Brookwood Hall, East Islip NY

Brookwood Hall in East Islip, NY is a Neo-Georgian style mansion built in 1902 by the architects Delano and Aldrich.

Brookwood Hall Entrance

Brookwood Hall Entrance

When I visited the mansion in late February 2011, the building was undergoing extensive and much needed renovations.

Back of Building

Back of Building

The mansion was built by the Knapp Family, and was also subsequently owned by the Thorne Family.

Brookwood Hall Marker

Brookwood Hall Marker

From 1942-1965 the mansion served as an Orphanage.

Orphan Registry Sign

Orphan Registry Sign

Today it is the home of the Islip Art Museum and the Islip Arts Council and it sits in Knapp Lake Park.

Allee of Trees

Allee of Trees

Original Entrance Gate

Original Entrance Gate

Main Stairs

Main Stairs

Breakfast Room Fireplace

Breakfast Room Fireplace

The Breakfast Room serves as an exhibit space for local history organizations.

Original Flooring outside Dining Room

Original Flooring outside Dining Room

Many of the original architectural details of the mansion are hidden behind modifications made to the estate through the years.  It was nice to see some of the original flooring.

Detail of Solarium Fireplace

Detail of Solarium Fireplace

Mansion lore has this fireplace originally coming from the Idle Hour Estate.  The French style of the fireplace makes the story plausible.  It is not in keeping with the Georgian decorative style of the rest of the house.

Carriage House

Carriage House

The carriage house now serves as a contemporary art space.  I hope to visit Brookwood Hall again, when the renovations are complete.

For more photos of Brookwood Hall see my Flickr site.

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22 Comments

Filed under Long Island Historic Homes

22 responses to “Brookwood Hall, East Islip NY

  1. Interesting! I would love to know the story of that huge window to the right of the main entrance. I presume that the rear portico has infill construction; hopefully it can be removed. Thankfully, the house has been preserved and has a viable use.

  2. The correct name for Knapp’s estate is Brookwood. The orphanage renamed it Brookwood Hall.

    Ray Spinzia

  3. Sorry, I forgot to respond to window question. They are German, medieval, stained-glassed medallions. Similar medallions can be found in the Knapp Memorial window in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Islip, LI.

  4. jack

    Those are not the front entrance gates. The entrance gates are larger and more elaborate.

    • GREGORY V. REAGAN

      HI GLADYS, I AM TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING. MY LAST CONTACT WAS WITH MRS. CYDEAR WHO PASSED AWAY IN 1998 AT THE AGE OF 92. WE GOT TOGETHER IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR THE WEEKEND, WHILE I LIVED IN SAN DIEGO. I CAME BACK TO GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. IN 1999 TO BE A CARE GIVER TO MY AUNT JUNE. WHO PASSED IN 2010. HOW ARE YOUR BROTHERS ARTIE & MICHAEL DOING? I HAVE QUITE A FEW PICTURES OF US AT BROOKWOOD HALL BUT DON’T KNOW HOW TO SHARE THEM. WE BELONG TO A PRIVATE FAMILY. LOVE GREG

      • Gladys (Fryer) DeCostanzo

        Hi Gregory, I am glad to hear from you. I’m sorry to hear of the passing of Mrs. Cydear and your Aunt. I am living in East Islip, married and have 2 children. Michael passed away and Artie is doing ok. I have the pictures you sent to Frank Szemko. I am trying to identifiy who is who, some of them I do remember. I am giving them back to Frank soon so he can give them to the historical society. Please keep on touch with me Love Gladys

      • Diana Mckevitt

        Hello gladys fryer deconstanzor, do you remember me? Diana kappias thr greek? Was at Brookwood hall for 5 years 58-63

    • GREGORY V. REAGAN

      HI JACK, THOSE GATES MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE ORIGINAL MAIN GATES BECAUSE THEY FACED MONTAUK HWY. WHEN I LIVED THEIR THE MAIN GATE FACED IRISH LANE (THE BIG GATES). F.Y.I. THE BREAKFAST ROOM WAS WHERE ALL OF US KIDS CELEBRATED OUR BIRTHDAYS EVERY YEAR. MUCH LOVE WAS GENERATED IN THAT ROOM. WE WERE ALLOWED TO INVITE 7 KIDS AND A SUPERVISOR TO ATTEND. I HAVE NOTHING BUT FOND MEMORIES OF EVERYONE THAT LIVED THEIR AS AN ORPHANAGE.

    • Curt Riess

      Hi. My mother, Lorretta Stellato was one of the first children to live at Brookwood Hall. She passed away in 1999. She is pictured in a couple of the archive photos. Just thought I would share. – Curt Riess

  5. Glenn Laliberte

    The director of Brookwood Hall was Bill St. Marie and the assistant director was Severin J. Laliberte. When it closed they both went to the Ottile Home For Children in Jamaica, Queens.I still remember lots about this place because my dad took my sister and I here alot when we were very young. I am the son of Severin Laliberte , Glenn now 53 years old and living in Pennsylvania.

