Thursday, August 22, 2013

Resort Life: Chapter XVII, 1965-1966

March 1965. Lyford Cay Club. Nancy Lancaster pops by for some afternoon sun, pictured above with Gertrude Legendre. Among the 20th century's most legendary designers and gardeners, Nancy Perkins Field Tree Lancaster was the co-owner of the prominent Colefax and Fowler firm, often credited for introducing the "English country house decor." Department store heir Henry Field, Lancaster's first husband, died shortly after their marriage. Then, she married Field's cousin Ronald Tree. The couple's divorce in 1947 allowed Tree to marry Marietta Peabody. Her third marriage to Claude Lancaster was also short-lived. The niece of Nancy Langhorne Astor, Viscountess Astor, the American-born designer was a lifelong Anglophile whose homes and projects inspired a generation to embrace chintz, bold colors and a chic mix of styles.
Resort Life: Chapter XVII, 1965-1966
Lyford Cay-Palm Beach-Paris-Italy

By Augustus Mayhew

In 2009 Jamee Gregory took NYSD readers for a holiday jaunt Past the Pink Gates of Lyford Cay Club. More than 40 years earlier, in March 1965, Ellen Ordway joined her friend Gertrude Legendre for a few days of waves and watercress at this private enclave located on the western end of New Providence Island, Bahamas. Back in Palm Beach, Winston and C.Z. Guest have invited friends to join them for the christening of their daughter Cornelia at the Royal Poinciana Chapel. Up on North County Road, no sooner did Mike and Molly Phipps move into their new Volk-designed house, when their daughter Nonie married orchestra conductor wunderkind Maestro Thomas Schippers. A few months later, Ellen and Gert join the newlyweds in Spoleto where Nonie is acknowledged the “Queen of Spoleto.” Following Ellen’s return, there is lunch with Cheray and Peter Duchin, an afternoon at Lillian and Ogden Phipps’ lakefront “little Moorish palace,” and an evening at Joe and Estee Lauder’s for dinner with “Their Royal Highnesses.”
Lyford Cay Club. Private. Members Only.
Here are some images from the Sixties when the pursuit of pleasure flourished.

March 1965
Lyford Cay Club
In 1954 E. P. Taylor, a Canadian industrialist and racing enthusiast, bought Lyford Cay from Sir Harold Christie, a Bahamian developer, to create a private international resort. To be certain only the right people became club members, Taylor hired Henry Montgomery, a well-connected heir to an English brewery fortune, to offer building lots to the jet set, including Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Stavros Niarchos, Henry Ford II, and the Aga Khan. Until the club was sold to its members in 1971, Taylor ran Lyford like his own private realm deciding on the minutest of details.
Lyford Cay Club. Aerial, 1965. The Lyford Cay Property Association determines the rules for any of the club's existing or future land development.
Lyford Cay Club. Aerial view. 1965.
Lyford Cay Club. Main entrance.
"Our villa that Gertrude and I are sharing with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hollenberg."
Lyford Cay Club, villa façade.
Lyford Cay Club. "Our interiors."
"Dodie and Charlie Hollenberg."
Gertrude Legendre.
"Our villa from the sea side."
Gertrude Legendre. "Dodie in the water."
Lunch at the Lyford Cay Club. May 1965. Charlie, Dodie, and Gertrude.
Marjory Clark.
Dot Rogers.
Gertrude Legendre.
Dodie and Harry King.
March 1965
Old Fort Bay, New Providence, Nassau
C. Suydam Cutting estate

Following the death of her husband, noted financier James Cox Brady, Helen Brady married noted explorer C. Suydam Cutting. When not at their estate in New Jersey, among the first Americans to enter Tibet, having tea with the Dalai Lama, or set off on some obscure expedition in Borneo or Tanzania, the Cuttings were at home at their 35-acre Old Fort Bay estate in the Bahamas near the Lyford Cay Club.

