This is my favorite picture of Samuel Montgomery Roosevelt, who owned Roosevelt Hall between 1899 and 1920. I love it for many reasons; the dachshund, of course, the informality of it, and also the greenhouse, on the right. Roosevelt had a fabulous greenhouse, one of the things that made his estate special.
In the aerial photo below, taken in March of 1936, you can see Roosevelt Hall when it was an estate, not just a beautiful home with no room to breathe. The greenhouse is to the left of the main house.
The estate started out with 220 acres, and gradually shrank as new owners sold off parcels of land. Richard De Zeng, who built the present mansion in 1841, that same year sold off more than 100 acres to Francis M. Potter. In 1849, John Legg bought the house as an investment; at that time the estate included 112 acres of land. In 1850, Legg sold the property to a farmer, Peter Whittlesey, who quickly sold off another 100 acres, keeping the house and just 12 acres of land. In 1944, the estate passed from the Roosevelt family and began shrinking in earnest. In 1961, William Delavan sold to Kenneth Dunning (who had subdivided the lawn behind today’s The Athenaeum on Genesee Street to create Lake View Circle). In 1963, Dunning sold a portion of the land south of the house to Thomas Rich, who tore down the greenhouse, converted the carriage house into a residence, and subdivided his subdivision for another residence. And so it goes.