  6. GREGORY V. REAGAN

    THIS WAS MY HOME FROM 1956 UNTIL THE END IN 1964. THE MEMORIES COME FROM THE STAFF THAT DEDICATED THEIR LOVE TO ALL OF US KIDS. I LOVED & STILL LOVE ALL OF THEM WHO ARE NOW IN HEAVEN. SOME OF US SERVED IN VIET NAM, BECAUSE OF THE DRAFT. DICEN SAMUALS & JOSE SANTANA DIDN’T MAKE IT BACK. BUT THEY DID GET A FANTASTIC AMOUNT OF LOVE FROM ALL OF US. I MISS YOU ALL. GREGORY V. REAGAN

    • Gladys (Fryer) DeCostanzo

      Hi Gregory, This is Gladys (Fryer) DeCostanzo, How are you? It has been many years. I am trying to locate anyone from Brookwood in the years of 1957-1965. If you know of anyone, please let me know. My email address is below.

      • GREGORY V. REAGAN

        HI GLADYS, I AM TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING. MY LAST CONTACT WAS WITH MRS. CYDEAR WHO PASSED AWAY IN 1998 AT THE AGE OF 92. WE GOT TOGETHER IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR THE WEEKEND, WHILE I LIVED IN SAN DIEGO. I CAME BACK TO GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. IN 1999 TO BE A CARE GIVER TO MY AUNT JUNE. WHO PASSED IN 2010. HOW ARE YOUR BROTHERS ARTIE & MICHAEL DOING? I HAVE QUITE A FEW PICTURES OF US AT BROOKWOOD HALL BUT DON’T KNOW HOW TO SHARE THEM. WE BELONG TO A PRIVATE FAMILY. LOVE GREG

      • Hello, Gladys. I was married to Michael Magerko, whom I believe lived at Brookwood Hall from approximately 1959 to 1964. On Mother’s Day a few years back, he took my mother, my daughters and me on an impromptu “insiders’ tour” of the building. He told us fascinating stories of his years there, and remembered so many details, especially of his mischievous deeds.
        Mike lived on Long Island throughout his lifetime. He was employed by the Long Island Railroad. Mike had been married twice before, and went through two divorces before we met in 2005. Sadly, he was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer in 2008, which he bravely battled for almost 5 1/2 years. My husband died one year ago today, August 27, 2013, at the age of 61. I hope this helps.

      • Diana Mckevitt

        Hello gladys this is diana kappias the greek, do you remember me? nice to see you here, get a hold of me at gyrolover@aol.com

  7. Robert Malloy

    Hi Gladys, not sure if you remember me.I’m Bob Malloy.I came to Brookwood in 1957 and left in 1961. I remember the names of some of the boys in the picture with Mrs. Cully. I was sorry to hear of Michael’s passing.Hope to hear from you to share information. Bob Malloy

  8. as a non-resident observer, i moved from brooklyn to e.i. at the age of 7 or so in 1954, and knew several kids fro m the hall over the years. they had quite different family tales to tell compared to the ”natives” and suburban baby boomer newcomers.
    what i noticed from 3rd grade on was a failure to integrate into these other groups…..a non-acceptance of outsiders on one hand, and not being able to participate in after-school activities or invite kids into the hall, on the other. no real shunning or ridicule, just not much mixing.
    through all these years, about the only african-american kids in the whole e.i. school system were from the hall. around h.s. the hall kids would disappear with no explanation. perhaps they ”aged-out” of brookwood hall by then?
    as ‘civilians’ we non-hall kids were always invited/tolerated at the lake in winter. i remember 3 girls sharing one pair of skates…..poverty?
    i had none! hall kids were never thought of as poor, just ‘other’, but never enough of them at any one place or time to form a group of their own in school. during the lake-side winter fun, there were never any fights, and you could see the ‘ extended family’ interaction among hall kids.
    much later, 2 of my sisters were involved in town-sponsored programs and loved it. of all the area mansions that were abandoned and torn down in my day, i’m glad this remnant was preserved and used.
    henry cavanagh, kingston, n.y.

  9. Hi, Does anyone have contact information for the property? I would love use for a photo shoot. Thank you! JA

  10. Diana Mckevitt

    Gregory Reagan how are you, remember me? Diana kappias the greek

  11. Diana Mckevitt

    Hello gladys fryer deconstanzor, do you remember me? Diana kappias the greek? Was at Brookwood hall for 5 years 58-63

  12. Diana Mckevitt

    Hello Gregory Reagan this is diana kappias the greek,i lived there from 1957-1963.im so happy to have found you, i hoping that there are others, please contact me. Gyrolover@aol.com

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