Don’t let EOS see these pictures

Jumble Sale

If you’re selling your house and are lucky enough to have the local paper profile it, do yourself a favor and have a professional photographer supply the pictures for the article and don’t just hand your Instamatic to the pool boy and ask him to take a few snaps. Why waste the opportunity?

So Benny Goodman’s old teardown* in Stamford is for sale and that’s nice; it belongs to the daughter of the late Marjorie Rowe, whom Greenwich Time refers to as “the grand dame of Greenwich real estate”. No comment.

But really, how do you blow 23 pictures?

* before you get mad at me for this characterization, read the article. The Historical Society describes it as “interesting” and  ” a house with personality” but assures the reporter that there’s nothing stopping a new owner from tearing it down. They also point out that whoever owned it in the 1930′s added a bunch of Colonial crap to it to make it appear even older than it is. Between bad additions and remuddling, the house has no historical value and that’s what the preservationists are saying, politely.

Another thought: if this house is under the Westchester Airport flight path, should the seller give it a name, as some local realtors like to do, and christen it “Benny and the Jets”? Just asking.

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Don’t let EOS see these pictures

  1. Good one! Benny and the Jets. That location might actually be unscathed from flights. Me, not so much. :-(

    I don’t know if you actually ever read my blog, but we’ve had QUITE the discussion at EOSr lately about a house called The Belfry in Katonah, a 1913 Tudor sold in 2011 to a couple from Bedford who made it perfectly clear from the get-go that they intended to take it down to build a new home on the 16 acres. Enter the town Historical Preservation Commission and The Secret List. The story is long and complicated and I won’t bore you with the details but warning to the buyer of the Benny Goodman House; things aren’t always as they seem. The Belfry kerfuffle has raised critical questions: can a house not in the historic district of town and not 100 years old yet BE considered historic? And who makes that judgment call? And do the homeowners have a right to refute that designation?

    In the case of the Goodman House, I’d agree that the house has lost any historic value but I suggest the buyers get that in writing, in blood, from the Historic Society before closing and applying for a bulldozer permit.

  2. anonymous

    Be nice to Marge Rowe and her well earned Rolls Royce. She made you and your ilk rich by busting snotty Greenwich neighborhoods for the first flight of, to say it politely, Hedgies and Westchesterites that now populate the finer addresses in town. Were it not for her, all you brokers crying “tear down” and “old fashioned” would be scrambling to sell whatever to the flinty old Wasps who lived in them and passed them on to their own, and only their own, for years.

  3. Rowe your boat - realtor always got the deals for themselves

    Greenwich like Rowe died years ago. Stop hanging onto the past. This region has less and less real personality and now has an attitude nobody really enjoys. When Best & Co went belly up in 2009, I think that defined the closure and decline of the Ave. The fine old ladies of realty are now long gone. Time to move on and leave unless you like living in fantasyland called Greenwich.

    I frankly always enjoyed seeing the “Katie Favor Realtor” ad in Greenwich Station – did she give Ashford [deleted] for the right to hang that ad of hers by the platform door for ages.

    • The real Best & Company went belly up in 1971. Suzie Hilfigger’s 1997 attempt to recreate it on the Avenue was sort of silly, in my opinion. As for the Avenue itself, I think 1971 is as good a benchmark for its demise as any. You can quibble about the exact timing but it was long gone by the time I returned to Greenwich in 1983.

  4. Anonymous

    “Suzie Hilfigger’s [sic] 1997 attempt to recreate it on the Avenue was sort of silly, in my opinion.” I agree, and I think, recalling its advertising in Greenwich Magazine, that it was beyond pretentious as is most of the material in that magazine.

    I’m not so sure about the 1971 benchmark. Old stalwarts like Greenwich Drugstore (with its soda fountain), Greenwich Hardware (with its employees in blue smocks who ran up and down the stairs to get whatever you requested), Finch’s Drug store (now a Starbucks), Woolworth’s, now Sachs, (with its great lunch counter and plant selection on the sidewalk), Quinn’s Market with its butcher and liquor store – all lasted into the early ’80s. Boswell”s, Chancy D’Elia and others managed to survive beyond that. And don’t forget the Knapp Funeral Home which still abides on the Avenue: that business is pretty much recession-proof.

  5. anonymous

    Anyone who thinks Greenwich is a town filled with Wasps has NOT visited here in there in recent years. Vulgarians (dressed in preppy attire) masquerading as old money Wasps is the norm. Once they open their mouths or invite you into their home (the horror)……………..the jig is up. There is really almost no difference between the Westchester people (that CT. people love to mock) and modern day Greenwich.

  6. InfoDiva

    When did Marjorie Rowe die? I know I saw an obituary for one of her daughters last fall, but I could have sworn I saw the grande dame herself, adorned in jewels and a nearly-floor length mink, squeezing the tomatoes at the market not long ago. Were my eyes deceiving me?

  7. Finally we flinty New Englander admirers have someone to blame for the mess we now live in.

  8. Spotted in the article’s photos, an “azalea tree” in the cemetery. What the hell is that?

    Looks more like a pink dogwood tree. Maybe a realtor described it to the writer?

    But if it’s in the paper it must be true.

  9. old mr knapp died too

    original owner mr knapp died of dementia and he handed the place over to a guy who did suitcase embalming ( a guy that floated from funeral home to funeral home in area since embalming is too expensive to do it yourself as a solo funeral home) at no charge. payment was mr knapp turned the bldg over to embalmer for a song. when knapp sister who lived upstairs died. she had the whole floor. the embalmer now owes the whole place and chopped the upstairs into multiple rentals. the old embalmer still runs the knapp funeral home and does all the embalming too. suitcase no longer needed. more cremations now, far fewer pricey full emalmed corpses.