Westbury House was the country estate of financier and sportsman John Shaffer Phipps (1874-1958) and his wife, Margarita Grace Phipps (1876-1957). Mr. Phipps was the son of Henry Phipps, a partner in the Carnegie Steel Company and a noted philanthropist. Mrs. Phipps was the daughter of Michael Grace of Kilkenny, Ireland, who, with his brother William, founded the Grace Shipping Lines in South America.
The Charles II style manor house and gardens were planned for Mr. and Mrs. Phipps soon after their marriage by the London designer George Abraham Crawley. With assistance from American architect Grosvenor Atterbury and sculptor Francis Derwent Wood, the result was an ideal setting for the gracious living enjoyed on Long Island during the early 20th century.
"Pax Introentibus - Salus Exeuntibus" The Latin inscription over the entrance, "Peace to those who enter..good health to those who depart," reflects the warmth and graciousness of the Phipps family home.
Old Westbury Gardens Phipps estate, built 1909-Arguably, the best preserved Gold Coast mansion and estate. The house and grounds are open to the public, and is administered by the Old Westbury Gardens Foundation. The mansion was designed in the style of an English manor house by George A. Crawley. The gardens were inspired by Mr. Phipps' English wife Margarita Grace, and are reminiscent of traditional English formal gardens. As a Long Islander, you would be remiss in not visiting this sight. Whether your interests are in architecture, history, gardening, or just a stroll in a peaceful setting, this is the place. With 100 acres, including rose gardens, walled garden, and pond, there is much to see to fill a day. Not to mention the 70 room mansion with antique furnishings and art. For additional information phone 516-333-0048, or visit the Old Westbury Gardens web site. http://www.oldwestburygardens.org/
First featured in the Alfred Hitchcock classic North By Northwest, starring Cary Grant, this is, without a doubt, Hollywood's favorite Gold Coast mansion. Numerous films have been shot at this location. Among them: Love Story, Age of Innocence starring Wynona Ryder, Wolf starring Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer, and most recently, Cruel Intentions with Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillipe, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. On the subject of North By Northwest, this movie also utilized the old Glen Cove Courthouse for the Police Station scenes.
Clayton Childs Frick estate, built 1904/1919-Originally owned by Lloyd Bryce, this estate was later sold to Charles Frick, who altered and added to the estate. The landscape design was one of the most noted in America.The estate now houses the Nassau County Museum of Art at One Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor N.Y.11576.
In 1919, Henry Clay Frick, co-founder of U.S. Steel Corporation, purchased the Georgian mansion that now houses the Nassau County Museum of Art as a wedding gift for his son, Childs Frick. Originally the land belonged to the poet and preservationist William Cullen Bryant, who had settled in Roslyn in 1843.
A paleontology laboratory, added to the estate in 1936, was called the Millstone Lab (presently the Education Center) for the colossal millstones that were placed around it. Frick also had an active interest in Botany, Avian and Mammalian life. On the property he kept an extensive collection of birds and mammals that included an Aviary. Bear Pit and an Otter in the pond. The Pinetum, opposite the Lab building, was originally part of an experimental planting of over 400 conifer specimens from all over the world. (Today fewer than 200 of these have survived.) Childs' wife, Frances Dixon Frick, shared her husband's interest in botany. She enjoyed working in the greenhouse and, with the help of Marian Cruger Coffin, (a fellow of the American Institute of Landscape Architects) she created the formal garden.
Childs and Frances Frick lived at "Clayton" with their children, Adelaide, Frances, Martha and Clay, for almost 50 years. Frick died in 1965 at the age of 81. Four years later the estate was purchased by Nassau County for the purpose of conversion into the Nassau Count Museum of Art.
HDM: The Fricks were still living here when we were in high school.
Sands Point Preserve
95 Middleneck Road, Sands Point
Sands Point Preserve is more than just a nature preserve; in addition to protecting and interpreting Long Island's natural habitats, Sands Point showcases an example of Long Island's turn-of-the-century Gold Coast estate period. Built by railroad heir Howard Gould, the estate was fashioned after the grand estates of the European feudal period.
The evidence of the Old World is everywhere. The immense, turreted Castlegould (c. 1902), patterned after Ireland's Kilkenny Castle, was originally designed as an equestrian parade stable and carriage house. Across the Great Lawn stands the estates' main residence designed by noted architects Hunt and Hunt and constructed between 1910-1912. Named Hempstead House by second owner Daniel Guggenheim, the massive granite structure reflects architecture of the Tudor period. It is open for special events and scheduled guided tours of the main rooms and the Buten Collection of Wedgwood China.
The estate is best known from the period of ownership by Daniel and Florence Guggenheim. Daniel purchased the estate from Howard Gould in 1917, and in 1922, 90 acres were given to his son Harry. The Daniel Gugenheim land eventually was sold to the federal government who had a research facility, the Naval Training Devices Center, here from 1946-1967. In 1971, Nassau County acquired much of this acreage for development of the preserve and historic site you see today.
