The Estate and Environs
  East Gate House
West Gate House
Stables and Coach House
Power House and Engineer's House
The Palm House
Toolhouse and Potting Shed
The Ice House
The Bowling Alley
Laundry
The Farm and Later Artist Colony
Vanderbilt Tea House
Oakdale Railroad Station
Other Buildings in Idle Hour
The Mansion
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The Second Mansion
Entrance Hall
Dining Room
Living Hall
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Queen Anne Salon
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Staircase
The Second Floor
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Post Vanderbilt Years
Dowling College
Home > About Us > The Estate and Environs - The Palm House


The Estate and Environs
The Palm House

The Palm House When the Vanderbilt family decided in 1901 to turn the conservatory at the mansion into a Turkish harem room, a fad of the day, this unusual building was commissioned so that large tropical plants could continue to be cultivated. Built by Lord and Burnham, the main features of the iron Palm House are the circular sliding glass windows which enclose the greenhouse.

The Suffolk County News reported at the time that, "A truck laden with ten tons of circular plate glass and drawn by eight horses arrived from the city at Idle Hour at midnight yesterday."

The two and a half story house has a large living-dining area, a second floor, and is topped by a large square glass monitor. Located at the northeast corner of Idle Hour Boulevard and Connetquot Drive, within sight of the mansion, the Palm House has been a private residence for many years.

Adjoining the Palm House were the many greenhouses, continuing eastward to the gardener’s tool house and potting shed. Most of the greenhouses were destroyed by fire in 1891. Two of the greenhouses were converted in 1928 into the "Greenery" tea room; subsequently, it was named the "Thumb-bit Inn."

Our next stop is at the Toolhouse and Potting Shed.