Old New York In Photos #37 – Riverside Drive 108th Street

Riverside Drive 108th Street – 1894

Riverside Drive 108th St Residence Samuel Gamble Bayne

Left – 360 Riverside Drive, Right -355 Riverside Drive corner of 108th Street, circa 1894- both designed by architect Frank Freeman, both, one time homes of financier Samuel G. Bayne

Viewing Riverside Drive today with its large apartment buildings lining the street, it’s hard to fathom the avenue with any open land and large private homes, but it was only a little more than 100 years ago when dwellings like this dominated the landscape. What is more amazing is that both of these ritzy houses were built for the same man.

Looking east on the south corner of Riverside Drive and 108th Street, the imposing house on the right in the foreground is the formidable residence of Samuel Gamble Bayne, an oil industry pioneer, financier, world traveler, author and President of The Seaboard National Bank.

Samuel G Bayne residence 108th St Riverside Drive rendering Frank Freeman architect

Architect’s rendering 355 Riverside Drive- Samuel Bayne Villa

The large Romanesque Revival villa residence located at 355 Riverside Drive was built from 1890-1891 by architect Frank Freeman who happily called the style “architecture at rest,” because of its massiveness and immobility.

Also built by Frank Freeman is the building to the left of Bayne’s large villa, which was Bayne’s original home at 360 Riverside Drive on the north corner of 108th Street. It was built in 1887 and Bayne lived here for a little over two years. When Bayne desired more space for his growing family, he moved with his wife Emily and their five children to the south side of 108th street to his new villa, selling his original home March 11, 1891 to the Pullman family for $105,000.

Bayne later repurchased the home from Minnie M. Palmer (formerly Pullman) in April, 1893 for $50,000 with the intention of refitting and improving the property for resale. After some upgrades, Bayne again sold the handsome 3 story stone structure in April 1896 to Henry Spingler Fonerden Davis for $70,000.

Samuel G BayneSamuel Gamble Bayne was born November 11, 1844 in Ramelton, County Donegal, in Ireland. He was educated in Belfast and went into the linen business with his cousin and prospered. After Bayne emigrated to America in 1869 he made his first large fortune by investing in the second oil well ever drilled in America, the Sugar House well in Titusville, PA.

He later organized an oil well supply company which developed into the National Supply Company. He then organized his first bank, The First National Bank of Bradford, PA. He proceeded to successfully organize National Banks in many other states.

In 1883 Bayne came to New York and organized a bank that dealt primarily in oil certificates, The Seaboard National Bank. He was also one of the original director’s at The Bankers’ Trust Company and Columbia Trust Company.

As President of the Riverside Drive Property Association, Bayne was involved in keeping the area around his home as elegant as possible. Bayne’s Atlas Improvement Company invested in real estate around New York City and bought many parcels of land on the west side including vacant lots on 107th Street and 108th Street near his Riverside Drive home.

When Bayne agreed to sell the Riverside Drive lots near his villa in 1899 to Adolphe Openhym and the builders, Smith & Stewart, Bayne had restrictions put into the sales agreement stipulating how the the lots would be developed. Bayne specified that “high class residences” with no more than two detached homes were to be built on the lots and that there be at least 30 feet between the houses in the middle of the block and those on either corner.

Bayne’s wife Emily passed away at their home in 1911 and Bayne continued slowly selling off all his remaining property, until he was only left with his villa.

Bayne’s 1887 original home at 360 Riverside Drive was bought in 1915 for $150,000 from Henry S.F. Davis’ heirs Cora B. and John A. Rutherford by the Anthony A. Paterno Construction Corp. In 1916 Paterno completed a 13 story building on the site and resold the property and the fully rented building to John A. Rutherford for $425,000. The building, appropriately named the Rutherford Apartments remains there today and is now a co-op.

In December 1921, Bayne finally sold his long time home to Harris H. Uris who demolished the landmark house and in 1922 completed a 14 story apartment building which stands on the site today. The architect was Alfred C. Bossom, who was Samuel Bayne’s son-in-law. Bayne announced that when the building was completed, he would occupy the entire 14th floor as his residence, as the views were the finest in New York.

