24. Eagle’s Nest, Centerport on Long Island
In addition to Deepdale, William Vanderbilt II lived at the Eagle’s Nest in Centerport on the North Shore of Long Island. The 43-acre estate is now called the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. Warren and Wetmore designed the 24-room Spanish revival mansion in three installments, lasting from 1910 to 1936. Eagle’s Nest is also the easternmost Gold Coast mansion on the North Shore, where Vanderbilt hosted events featuring esteemed guests such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor as well as the Tiffanys. Two of the eagles from the original Grand Central stand at the entrance to the estate.
After Vanderbilt’s death in 1944, his wife Rosamund lived there until her own death in 1947. Vanderbilt’s will bequeathed his estate and museum to Suffolk County, and in 1950, it was opened to the public as the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. The complex now contains a marine museum with marine and natural history specimens, a curator’s cottage, a seaplane hangar, a boathouse, gardens, and a collection of ethnographic objects including firearms and swords. The museum, though, has faced some financial struggles, especially since Vanderbilt’s endowment was tied up in stock and bonds.
25. Applegreen, Old Westbury on Long Island
Applegreen was one of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s three residences, alongside the William C. Whitney Mansion and The Reef in Newport, Rhode Island. Applegreen was built in 1902 for William C. Whitney as a wedding present to his son Harry Payne Whitney and his wife Gertrude by McKim, Mead & White. Old Westbury is still considered one of the richest villages in the country, thanks in part to the many historic mansions owned by figures such as John Shaffer Phipps and Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney.
After Whitney’s death in 1904, the couple moved into The Manse, a McKim, Mead & White structure also in Old Westbury. They gave Applegreen to his sister Dorothy and her husband Willard D. Straight, who hired Delano & Aldrich for renovations. Applegreen boasted a stable and a coachman’s cottage, and it was later sold for $15.88 million. Part of the estate was demolished, though, although there have been attempts to restore it back to its original condition.
26. Cara-Mia, Southampton on Long Island
Cara-Mia was a residence in Southampton in Suffolk County built in 1900. Also known as Gardenside, the three-story estate was the home for many years of Consuelo Vanderbilt, who was also referred to as the Duchess of Marlborough. Consuelo married the ninth Duke of Marlborough not out of love but for money and self-advancement.
The entrance features original 1873 parquet oak floor, which opens to a library, and a formal dining room with four hidden butler pantries. Features such as “a rose garden, antique Belgian block courtyards, a clay tennis court and a swimming pool were added later, Consuelos’ 1.84-acre mansion hit the market for $28 million in 2014.
27. Woodlea, Briarcliff Manor in Westchester
Woodlea is a 140-room mansion that was owned by newspaper editor Colonel Elliott Fitch Shepard and his wife Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt Shepard. Margaret was influential in funding the YMCA, as the eldest daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt. Woodlea was built in 1892–95 at a cost of $2 million and was designed by McKim, Mead & White. Today Woodlea is part of the Sleepy Hollow Country Club and belongs to the Scarborough Historic District.
Woodlea’s exterior was designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style but also incorporates elements of Beaux-Arts and 18th-century English architecture. The exterior is constructed from pressed Italian brick with pale limestone trim. The west facade of the house faces the Hudson River, and the architects took advantage of this view by designing an ornate exterior with Ionic columns. In 1906, the house had 16 bathrooms and 65 rooms, with features such as marble fireplaces, window architraves, wood paneling, and carved wood and plaster details. Today, it is the 14th largest house ever built in the U.S.
Fifth Ave Gilded Age Mansions Tour
You can learn more about the Vanderbilt houses and other Gilded Age mansions on our Fifth Ave Gilded Age Mansions tour!