We’ve taken a look at the exterior of Hempstead House, as well as the beautifully restored rooms of the first floor. Heading down the hallway at the south end of the mansion, it’s time to go a little deeper…
At first, you come to a series of more generic rooms:
A parlor in the south-east corner is currently being used for storage:
Then I noticed an unusual Moorish-style horeshoe arch doorway, which seemed out of place with the rest of the decor:
At first glance, you might think the room on the other side is nothing particularly special.
However, looking a bit closer, there are hints that it may have once served a grander purpose. Lining the doorframe are these tiles…
Close-up of the tiles:
And looking up, you see that the ceiling is lined with blue tiles, which reminds me of a bath or water-related room – maybe a pre-beach changing room?
Finally, this odd mirror, framed by a mosaic pattern, is in one corner, matching the rest of the decor. Any guesses?
Heading back down the hall, we come to the kitchen. The serving window has been temporarily boarded up:
In its current state, the kitchen is mostly empty, with only a stainless steel table and sink left from previous owners (I’m curious if they date to the mansion’s days under Naval ownership, or as far back as the Goulds/Guggenheims).
Anyone cleaning dishes has a pretty great view of the backyard / Long Island Sound:
Once painted uniformly white, a lot of interesting brickwork is being uncovered:
Also, I really appreciate the connecting room, featuring classic black and white kitchen tiles:
One door in the corner of the kitchen was partially open. On the other side, I found a staircase leading to the basement…
As you enter the dilapidated basement…
…you find yourself in what would have been the Goulds’ food storage room, with three ice rooms against the back wall:
One ice room still has its enormous wooden door:
The food racks are still inside.
The shaft for a dumbwaiter was in the opposite corner:
As mentioned earlier, Hempstead House was owned by the Navy from 1946-1967 and used as a training facility, and it’s in the basement that you really find evidence of this.
My guess is the lime green and white walls were added by the Navy:
What’s especially odd is that they chose to cover up the white tiling. Below, the crumbling plaster gives way to the old tiling:
This wall, located next to the ice rooms, have had the plasterboard removed (those round pieces were used to hold the plasterboard in place, and I imagine are a lot harder to get off).
Every door in the basement is marked with a room number, left over from the Navy’s use. This door even features a classic Naval insignia:
Very amazed to see this has survived in such great condition over the years, while anything similar has disappeared:
A very long and very dark hallway stretches the length of the property…
…leading to additional brick rooms in various states of ruin:
Turning a corner, I stumbled onto an old elevator, which no longer runs:
A detailed set of instructions is attached beside the door on every floor:
I don’t think the button is going to do much:
Turning yet another corner, I came to the old generator room…
…complete with this awesome Danger – High Voltage sign attached to the wall:
Sadly, the generator was removed long ago (though I’m glad the wire cage was left):
There’s a really great abandoned/industrial feel in the basement rooms:
I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if these doors once led to a mess hall for the Naval officers:
Ready to head upstairs? Our next installment takes us to a hallway on the second floor lined with purple and gold wallpaper…
…and black lampshades?
Much more to come!
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