Modernist Houses and Historic Preservation (or not) on Long Island

Saving (or not) Modernism in the Hamptons and What Historic Preservation is Doing to American Cities

Two different perspectives on houses and preservation that should have more of an overlap in Long Island, New York

Featured image: The Geller I house by Marcel Breuer in Lawrence, New York. Demolished 2022. Source: Docomomo/Syracuse University.

Now That’s A Rallye

Tales from a short-lived road Rallye of the 1950s: A Classic New England Rally is Revived, Minus the Mud (New York Times article). Here’s the link to the resurrected rally: Great American Mountain Rally Revival.

“We were boggled they felt they could handle it without chains and backwards at a fairly high speed”

Peter Bullard

Woolsey Park and an Abandoned Railbed

Perfect Spring day for walking the trails at Woolsey Park in Hopewell Township, New Jersey. Green up is well underway here. The total length of trails is only about two miles, but there are multiple crossings of Woolsey Brook, wetlands, uplands, and rows of tangled Bois d’Arc (better known as Osage Orange now).

Woolsey Brook.

The Osage Orange tree was only found in Texas and some surrounding states. Early French explorers called it Bois d’Arc because the Osage and other Native American tribes used its wood to make bows. By the 1800s, the tree (Maclura pomifera) was planted throughout the United States because it would quickly grow into thick, twisted, thorn-encrusted natural fences good for keeping livestock in (or out).

Osage Orange, or Bois d’Arc.

Woolsey Park also includes remnants of the short-lived shortline Mercer and Somerset Railroad (1874-1879) in the form of the earthen embankment that briefly carried the train tracks over Woolsey Brook. Just southwest of the park, Woolsey Brook joins Jacob’s Creek. The original M & R alignment is now Jacob’s Creek Road.

Woolsey Brook from the top of the old railroad embankment.
Lightning strikes?
Lots of Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) appearing.

Featured image: Osage Orange along the trail.