Samuel Bayne died April 20, 1924, not at the site of his long time home, but at the Wyoming Apartments on 7th Avenue and 55th Street. Bayne left his estate of $2,297,019 to his four surviving children.

17 thoughts on “Old New York In Photos #37 – Riverside Drive 108th Street

  1. Pingback: Samuel Gamble Bayne Homes, Harlem, New York 1894 - Harlem World

    1. Gideon

      Just stumbled upon this wonderful article while doing some rabbit-hole research to uncover the history behind a stunning old stonework bridge and dam I discovered in the middle of the woods along the Ridgeway Nature Trail in White Plains. An old map led me to determine these and other old structures nearby, were part of the gardens of Glenalla (https://bit.ly/31gQQZI – South of Ridgeway, West of Mamaroneck Ave). Further late night searching led to ‘The Brickbuilder’ 1906 Volume 15 which features the house plan as well as photos of Glenalla on pages 100 and 105 & 106 respectively (https://bit.ly/3rqz3tS). Sadly I have not found any photos of the grounds to confirm suspicions about my marvelous curiosity, but it has been a fun go!

      1. Seth Weber

        Forgive me if you already know this information. I believe Glenalla was sold by Bayne to George W Hill, the tobacco company owner who created Lucky Strike and heavily marketed smoking to women. I grew up in the house whose backyard contained the bridge and waterfall. The bridge and waterfall were part of the Glenalla estate which I confirmed via a New York Times article from 1930 reporting the sale of the estate with a plan to build apartment buildings likely in close proximity to the New York, Westchester Boston line stop at Ridgeway. (You likely saw the same article). The NYT article mentions the bridge, waterfall, pond, skating house and pool. The stone outline of the pool was in the lower part of our backyard. The skating house was demolished by the city about 20 years ago after complaints by a local resident. I do have pictures of it. In addition I have a small metal plaque my father found on a tree stating”Glenalla, Private Grounds. No Trespassing, by order of George W. Hill, Owner”.

  2. marny sherman

    My husband and I have recently purchased the home built by Mary Lavinia Archbold and Michael M Van Beuren in 1936 in Boca Grande Florida. Any information you can provide about the history of that house would be appreciated!

    1. Elizabeth Bayne Curtis

      The house spanish style house on 14 th? Street? We used to stay and visit aunt Nancy Bayne Stevenson there all the time .. Bayne Stevenson is my cousin.!

    2. Michael van Beuren

      Hi Marny:

      If you’d like to discuss this with me you can send me a post card at Mike van Beuren PO Box 351 Hartland VT 05048. I’m a direct descendant. Please include your preferred way that I should contact you. Or, you can go on the genealogical site and look up the original van Beuren owners… Mary Lavinia Archbold and Michael M. van Beuren… The urls are: https://www.geni.com/people/Michael-van-Beuren/6000000019188082263 and https://www.geni.com/people/Mary-Lavinia-van-Beuren-Archbold/6000000019188092239 (click on media & timeline) There are photos, clippings, etc. The subscription fee for the site is not exorbitant. ¶ The Boca Grande Estate passed from them to their only child to the oldest grandson. I am the oldest great grandson… and pretty old at that 🙂 Happy Trails-2-you…

  3. Michael M. van Beuren

    James (responding to your comment just above): Just a few corrections to what you point out:

    #1 : The Spingler Farm was owned for many years by the estate of John Smith, just prior to its acquisition by the Spinglers. It was the Brevoorts prior to that… and, during part of the New Amsterdam era, was once owned by a freed slave: Simon Congo, whose family’s tenure may have been indirectly but prematurely ended by colonial measures during English rule.

    We keep in mind that the City limits were south of the farm during Spingler’s life time.
    The city grid was just on paper.

