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Ballingarry

Spring Lake, Monmouth County, New Jersey

Completed in 1901, for Martin Maloney (1848-1929) and his wife Margaret Anne Hewitson (1848-1923). Ballingarry was described as "one of the great houses of the eastern seaboard," was built near the shores of Spring Lake which was known as the "Irish Riviera". Designed by a master of Beaux-Arts architecture, Horace Trumbauer (1868-1938), this neo-classical mansion influenced Lynnewood Hall and was modelled on the South Front of The White House. It was demolished in 1953.
Maloney came with his parents from Ireland to America in 1854, escaping the Famine. He grew up at Scranton, Pennsylvania, and quit school aged 12 to start work in the coal mines before opening a grocery store. The store grew into a business and he moved into Philadelphia. Success followed rapidly and by 1880 he had used his profits to establish several companies that supplied water, electricity and gas for public city utilities.

Having become a multi-millionaire, by the end of his career Maloney was a principal shareholder in the American Light and Traction Co., Standard Oil and the Pennsylvania Railroad. He was a devout Catholic and during his lifetime he paid for the construction of several churches and homes for the poor. In 1903, after financing the repairs to the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, he was created a Papal Marquis by Pope Leo XIII and was afterwards made Papal Chamberlain to Pope Pius X.

In 1892, Maloney built a spacious and typically Victorian summer cottage for his family at Spring Lake on the corner of Morris and First Avenue. Within a few years, he acquired the rest of the block and moved the cottage - designed by Willis Gaylord Hale (1848-1907) - across the street to make way for his new grand summer residence for which he commissioned the celebrated architect Horace Trumbauer (1868-1938).

Trumbauer's design drew inspiration from the South Front of The White House, while Ballingarry partially inspired another mansion Trumbauer was working on at that time, the 110-room Lynnewood Hall at Elkins Park.

Maloney's white, two-story neo-classical summer home took three years to finish, at a reputed cost of $50,000. He named his home Ballingarry for the village in which he was born in County Tipperary, Ireland. It's marble keystone was dug from the ruins of the Colosseum in Rome and the mansion was particularly noted for its gardens which were best viewed from the west-facing piazza that incorporated the use of several pools, including the large reflecting pool that is still visible today.

Maloney had developed a deep interest in horticulture and his grounds were tended for year-round. There was a private chapel within the mansion and like the Bradys at Inisfada, the Maloneys frequently entertained the Irish Catholic hierarchy.

In 1900, the Maloney's teenage daughter, Kitty, died of tuberculosis. In her memory, he again called on Trumbauer to erect a Catholic church at Spring Lake, St. Catherine's Church, loosely modelled on the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome.

In 1904, a happier occasion was celebrated at Ballingarry when 400 people witnessed the marriage of the Maloney's eldest daughter, Margaret Frances Maloney (1877-1957), to L. Carbery Ritchie (1875-1954). The Maloney's youngest daughter, Helen, caused a double scandal when eloped from Ballingarry to Europe in 1907, but then it was discovered that she had already married someone else in secret in New York two years previously! 

After the Maloneys died, Ballingarry became the summer residence of the Ritches. In 1953, the year before Mrs Ritchie's death, the mansion was demolished. Today all that remains is the reflecting pool, stone remnants from the landscaped gardens, and the wrought-iron railings that once surrounded this spectacular estate.

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