|The Third Owners: the Burlingames
The house in the Heights remained shuttered until 1940 when Alvah W. Burlingame, Jr., a Justice of the Court of Special Sessions from Brooklyn, and his wife Emilie purchased it on May 11. The New Prospect House, with its Annex, still welcomed summer guests. The officers of the Shelter Island Heights Association must have been relieved to have life in the house on the bluff again.
The Burlingames upgraded the electrical system and installed a furnace and ducts.
The Burlingames had two children, Madeline, age 26, and Alvah 3rd, age 19, in 1940.
Born in Brooklyn, Alvah graduated from Brooklyn Law School with an LLB degree and from St. Lawrence University with an LLM. He was a charter member of the Evarts chapter of Phi Delta Phi, a legal fraternity. From 1905, when he was admitted to the bar, until 1935, he was in private practice, doing trial and appeal work before all courts, including the Court of Appeals and the United States District Court. For six years he was on an annual retainer as attorney for the John Wanamaker stores in New York. He also represented the S. Kresge Company. For many years he was general counsel for The Brooklyn Standard Union and The Queens County News.
A Republican, between 1905 and 1922 he served 10 years in the State Senate and in 1914 in the State Assembly. While in the Senate he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Cities and Codes Committees and the Committee on Taxation and Retrenchment. While in the Assembly he sponsored legislation that benefitted policemen and firemen. In 1920, he was appointed an honorary vice president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Firemen’s Association, posts that were especially created for him.
Alvah was appointed to the Court on December 31, 1935 by Mayor LaGuardia.
In June 1942 the New Prospect House burned to the ground, never to be rebuilt. Following World War II, in both 1946 and 1949, Alvah purchased land from the Heights Association between the Heights house and the site of the old Annex.
Having retired from the Court in 1951, Alvah died at the age of 72 in May 1952. His home was at 533 First Street in Brooklyn. Emilie survived him for an additional 20 years, and until she died at age 87 in 1972, she maintained a home in Garden City and the house in the Heights.