The 216-acre preserve, a passive-use outdoor recreation area, highlights the indigenous natural environment of the North Shore. Here, everything represents the lasting qualities of nature's past: flacial boulders and sandy cliffs are remnants of the geologic deposits of the last Ice Age; the woodlands reflect the composition of the unbroken forest that blanketed the region when the first settlers arrived; individual specimens of trees, shrubs, and vines are representative of native and ornamental species which were first cultivated in the estate gardens of the early 20th century. The one-mile shoreline skirting Long Island Sound is an excellent field laboratory for the study of marine life. The Preserve features six nature trails, all of which are accessible during regular Preserve hours.
Also on the grounds of the Preserve is Falaise (c. 1923), the mansion the "Late" Captain Harry F. Guggenheim built adjacent to the estate of his father, Daniel. As mandated by Guggenheim's will, Falaise has become part of the Nassau County Museum program to preserve and interpret Long Island's historic heritage. An elegant, Normandy-style manor, Falaise is a vivid example of the American desire to transplant Medieval and Renaissance art and architectual fragments from Europe and incorporate them into elaborate design plans.
Oheka Castle Otto Hermann Kahn estate, built 1919-The name of Oheka comes from the first letters of its builder, Otto Hermann Kahn. It is the second largest private residence, next to Biltmore House in North Carolina, ever built in America. Situated on a high point in Cold Spring Hills, Oheka is an impressive sight as seen from Jericho Turnpike. In his quest to have his castle on the highest point on Long Island, workmen spent two years constructing an artificial hill. Otto Kahn, through a series of land acquisitions, bought 443 acres in what was then considered Cold Spring Harbor in 1914. On those 443 acres he would include his 126 room mansion, modeled after the Chateau Fontainebleau and other Norman castles, an 18 hole golf course, formal gardens, horse stables, greenhouses, a working farm, private airstrip, tennis courts, indoor pool, numerous superintendents houses and a gatehouse out at the entrance on Jericho Tpke. It took 126 servants to tend to the enormous estate. OHEKA was designed by Delano & Aldrich of NYC, and its landscaping was done by the Olmstead Brothers of Brookline, MA, famous for their work in designing Central Park, The Capitol Gardens in Washington, D.C. and Biltmore Estate, among hundreds of other landmark properties throughout the U.S. From 1914 to 1917 the man-made mountain was built. Construction on the mansion began in 1917 and was completed in 1919. Kahn built OHEKA to entertain and impress his notable guests, the likes of which included Fanny Brice, Helen Hayes, George Gershwin, etc. Heads of state, royalty and prominent members of the entertainment and banking worlds were wined and dined at OHEKA. Enrico Caruso sang in its great ballroom, as did Arturo Toscanini conduct there. Today the mansion is used for private functions such as weddings. The golf course, which was built by Otto Kahn, is now a private club, not associated with the estate. Much of the land which once comprised estate property, now contain private homes which also line the original drives to the mansion. The former gate house is now a real estate office
Winfield Hall F.W. Woolworth estate, built 1916-Currently leased to Pall Corp., this former estate of the Five & Ten king, is a magnificent example of gold coast luxury. This 56 room Beaux Arts design mansion, is noted for its remarkable gardens and statuary. The marble staircase alone is estimated to have cost 2 million dollars! Other owners of this estate included Reynolds, of Reynolds Metal Co. Although not open to the public, one can glimpse the estate while driving along Crescent Beach Rd. in Glen Cove.
Knole Herman Duryea estate, built 1902-Still privately held, this estate in Old Westbury has managed to maintain its grandeur while remaining one of the few still individually owned gold coast mansions.
Woodward Estate William Woodward estate, built 1927-Site of one of the most sensational Long Island murder cases, this estate is now owned by a religious institution. In 1955, Mrs. Woodward shot and killed her husband, claiming she thought he was a burglar. Although acquitted of the murder charge, some people still doubt the innocence of Mrs. Woodward. The case was the subject of a book and television movie, The Two Mrs. Grenville's. Once a structure whose main purpose was recreation, this estate included an indoor tennis court, now used by the church as a storage area. Today, its long driveway, lined with Rhododendrons, is a residential street with houses constructed along its length, but still culminating at the front of the mansion.
Ormston House John E. Aldred estate, built 1910-Now used as a monastery, this 40 room mansion is reminiscent of an English country estate. Situated atop a sloping hill, it commands a magnificent view of Long Island Sound. J. E. Aldred constructed this estate at the same time, and adjacent to, the former W. D. Guthrie estate, Meudon. Aldred and Guthrie were both friends, who together purchased the town of Lattingtown. They then demolished all of the homes and businesses in the town to create their estates. Although Lattingtown no longer exists with a town center, there are some remnants of its history. The original Latting House, for whom the town was named, still remains today and is privately owned. Ormston is still in good shape, but Meudon has been demolished and replaced with private homes.
Mill Neck Manor Robert L. Dodge estate, built about 1925-Now utilized as the Mill Neck School for the Deaf, this mansion is open and accessible to the pubic once a year during the school's annual apple festival.
Salutations Junius Spencer Morgan estate, built 1929-Junius was the grandson of J.P. Morgan, and built his estate adjacent to his father's in Glen Cove. After the death of Mrs. Morgan, the mansion and its contents were sold. Today the mansion is privately owned.
