On June 28, 1935, Vito Genovese purchased a 35-acre (other accounts set it at 42 and 24 acres) property at 152 Red Hill Road in Middletown from Mrs. Florence Sperling. The estate was originally part of a large farm owned by the Taylor family; this tract was sold to Edward Dangler. In 1928, the Danglers constructed this large two-story Colonial Revival Mansion on the hilltop (see photo above), but Edward died from heart disease a short time later. Dangler’s widow, Teresa, sold the property to Mrs. Sperling on March 18, 1933.
Vito expanded the existing house into an elaborate 12-room mansion combining English and Italianate styles. “An addition of four rooms is being built and when this is completed the residence will have twelve large rooms, a kitchen and a kitchenette. The residence has every modern comfort and convenience. Much landscape work is being done including the setting out of trees and shrubbery and a large children’s playground. Several roads and bridle paths are being made. Mrs. Genovese is a devotee of horseback riding and a stable is on the place. A large garage is being built, with servants’ quarters overhead.” The property is described as “one of the most picturesque spots in Monmouth county, replete with hills, valleys and dales.”
Caruso Construction Company of Atlantic Highlands carried out the renovations. The grounds were re-fashioned in a pseudo-Italian style reminiscent of Vito’s Naples, Italy homeland. Lovett’s Nursery of Little Silver planted the gardens according to the plans of Theodore Stout. The gardens were landscaped like an Italian villa with weeping hemlocks and terraced pools, with imported Roman statuary and lava stone from Mount Vesuvius for a working replica volcano. With a fire set inside, the stone volcano could belch real flame and smoke. Vito also added a three-hole golf course to the estate.
History of Deep Cut Park. (1978). https://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?ID=2560
Realty Transfers. (1933). Asbury Park Press, March 22, 1933, P. 9.
Property Changes Monmouth County. (1935). Keyport Weekly (Keyport, N.J.). June 28, 1935, P. 9.
Vito Genovese – Patriarch of a Family. (1968). Asbury Park Press, September 30, 1968, P. 1.
Deep Cut Gardens Walking Tour. Monmouth County Park System brochure. Available: https://historic-sites-inventory-mcps.opendata.arcgis.com/app/37bd6358ad204d6d8748d958b41c1b8f