Old Fort is said to have been an early 18th century “pirate stronghold” before being occupied by the Spanish, and later, the British. The former “crude hunting lodge” was transformed into more of a Spanish hacienda “with hand-carved ceilings and furniture from Cuba” by architect Phillip Tracey after the Bradys acquired it in 1926, according to a March 1928 issue of Country Life magazine.
Old Fort Bay's beach front has a South Seas ambience.
In 1961, Helen McMahon Brady Cutting died and Suydam Cutting married Mary Pyne Filley. The Cuttings lived at Old Fort until his death in 1972. Today Old Fort is being developed as a resort enclave with the main house utilized as a club house. A descendant from several of New York’s most formidable Knickerbocker families and famous for being the first Westerner to ever enter the Forbidden City in Lhasa, Tibet, as well as introducing the Lhasa Apso breed to the United States in 1933, C. Suydam Cutting’s papers are part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the Field Museum of Natural History.
The Cutting's historic main house at Old Fort Bay became a seven-bedroom Spanish-style hacienda during the late 1920s when it was owned by James Cox Brady and his third wife Helen McMahon Brady. Today it is The Historic and Exclusive Club at Old Fort.
Explorer and author C. Suydam Cutting gives Gertrude Legendre a tour of the property. Cutting is the author of Fire Ox and Other Years, about his travels in Tibet and Nepal.
The renowned C. Suydam Cutting.
The murals in the loggia of the main house at Old Fort Bay.
With Gertrude Legendre sunbathing, style icon Nancy Lancaster is camera-ready.
The 2nd Mrs. C. Suydam Cutting, Mary Pyne Filley.
C. Suydam Cutting entertaining at Old Fort.
17 March 1965
Palm Beach
Invitation. Cornelia Cochrane Guest's christening at Royal Poinciana Chapel with a buffet lunch following at Montsorrel, Anita Young's then recently completed house on North Ocean Boulevard, now presently an undesignated architectural landmark owned by Nelson and Claudia Peltz. "Ferro Non Gladio" appears to translate as "By iron, not sword."
Miss Bey, Cornelia Guest, Woolworth "Wooly" Donahue, and his fourth wife, former Super Circus star Mary Hartline Carlson Donahue, today a resident of Hillsboro, Illinois.
Colette Henri, Vincent Draddy, and C. Z. Guest.
Miss Bey, Cornelia Guest, Chris Dunphy, and Ellen Blair (back with hat).
Buddy and Dysie Davie.
Melissa Bingham (left).
Mary and Woolworth Donahue. After Wooly's death in 1972, his widow sold Casa Nana and continued to live in Palm Beach.
The christening ceremony, as photographed around Mary Donahue. Left standing, it appears to be Miss Bey, Alexander Guest, C.Z. Guest, the 2nd Mrs. Winston Guest, Winston F. C. Guest. To the right standing, does appear to be someone holding Cornelia Guest, as well as Lorelle Hearst and Chris Dunphy, who "stood as godparents."
Melissa Bingham leaving the chapel.
March 1965
Villa Bel Tramonto
Palm Beach
Elaine "Nonie" Phipps and Bess McGrath.
Nonie Phipps and Bess McGrath. Bess smokes while Nonie looks at Ellen Ordway's collection of photographs.
"Bess and I bicycle up to Phipps for lunch."
Michael and Molly Phipps house, 450 North County Road, a view of the south elevation, looking northeast.
The Phipps house, façade facing north. First, at 450 North County Road; today entered on North Lake Way.
Author Ethel Petit Roche and Muriel Lane, Molly's mother.
Molly Phipps.
Muriel Lane.
Lunch appears to be served in an enclosed porch in the southwest corner overlooking the pool
"Molly spent the entire afternoon picking burrs off the dog."
"Hours later, Molly is still finding burrs."
Susie Phipps Cochran. Portrait by Alejo Vidal-Quadras.
17 April 1965
Phipps-Schippers Wedding
"Nonie Phipps wed to Met conductor Tommy Schippers."
"The wedding that everybody in Palm Beach and New York was waiting for took place yesterday when heiress Nonie Phipps married New York's handsomest opera and symphony conductor Tommy Schippers." — Suzy Knickerbocker.
Vogue magazine. The Phipps – Schippers wedding.
Vogue magazine featured several pages of wedding photographs. Above, a view of the intimate ceremony with 25 guests, with Mrs. Frederick Melhado (Lydia Buhl Mann), matron of honor, and Earl McGrath, best man.
30 May 1965
New York to Paris
"Gertie Legendre and I took off for Italy." But first, a stop in Paris ...
1 June 1965. Invitation. American Embassy, Paris.
2 June 1965. Paris. Théatre de la Michodiére.
June 1965
Rome – Florence – Spoleto – Naples – Sicily
Map of Italy showing the Ordway-Legendre expedition route.
"In Rome, Gert bought a Volkswagen station wagon. Loaded her up and drove on a gorgeous autostrada to Florence."
The LV being loaded up into the VW.
"The equal to our Howard Johnson's. These Pavesi restaurants straddle the parkways ..."
Florence. Grand Hotel Villa Medici.
Spoleto. Hotel Gattapone was popularized by Giancarlo Menotti during the Spoleto festival, founded in 1958.
Spoleto. Gertrude Legendre and Thomas Schippers.
Spoleto. A terraced street.
"The Schippers live on the top floor of the villa straight ahead that Gert is photographing."
"Nonie got up from her sick bed to have us for dinner."
Nonie Phipps Schippers and her latest needlepoint project.
Ellen Ordway, Thomas Schippers, and Nonie Phipps Schippers.
"Gert is studying the phrase book before speaking with the waiter."
The waiter approaches.
"La Regina di Spoleto." Nonie Phipps became the "la nuova regina di Festival di Due Mundi ..."
Nonie Phipps Schippers, Maestro Thomas Schippers, and Wally Toscanini, a daughter of Arturo Toscanini.
Pompei. House of the Vettii, mural. " ... still beautiful and gorgeously cleared of lava ... never cease being amazed by it."
Pompei. Mural.
31 December 1965
Palm Beach
Leslie and John Ordway at Villa Bel Tramonto before heading to the Coconuts party at Taboó. "Are you OKing her dance card, John?"
New Year's Eve, 1965. The Coconut hosts line up for a photographer.
January 1966
Palm Beach
Bokara Legendre did a television show at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach.
"Bokara has a lunch at Villa Bel Tramonto …"

