Most people in my neighborhood know about the brick wall that runs along Scarborough and Holbrook Roads (see above). They probably drive by it often.

However, not everyone knows why that wall is there. Inside the wall there used to be a mansion owned by wealthy financier, James Speyer (see next picture below). The mansion stood in a 130 acres estate called Waldheim, which featured sprawling farm lands, a nine-hole golf course, gardens, and a lake. It was purchased in 1946 to be subdivided into residential lots. It was landscaped by Olmstead Brothers, founded by John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. the nephew (and adopted son) and son of Frederick Law Olmstead the famous architect of New York’s Central Park.

The Mansion

Aerial view of the estate.

Even fewer people know that the wall is not the only part of the Waldheim estate that remains (See picture below):

I know these ruins well because they stand inside the well known brick wall – in my garden. My house stands on what used to be the Speyer estate. If you look back at the aerial view above you’ll see a star. The location of the star is my best guess as to where my house stands in relation to the former estate.

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