From the Archives: Sunwood Estate

Designed by architect Katherine Budd, Sunwood was the Neo-Tudor, 40 room residence of Frank and Jennie Melville, situated on a bluff overlooking Long Island Sound in Old Field, NY.  Ward Melville, the couple’s son, donated the property and more than 400 acres in Stony Brook to the State University of New York for use by Stony Brook University. The main library is named in honor of his father: Frank Melville, Jr. Memorial Library.

Many concerts and special events were held on the grounds. Tragically, the home was destroyed by a fire in 1986. In 2002, a new Sunwood was built to serve as a residence for the president of the university and as a center for cultural events, lectures, and seminars.

Presented here are photographs from the University Archives of the original gardens and residence, circa 1918-1950-Kristen J. Nyitray, Head, Special Collections and University Archives, University Archivist

Kristen Nyitray

Kristen Nyitray

Associate Librarian; Director, Special Collections and University Archives; and University Archivist at Stony Brook University Libraries
Contact her for research assistance with rare books, manuscript collections, historical maps, and SBU history. E-mail:
Kristen Nyitray
Posted in Special Collections & University Archives