Saturday, October 15, 2011
Important Homes for Sale: 1337 and 1339 Luna Drive
1337 Luna Drive, a large rambling home, situated atop 20 acres, needs much TLC, having, over the past 10 years, fallen into disrepair. Formerly known as the Bradford Mansion, this home is currently owned by the d'Angelo family. The late Vito d'Angelo, who passed away in 1955 due to accidental circumstances (foul play suspected, but never proved), was founder and owner of d'Angelo Construction, taken over and operated by d'Angelo's widow Rose and now owned by the Sinclair family. The d'Angelo family recently (within the last 60 years) acquired their wealth through sheer determination and hard work; the former grandeur of this property is still evident, but, sadly, the value of this property lies solely in its choice location.
1339 Luna Drive, the famous Fordham mansion, situated atop 22 acres, is also for sale, owned by the well-regarded Fordham family, local philanthropists, community glitterati, and Red Cross supporters. Dr. Markham, a well-known gynecologist, was killed in action in 1953 during the Korean Conflict. Mrs. Markham Fordham, having recently moved into assisted living, is anxious to sell. This finely appointed home has been kept in impeccable shape and to this day remains in absolute move-in condition.
Although owned by two different families, these homes, both situated in close proximity to each other atop Luna Hill (which has recently been zoned commercial), would be best purchased by one buyer. The commercial possibilities could be endless, which is why these properties are being highlighted together.
Over the years, it has been said that Luna Hill had been split in half by two diverse families, the North side owned by the new money d'Angelos and the South by the established Fordhams. It is not known why these two homes were built, both in 1889, so close to each other.
Local lore says that these two homes were built in this manner because Morris Markham, great-grandfather to Dr. Markham Fordham, wanted to keep his mistress Mary Bradford (who never married) and her father Samuel close by.
Mrs. Fordham denies this account, noting that the home had been built for Mary's father as payment for an old debt, occurring at a time when the Fordham fortune had been vastly diminished. In her book, The Baby Doc of Luna Hill, Mrs. Fordham confirms the second story.