Friday, March 22, 2013

Chapter XXIII: Resort Life, July 1963-August 1963

August 1963. Katharine "Kit" Ordway and her brother Lucius P. Ordway wait for the plane that will take Lou and Ellen back to Newport after a long weekend visit at Kit's Bridgehampton house. Seldom photographed, Kit Ordway was second only to the Rockefeller family in her philanthropic concerns for conservation efforts, becoming one of The Nature Conservancy's earliest and most generous supporters.
Finishing Touches: Newport & Bridgehampton
By Augustus Mayhew

Lou Ordway and his sister Katharine Ordway grew up together on St. Paul’s mansion row atop Summit Avenue.  Their shared memories inspired scenarios for neighbor F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories and novels.  The weekend reunion would be the Ordways’ last visit before Lou returned to Palm Beach for what became his final season.   Also, some views of Newport’s summer of ‘63 when local swells attempted to acquire the estate next to Hammersmith Farm as a Summer White House for President and Mrs. Kennedy.  Ever gracious, JFK did not accept the proposal, saying the family spent so little time in Newport for such a great expense.  Nonetheless, the Kennedys proceeded with a deposit to lease a Newport house for the following summer, never realized due to the tragic events of November 1963. 

I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.  — President John F. Kennedy, Remarks at the America’s Cup Dinner, The Breakers, Newport. 14 September 1962.

May 1963. "A Letter from Cairo." Bokara Legendre and her mother Gertrude Legendre.
Dorothy Hutton. Although never possessed with the larger-than-life character of Marjorie Post, E. F. Hutton's second wife, Dorothy Hutton made significant charitable contributions following Mr. Hutton's death in July 1962.
8 May 1963. "My great friend." Ann du Pont. Obituary.
9 May 1963. Ann du Pont. Obituary.
11 July 1963. Jay Cooke. Obituary. Ellen Ordway's brother-in-law Jay Cooke died.
Monmouth House. Somerset, England. "Lesly and John Ordway report from Monmouth House."
July 1963

"1 July 1963. We arrive in Newport."
Newport. The Cliff Walk from Marble House to Barclay Square where Lou and Ellen Ordway's oceanfront cottage was located.
Newport. Aerial panorama.
Verner & Gaggy Reed's pool house. "Back to the old swimming hole."
"Jimmy Van Alen comes for coffee." Gaggy Reed, Lou Ordway, and Jimmy Van Alen.
A classic car show? No, it's the Newport Country Club parking lot during the 1963 Men's Invitational Golf Foursome.
Peggy Toland and Jonsie Toland.
Ned McLean and Buddie Palmer.
Mollie McLean, the former Mrs. Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, and Edward T. Bedford "Buddy" Davie.
Ned McLean and Ellen Ordway.
Reggie Boardman.
Dickie Reventlow.
12-18 August 1963
Annual Invitation Tennis Tournament, Newport Casino
Arthur Krock (1909-1974). An influential Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist for many years, Arthur Krock's column "In the Nation" was a must-read. His wife Martha Granger Blair was a Washington society columnist. After retiring from the NYT editorial board in 1966, Mr. Krock wrote Memoirs: Sixty Years on the Firing Line. The extensive Arthur Krock Papers can be found at Princeton University's Mudd Manuscript Library.
Candy Van Alen.
Jimmy Van Alen.
Gaggy Reed.
Leslie Bogert Crawford and card sharp John Crawford. In 1957, Mr. Crawford won all five national team titles in contract bridge.
Frank Taylor and Johnny Crawford.
Dorothy Hutton. " Now Ellen, don't take my picture." "Oh well!"
August 1963

"Lou visits his sister Katharine in Bridgehampton …"
Lou Ordway and Katharine "Kit" Ordway.
Lou Ordway and Kit Ordway walk around Kit's house. The Umbrella House was designed in 1959 "with charm and playfulness" by Alexander Knox as the architect's own year-round Bridgehampton house. Associated with the firm LaFarge, Knox & Murphy, Knox designed the 1,800 square-foot "transparent" keyhole-shaped house with a distinctive twelve-sided glass pavilion topped by a unique umbrella-shaped roof divided into pleated triangular sections. Described as a "modernist transparent tent" in a 14 June 1959 feature in the NYT, the pavilion's roof was composed of Duraply, a wood utilized in boatbuilding and was topped with a plastic finial-like skylight.
Umbrella House. The 12-sided glass pavilion.
Umbrella House. Glass pavilion, detail.
Inside the multi-sided pavilion, Kit and Lou Ordway.
"Cousins Jimmie and Dottie Mills pay a call …"
Lou Ordway and Dorothy "Dottie" Ordway Mills. The daughter of Samuel G. Ordway, Dottie and Jimmy Mills were married in 1938 and lived in NYC and Bridgehampton.
Charles James "Jimmy" Mills (1913-1986).
Lou Ordway and Dorothy Ordway Mills.
"The Mills Brothers." Samuel Ordway Mills and George Partridge Mills.
Kit Ordway. However Midwest their origins, Lou and Katharine both left modernist legacies: Lou and his brother donated the Lucius Ordway Arts Building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright at Florida Southern College; Katharine's substantial Modern art collection makes up the Katharine Ordway Art Collection at Yale University.
Kit Ordway. A noted ecologist and philanthropist, longtime Weston resident Katharine Ordway established the Goodhill Foundation in 1960. Ordway's contributions are said to have protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. The Ordway Prairie Preserve System includes more than 30,000 acres of prairies in several Midwestern states.
The dining alcove, located in the breezeway between the glass pavilion and the bedrooms, featured a horseshoe-shaped kitchen and was framed by sliding-glass walls that opened onto the patio and terrace.
Lou Ordway in the glass pavilion.
Glass pavilion, fireplace. The iron cylinder fireplace was encased in an outer steel shell, set-in a marble base and topped with a marble disk.
The Glass Pavilion. The "transparent tent" was protected by bamboo fencing and interior bamboo blinds.
The Umbrella House. Bridgehampton.
Lucius "Lou" Ordway and Katharine "Kit" Ordway. East Hampton Airport. Good-bye.
Ellen Glendinning Frazer Ordway's photographs are courtesy of the Lucius Ordway Frazer Collection©.
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