ha)|
|Architect||Luce, Clarence; Schafer, J.V.|
|Architectural style||Renaissance, French Chateauesque|
|MPS||Huntington Town MRA|
|NRHP reference #||85002493|
|Added to NRHP||September 26, 1985|
Coindre Hall, originally called West Neck Farm, is a 40-room, 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) mansion in the style of a medieval French château constructed in 1912 for pharmaceutical magnate George McKesson Brown.
The home was designed by Clarence Luce, a Paris architect. It overlooks 34 acres (14 ha) of rolling land including a boathouse on the north shore of Long Island adjacent to Long Island Sound. The home was designed for George McKesson Brown of the McKesson pharmaceutical family. George, a Huntington Fire Commissioner for 29 years before his retirement from in 1960, was the elder half-brother of race car driver David Bruce-Brown.
Brown donated a private road to the Town of Huntington in 1930. It was renamed Browns Road in his honor. Brown could not keep up with the maintenance of the mansion and sold it in 1939. Brown died on October 3, 1964 in Huntington at 86 years old. At the request of Bishop Monsignor Thomas Molly, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart bought this property to establish a boarding school and summer retreat. It was founded by Brother Martinian, S.C., Provincial Superior, and was named in memory of Father André Coindre, the founder of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The school was intended to generate funds for the formation and education of young Brothers. It operated under the supervision of the Brothers who have been active in Christian Education in the United States since 1847. The boarding school operated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart closed on June 30, 1971 due to lack of teachers. At the time of its closing there were 116 students who boarded there five days a week.
Suffolk County Ownership
The Suffolk County Legislature voted to purchase Coindre Hall for $750,000 in July 1972 and spent $4,000 to map the area. The plan was to use it as a harborfront park and lease the manor to the Town of Huntington to be used as a cultural center.
At the end of 1976, Suffolk County decided to close Coindre Hall due to budget cutbacks. It was costing the county about $90,000 to keep it open. Since the county's purchase of the property it had been used by the Huntington Militia, the Suffolk County Highway Patrol Bureau and the Huntington Art League.
The property was leased from Suffolk County in 1981 by Eagle Hill School, a private coeducational boarding school for students with learning disabilities. The school signed a 25year lease but run into financial difficulties and broke the lease in 1989. The school had declining enrollment and could not afford the rent or make needed repairs to the building.
Since 1973, Coindre Hall Park has been administered by the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation. Currently there is a gym that hosts soccer and basketball, and [www.splashesofhope.org Splashes of Hope] has art studio space upstairs through a work-exchange program with the County.
The mansion is often used for hosting weddings and unique catered events exclusively through Lessings Caterers. The Town of Huntington Department of Parks & Recreation used Coindre Hall for its adult exercise classes in Fall 2018.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
- "Rites for George M. Brown, 86". Newsday. October 6, 1964. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- "Vanderbilt Cup Races - Driver Bio - David Bruce-Brown". www.vanderbiltcupraces.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- McIntyre, Mark (November 20, 1978). "Elegant but Aging Mansion Looks for New Lease on Life". Newsday. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
- NYS Parks & Recreation (n.d.). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: George McKesson Brown Estate -- Coindre Hall". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
- "Boarding School to Close". Newsday. March 4, 1971. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- Demma, Joe (July 19, 1972). "Suffolk Oks 3 Park Purchases". Newsday. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
- Cook, Christopher M. (December 1, 1976). "Coindre Hall Falls Victim to Cutbacks". Newsday. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
- O'Neill, Maureen (May 11, 1989). "Eagle Hill School in Coindre Hall to Close". Newsday. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
- [Coindrehallsoccer.com Coindre Hall Soccer]
- "Chateau at Coindre Hall". Lessings.com. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
- "Town of Huntington Fall 2018 Activities for Children and Adults Brochure". Town of Huntington Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
- Suffolk County Listings on the National Register of Historic Places