Ellen Ordway was my Godmother .... Peter Duchin had his orchestra in the next room to where I did interviews and whenever a guest was late or didn't show up, I pulled him off the bandstand and interviewed him. I had great people on the TV show like Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis, and people in politics and social life. It was lots of fun I'm sure we had a good time giving the lunch I just don't remember it! — Bokara Legendre, April 2013.
Archie Peck and Peter Duchin.
Cheray and Peter Duchin.
Peter Duchin.
Cheray Duchin.
Cheray and Peter Duchin.
Peter and Cheray Duchin.
January 1966
Manana Point, 1486 North Lake Way, Palm Beach

“Lill and Ogden Phipps’ little Moorish palace ...”

On 17 January 1966 columnist Lorelle Hearst reported Lillian Phipps hosted a lunch for Gloria Guinness and Truman Capote at her lakeside Moorish estate, describing it as “a state of superb beauty and variety.” Hearst described other Phipps parties as having “butlers coming out your ears.” Manana Point was designed for Grover and Marka Loening in the Modernist style in 1934 by Treanor & Fatio. The Loenings divorced in 1940. Nine years later, Loening sold the 19-room house on 3.5 acres with 335 feet of waterfront to Jell-O heir Talmadge Woodward and his wife Mollie, Mr. Woodward died in 1955. Later, architect Marion Sims Wyeth transformed it into a Moorish-style house, adding Islamic arches, barrel tile, and colorful geometric tiles, according to Kim Mockler in his book Maurice Fatio, Palm Beach Architect.
The front entrance to the Ogden and Lillian Phipps house on North Lake Way, now owned by their son Ogden Mills Phipps and his wife Andrea.
The incomparable Lillian Bostwick McKim Phipps.
The Ogden and Lillian Phipps house, 1486 North Lake Way. Front entrance.
On the lakefront patio, a guest points up to the house's added barrel tile roof and colorful tile work.
A Bostwick family member beneath the umbrella.
Allison Clark.
Gates Davison was Lillian Phipps' frequent croquet partner.
Lillian Bostwick McKim Phipps.
A Bostwick family member.
The Phipps house, 1486 North Lake Way.
Phipps house, North Lake Way.
Phipps house.
19 January 1966
Obituary for John Gilman Ordway, Ellen's brother-in-law, who also spent winters at Palm Beach.
February 1966
Mike Phipps portrayed by Palm Beach's favorite caricature artist Zito.
8 February 1966
Gladys "Gaggy" Quentell Reed (1902-1966).
Obituary, Gladys Quentell Reed. Ellen's good friend Gaggy Reed died.
February 1966
Villa Bel Tramonto – Palm Beach
William "Willy" Randolph Hearst Jr.
Court (Kurt) Reventlow and Bess McGrath.
Peggy Reventlow.
Tom Schippers and Nonie Phipps Schippers.
Tom Schippers and Nonie Phipps Schippers.
" … bridge with Emily Fosdick, Tom Schippers, and Ellen Blair."
4 April 1966
Joe & Estee Lauder's reminder for dinner with "Their Royal Highnesses," the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Invitation reminder. The Lauders' black-tie dinner for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Dinner menu & Place setting. 4 April 1966. Lauder dinner for Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
April 1966
Villa Bel Tramonto

"Dinner at Eight."
Dorothy Hurt Meacham Eyre, Chris Dunphy, Alfonso and Lillian Fanjul, Ellen Ordway with Pamela, and Dorothy and Charles Munn.
Ellen Ordway and Lillian Fanjul.
April 1966
Villa Bel Tramonto
Trafford Klots, portrait artist at work. An American portraitist of Dutch descent and noted landscape painter, Klots was represented by Palm Beach Galleries.
Trafford Klots, portrait artist.
April 1966. Oil portrait. Ellen Glendinning Ordway at Villa Bel Tramonto.
April 1966. At easel, Trafford Klots brushing up a work in progress, Jimbo posing for the camera, and Ellen Ordway sitting for her portrait.
Ellen Glendinning Ordway's photographs are from the
Gayle Abrams Collection.
Augustus Mayhew is the author of Lost in Wonderland: Reflections on Palm Beach