    #2: It was Spingler’s granddaughter Mary Spingler Fonerden who married Col. Michael M. van Beuren. (You said it was his daughter)

    #3: The vB house (that was torn down in the 20th century) stood at 21 West 14th street. (not between streets).There were two other Spingler houses torn down prior to that. The first having been built by either a Smith or a Brevoort, the second by Henry Spingler. There were also two additonal vB/Davis/Reynolds neighboring houses on 14th street.

    Back to the main article:
    A note of interest: The architect “Lord Alfred Bossom” is on wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Bossom … He was a MP who served for many years (1930’s-50’s).

    Back to Samuel Bayne… His original connection to this old + new money group in NYC was undoubtably through oil connections. Another Michael M. van Beuren (the 1st grandson) married Mary L. Archbold the daughter of John Dustin Archbold (President of Standard Oil of New Jersey)… Samuel Bayne’s son married a van Beuren. She was this second Michael M. van Beuren’s sister…. Remember, as this piece above points out:

    “After Bayne emigrated to America in 1869 he made his first large fortune by investing in the second oil well ever drilled in America, the Sugar House well in Titusville, PA.
    He later organized an oil well supply company which developed into the National Supply Company. ”

    The key clue is Titusville:

    John D. Archbold cut his teeth in the oil business in Titusville, before joining Standard Oil. His daughter Mary, the future Mary Lavinia van Beuren, was born in Titusville.

    During this the era of upscale homebuilding on Riverside, Standard Oil had 90% of the oil business in the world…. So this ends up being a “Big Oil” story too…

    ~ regards to all ~ Michael M. van Beuren (b.1952)

    FWIW: There is a family tree with the whole cast of characters from Bayne to Bossom, from Davis and Spingler to van Beuren … on Geni.com… an opening link ? Why not Henry Spingler (1747-1814), my fifth great grandfather: http://www.geni.com/people/Henry-Spingler/6000000019187979782 or John Dustin Archbold (1848-1915), my second great grandfather http://www.geni.com/people/John-Dustin-Archbold/6000000019187832521

  4. James

    Samuel Gamble Bayne was my uncle’s grandfather. Interestingly enough, S.G. Bayne’s daughter Emily, married English architect, Lord Alfred Bossom, who later designed the apartment building which replaced his father in law’s house. Previously he recreated Fort Ticonderoga for Stephen Hyatt Pelham Pell in 1909. S.G. Bayne’s son, Howard, married Louise Van Beuren, a descendant of Henry Spingler, as was Henry Spingler Fonderan Davis, who lived at the first S.G. Bayne house, 360 Riverside Drive. The original Spingler Farm, purchased in 1788, was 22 acres of the northern end of the Brevoort Farm, today, 13th-17th St between Union Square and 7th Ave, Spingler’s daughter married Michael Van Beuren, the original Van Beuren house stood between 14th and 15th Streets midway between 5th and 6th Avenues until it was torn down in 1910. Louise Van Beuren and Howard Bayne’s wedding was held there in 1909.

      1. Elizabeth Bayne Curtis

        Hi .. I am Elizabeth Leigh Bayne Curtis.. great grand daughter of Samuel Gamble Bayne.. James is my first cousin on my mother’s side of family.. would love to connect!!

        1. Michael van Beuren

          Hi Elizabeth,
          I’m cautious to post connection details on this site.
          May I suggest that you write me a postcard with your info at:
          Mike van Beuren
          PO Box 351
          Hartland VT 05048

          Would love to get in touch by phone or email…

  5. Claire B Goodbody

    I am really enjoying your website. I am currently completing the first of a series of historical romance novels set in New york, Boston and Newport, RI.
    I’m very particular about the research I do and strive to present the information as accurately as possible; also allowing for author’s plot changes. Thank you for your references. They are excellent.
    With regards—Claire

    1. B.P. Post author

      Thank you for your kind words Claire. We try to double check everything (especially sources) for accuracy. Good luck with the novels.

        1. B.P. Post author

          James – Thank you for the compliment. This was a story I really enjoyed researching and there was so much about Bayne that was interesting that I omitted, including the Alfred Bossom connection, for brevity’s sake. Your additions in your previous comment add much to the story that I was unaware of. Thank you for sharing the information.


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