The home of industrialist CKG Billings, on the site of the modern Fort Tryon Park, is seen in this photo, circa 1915.
Completed in 1907, Billings magnificent home had all the trappings of the modern capitalist, a heated swimming pool, a two story squash court lined in maple and even a “fumed oak” bowling alley.
In 1916, Billings sold his beloved estate to John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who planned on destroying the home before donating the land to the City for the creation of Fort Tyron Park. The home was spared the wrecking ball after loud local protest. But like so many monuments to old New York, the home was leveled by a 1926 fire so great the Times reported, it “spouted fire and smoke like a volcano.”
January 9th, 2020
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