Vanderbilts in Riverdale / Campagna Estate

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    • #3860

        There has been some back and forth on Facebook about the Campagna Estate, at 640 W 249th Street, now the Yeshiva of Teishe Alumni.

        Some people thought that Gloria Vanderbilt and her two sons (Anderson and his brother) lived in the mansion  when they were young boys. Anderson Cooper was born in 1967, so if that was true, it would likely have been in the 1970s.


        I find nothing corroborating this theory on the internet. I think it’s possible that people are mixing the Kennedys up with the Vanderbilt/Coopers.


        Before I write it off, has anyone ever heard of this,,,?


        Thank you so much.

      • #3861

          I can’t speak to the possible Vanderbilt occupation of the property, but I can share some links to cultural resources reports about the site from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission website for those who may be interested (apologies if these are already well known to the Facebookers).


        • #3862

            Thanks Julie.  Appreciate your contribution



          • #3863


            • #3864

                Here are some resources from a website created by extended  family member Carla Paterno-Cappiello Golden:

                Some of the links were dead, I included the ones that  were not.

                Anthony Campagna architecture outside of Manhattan:

                Anthony Campagna – residence/estate
                – 640 West 249th Street designed by Dwight James Baum 1929-30 Bronx
                – Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York City
                For his Riverdale residence, Mr. Campagna chose the Aeolian Company to furnish a pipe organ. As was standard for Aeolian residence organs, the instrument could be played three ways: in the traditional manner from a three-manual console; entirely automatically by the Duo-Art Player; or semi-automatically by the Solo Player. The Aeolian Company Specification (Aug. 30, 1929) and Contract states that the organ would be built for a consideration of $21,000, and installed on or about March 15, 1930. The fate of this organ is unknown. Anthony Campagna Residence 640 249th Street Riverdale (The Bronx), N.Y. 10471 The New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (photos of home and organ:

                Campagna and his wife lived in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where Campagna purchased land from Percy Rivington Pyne and built the now landmark palatial residence at 640 West 249th Street. The home, modeled after an Italian villa, was built in 1929 to 1930 and was designed by architect Dwight James Baum and landscape architect Ferruccio Vitale and his partner, Alfred Geiffert, Jr., who won the 1934 gold medal in landscape architecture from the Architectural League of New York for the property. As of 2011, the building was owned by Yeshiva of Telshe Alumni.

                some believe the estate to have been featured in the motion picture The Godfather. Today, it is a dormitory for the Yeshiva of Telshe Alumni.

                This building has been designated a landmark:

                640 West 249th Street

                Construction Date: 1929 – 1930 Architect / Builder: Dwight James Baum Owner / Developer: Anthony Campagna Major Alteration(s): None Alteration Architect(s): None Style(s): Italian Renaissance Revival Material(s): Rusticated Limestone, Stucco, Stone, Spanish Tiles, Iron Building Type: Freestanding House Original Use: Residential, single family Tax Block: 5914 Tax Lot: 315 , Iron The formal landscape was designed by Ferruccio Vitale and Alfred Geiffert, Jr. and based on Italian prototypes All building data and notes from the Anthony Campagna Estate designation report and in some cases supplemented by the LPC’s Guide to New York City Landmarks (2009).

                New York Times June 14, 1929, Section B, Page 46
                W H(D) [**]Campagna House (Fig. 24), 640 West 249th Street 21(192925; Dwight James Baum, Architect) Originally constructed as a residence for Count Anthony Campagna, a wealthy Manhattan builder of the 1920s, this imposing building is situated on a rise overlooking the Wave Hill estate, at the corner of West 249th Street and Independence Avenue. A cobblestone drive from the entry gate forms a main axis perpendicular with the front facade, opening at the front entrance into a forecourt with a central fountain. The main entry is framed by a portico of three round arches.

                600 West 249th Street. Located just to the east of the Campagna House , this residence appears to be of approximately the same period as that designated landmark. The rear portion of this residence and two residences located just behind it appear to be former outbuildings, including a pool house and garage, of the Campagna House.

                Home appliance manufacturer Monitor Equipment Company had bought the Campagna mansion in the Riverdale section of the Bronx as its research headquarters. The 35-room Italian Renaissance style building stood on a two-acre hilltop estate overlooking the Hudson River, across from Wave Hill, now a public park. It had been built between 1928 and 1930 by Anthony Campagna for his own use. The Italian-born builder was an in law of the Paterno family and like them had made a fortune constructing high-rise apartments in Manhattan during the 1920s. The Times noted that his former home was one of many great residences “deemed to have outlived usefulness as a private home because of its size and the consequent expense of upkeep.” Throughout the metropolitan area, particularly in the nearby suburbs, similar residences were being converted to house research facilities, institutes and foundations. Riverdale had become an enclave of the city’s elite, between the wars, a suburban neighborhood within the city limits. Other Real Estate News in the Sunday Times:

                “In the last 50 years, there has been a growing Jewish community in the neighborhood. Its three Jewish schools, the Kinneret Day School, the Yeshiva of Telshe Alumni High School (across from Wave Hill in the former Campagna estate) and the SAR Academy are among the top Jewish schools in the country, according to Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt of the Riverdale Jewish Center.” If You’re Thinking of Living In/Riverdale, the Bronx; A Community Jealous of Its Open Space By Margaret Garb March 1, 1998

                The Campagna Estate remains the home for the Yeshiva of Telshe Alumni High School to this day.


                Here is an article on the landmarking of this gem:

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