ROBE R T MOR A N ’ S RO S A R IO A N D H OWA R D G O U L D ’ S C A S T L E G O U L D
At the age of 47, Robert Moran was tired. Physicians had told him he had six months to live. Seeking rest, he took a cruise north from Seattle to the San Juan Islands—the archipelago on the border between Washington State and British Columbia, Canada. Upon entering Eastsound—the long, narrow inlet splaying the butterfly’s wings of Orcas Island—Moran viewed a mill on the eastern shore. Perhaps then, the idea of an island retreat began to form in his mind. Shortly thereafter, he purchased the mill and began to buy up neighboring parcels. Five years earlier, on the opposite coast of the industrializing U.S., Howard Gould—son of Gilded Age industrialist Jay Gould—was entering his third year of marriage. As a gift for his wife, the actress Katherine Clemmons, he planned an estate that would rival the countryside manors of Britain and Ireland. Gould purchased a seaside tract at what would become Sands Point on New York’s Long Island, fronting Long Island Sound on the north. In the following year, his architect, Augustus N. Allen, designed a mammoth structure resembling Kilkenny Castle in Ireland. By the time Robert Moran embarked for the San Juans, Gould’s contractors had completed this phase of Castle Gould’s construction. An engineer by vocation, Moran contrastively relied upon no-one to guide him. As former mayor of Seattle, he had directed the city’s reconstruction after its destruction by fire decades before, and he would self-design his dream home. "No architect or technical adviser can make any claim on what has been created by me on this island," he would one day write. But Moran would continue to accumulate land for two years after the carriage house and stables at Castle Gould had opened.
By 1906, Moran had sold his lucrative shipbuilding business; and on Orcas Island, he had gathered over 5,000 acres, including lakes, forestlands, and most of Mount Constitution, the tallest peak in the San Juans. On a rocky point above Cascade Bay, he would build his five-level, 54-room mansion. He would name it Rosario, for the strait at the eastern edge of the San Juan Islands. When construction commenced, Moran hired the best craftsmen, including shipwrights and machinists from his former company. He imported exotic materials from the world over for its fixtures and furnishings, including Honduran mahogany for several hundred mahogany doors—each so heavy, they required specially-made hinges to properly open and close. A carved mahogany façade in the appearance of organ pipes concealed the 1,972 pipes of an actual Aeolian organ crafted in New York City. Back in New York, Howard Gould’s wife had not been satisfied with his gift, the enormous retreat at Sands Point. So he had proceeded to build a larger main residence in the style of a Tudor manor house. Covered with granite and Indiana limestone, this building was considered one of Long Island’s grandest upon its completion in 1912. Tragically, Gould’s marriage to Katherine ended before the main house was complete. Scandalized by her suspected affair with her patron, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the couple had divorced in 1909, and Gould had been assigned to pay the largest alimony settlement ever ordered. In 1917, Gould moved to Europe, selling his star-crossed estate to Daniel Guggenheim. At that time, the property was given its current name, Hempstead House.
W W W. LEG ACY H O M E SRE P O R T.CO M
Published on Aug 4, 2016
LEGACY HOME REPORT A legacy home is most often an expansive home, large enough to accommodate an extended family and guests, with fea...