Finding some wonderful stuff on the previous owners of the house. Seems that George Fiorentino (owner of DeJoux House from 1934-1941 and the first to own our 9.45 acres after the farm was broken into smaller lots) was a co-owner/partner in "the most famous restaurant in the world". The Colony Restaurant @61st and Madison. He can be seen here (top row, 4th from left) in a photo of the staff of the Colony. His partner Gene Cavallero is also in the photo (top row 7th from left). The full story is HERE. From what I can find out, both men worked their way up in the restaurant business from bus boys (as documented in this Milwaukee Sentinel Jan, 11th, 1948). As co-owner of one of the most fashionable restaurants of the period we can only imagine who visited as guests to their country house. I think this is George to the right of the bar,
Reclaimed Doorway Our house has been watched over the years by a couple, Susan Daley and Steve Gross who create amazing books of old houses and Hudson Valley (each name below is a link to Amazon). They knew the house and had been watching our progress. As we came close to finishing they reached out and asked if they could photograph the house for a book of cottages: Catskill Country Style Book , Old Houses , Farm House Revival , Homes With A Past , Gardens of Hudson Valley , Time Wearing Out Memory ...to name but a few. All of these books are beautifully produced. I can't wait to see our home in one of them later in 2015/16. I won't reveal all of the amazing photographs that have been taken of our house, you'll have to buy the book to see them all....but here is a little taster. Summer patio Kitchen Stools Front Door Open
Seems as though there is a connection between George Fiorentino and Oscar Tschirky. Tschirky, Oscar of the Waldorf, famed maitre'D of Delmonico's and the Waldorf Astoria, is credited with the creation of the Waldorf Salad and eggs benedict. Oscar, owned the Deyo property directly across the river from yours and may have enticed George to purchase. The years correlate and I think it unlikely that these mainstays of 2 high profile NYC landmarks were unacquainted. There is a good biography written a while back, "Oscar of the Waldorf" which tells his story. I see it on Ebay now and again. I don't have a copy but I wonder if there is mention of George F.ReplyDelete
John B. Houghtaling
Thanks John, this is great information.ReplyDelete
I have a signed copy of the book by Eles Brody on the Colony restaurant which mention G. Fiorentino. It seems he worked his way up from buss boy and had worked at many NY restaurants. Very likely he would have known Oscar Tschirky. The area also seems like it was a hot spot for recreation in the summer. Apparently Mohonk was very conservative (did not sell alcohol) and since The Colony started as a speak easy and clearly had no issue breaching prohibition laws, it would not surprise me if there was some social connection there.
If you followed this story...check out the evidence of their friendship at:ReplyDelete