Clermont was constructed between 1740 and 1750 by Robert Livingston, Jr. The original house was burned by the British because Margaret Beekman Livingston refused to assist them during the Revolutionary War. The current structure, located in Germantown, New York, was designed by Margaret and her son Robert (who co-invented the steamboat and administered the oath of office to George Washington on the steps of Federal Hall).
Livingston descendants remained at the estate throughout the twentieth century. They donated the land to the state in 1962. Today, the estate is comprised of the mansion and over 500 acres of landscaped gardens, meadows and woodlands.