Templeton Dupont/Guest estate, built 1917-Designed in the Georgian style by Thomas Hastings for Alfred Dupont. Today the mansion is the De Seversky Conference Center.
Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove
A sprawling, 204 acre estate, Welwyn once belonged to Harold Irving Pratt. It was part of a larger 800 acre estate complex in Glen Cove originally assembled in the late 19th Century by oil merchant and philanthropist Charles Pratt, Harold's father. The estate includes a Georgian-style mansion, a former recreation building now used by the Nassau County Holocaust Committee and several smaller service buildings. The preserve features four marked nature trails that provide access to a magnificent, wooded stream valley, fresh water ponds and swamps, a coastal salt marsh and a stretch of Long Island Sound shoreline. The valley is a rich wet woodland characterized by an imposing skyline of tulip trees which stretch upwards 100 feet or more. No less than 30 other species call this region of rich soil their home, including many listed on the Long Island Horticultural Society's list of Great Trees of Long Island. Over 100 species of birds and a variety of small native mammals, reptiles, and amphibians inhabit the Preserve's grounds, while small trout may be spotted in the steam by a careful observer. The shoreline communities feature a rich variety of habitats including a productive salt marsh with intertidal and high tide plant and animal zones, a small dune area, old pilings, a rock jetty and shallow coastal waters.
The preserve is open to vistors daily. Trail maps are available. The mansion is the home of The Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County.
The 308-acre Brookville campus of C.W. Post College of Long Island University was constructed on the former estate of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. The original 128-acre estate with its 59-room Tudor style mansion was purchased by Long Island University in May 1947, and 219 students were enrolled in classes in the fall of 1955. The university named the campus to honor Marjorie’s father, Charles William Post, founder of the Post Cereal Company. Today, the private institution has 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offers 151 degree programs.
The St. Ignatius Retreat House is situated on 33 spacious acres of beautiful lawns and woodlands on the north shore of Long Island. It was once the estate of Nicholas and Genevieve Brady. The property was given to the Jesuits by the Brady Family in 1937.
Nassau County, Long Island, opposite Christopher Morley Park.
251 Searingtown Road
Manhasset, New York 11030
By the early 1900s about a dozen families owned huge estates, including railroad magnate Nicholas F. Brady, who built Inisfada, the fourth-largest residence in the country, now the St. Ignatius Retreat House.
The only Long Island work of Philadephia architect John Torrey Windrim, Nicholas Brady's Manhasset estate is a Tudor Revival, capped with 33 different chimneys. Completed in 1920, its south facade rises beyond a long driveway and huge lawn; the more delicate north facade dances with limestone copings, dripstones, quoinings and crenellations.
But the Bradys were not typical Gilded Agers. Considered one of the foremost Catholic couples of the day, Brady and his wife, Genevieve, in 1936 used their house -- now a Jesuit retreat -- as American headquarters for the papal secretary of state, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII.
"Inisfada" is Gaelic for Long Island. An interesting feature of the mansion is the exterior details. Among them, representations of the Zodiac signs, and various nursery rhymes carved out of limestone. After Mr. Brady's death, Mrs. Brady donated the mansion to the Jesuits in 1937.
HDM: I made a directed retreat here for a few days after our 40th Reunion. It was a wonderful experience. It is about a mile down Searingtown Town Road from Herricks Senior High School going towards Manhasset.
La Salva Frederick Wheeler estate, built 1918-The mansion is Italian Renaissance in design. The mansion grounds are the result of Olmsted. Today the estate is used as a monastery.
Oak Knoll Bertram Work estate, built 1916-Designed by Delano and Aldrich, this mansion which sits on a high point overlooking Oyster Bay, is privately owned.
The Braes Herbert L. Pratt estate, built 1912-Designed by James Brite in the Jacobean style. This is the largest of the Pratt mansions built in Glen Cove. The name Braes is Scottish for "hillside", and a notable landscape feature of this estate is the terraced grounds facing Long Island Sound. Now houses Webb Institute of Naval Architecture.
Killenworth George Pratt estate, built 1913-Designed in the style of an English Manor by Trowbridge & Ackerman for George Pratt, this is one of the many Pratt estates left in Glen Cove. Today the mansion is a retreat for Russian diplomats.
The Chimneys Christian Holmes estate, built 1930-Much of this mansion's structure was transported from England, and rebuilt in Sands Point. Today the mansion is used as a community center.
Chrysler Estate aka/Forker House & Wiley Hall Henri Bendel estate, built 1916- Originally built for Henri Bendel, this estate was subsequently acquired by Walter Chrysler in 1923, and finally by the U.S. government. Today it is part of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Idle Hour (Dowling College) Wm. K. Vanderbilt estate, built 1901- The existing mansion was built by Vanderbilt to replace an earlier mansion which had burned down in 1899. Today the mansion is Dowling College. The college has a great web site which recounts the history of Idle Hour, along with photos.
Manor House (Harrison Conference Center) John Teele Pratt, Sr. estate, built 1930- This is yet another of the numerous Pratt estates which occupied a large portion of northern Glen Cove.
Copyright H. David Marshak, All Rights Reserved