People of Brookline


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Eleanor Hardy, circa 1882
1869 - 1953; married, Oct 2, 1890, Dennis Miller Bunker; married, 1893, Charles Adams Platt; parents: Alpheus Holmes Hardy and Mary Caroline Sumner; lived on Linden Place, circa 1877; lived on Walnut St. by Cypress St., circa 1879.

Her father was Alpheus Holmes Hardy, a merchant involved in the India trade via a business he took over from his father, and her mother was Mary Caroline Sumner. In 1889 at a reception, Eleanor met Dennis Miller Bunker, a rising star and ultimately major figure in American painting. They married October 2, 1890 and moved to New York City where he would teach. During a Christmas visit to her family back in Boston that year he got meningitis and died. He painted a portrait of Eleanor of Eleanor that hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1893, she married Charles Platt, a close friend of her husband whose wife had also died. Platt was an artist, landscape designer, and architect. Among his works were the gardens at the Larz and Isabel Anderson estate and the Brandegee estate, both in Brookline, and the Freer Gallery of Art building in Washington.

A friend of the Platts, the muralist Henry O. Walker, used Eleanor as the model for the mural "Wisdom of the Law" in the appellate court building in Madison Square in New York (1898-99). In 1968, her son Geoffrey, as the first chairman of the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission, was in the courthouse facing a challenge to the preservation law when he looked around (reported the New York Times) "to find a very familiar face staring at him from the courtroom wall. He said ‘My God, there was mother, and I knew everything would be all right.’" In 2000, the courthouse building was restored by the architectural firm Platt Byard Dovell White led by Geoffrey’s nephew, Eleanor’s grandson, Charles Platt.