John and I are crazy, insane, over the moon, nutty for Old Westbury Gardens.
If you live in the Tristate region and have not visited this amazing, historic home and gardens in Old Westbury, Long Island, it’s time to make a trip. Actually, you probably HAVE visited the glorious brick-clad estate if you have seen films such as North by Northwest (Cary Grant is forced to drink a bottle of bourbon here at the “home” of Mr. Townsend. Jason’s favorite quote from this flick is, “Not Lara’s Mercedes!” Fabulous!), Love Story, and Cruel Intentions with the hot Reese Witherspoon and even hotter Ryan Phillippe.
And the estate has been featured prominently in ad campaigns for everyone from Asprey to Ralph Lauren. When I was the Editor in Chief of Gotham magazine, we used to shoot fashion stories at the property all the time. Gold Coast glamour, all within an hour of Manhattan!
Completed in 1906 for John Shaffer Phipps and his British-born bride Margarita, this sprawling, 160-acre property eventually fell out of private ownership and opened to the public in 1959. The rooms are amazing (I am crazy for the John Singer Sargent portrait of “Mrs. Henry Phipps and Her Grandson Winston” hanging in the dining room. By the by, Winston would marry this week’s Demystifying Design heroine C.Z. Guest!) and the gardens are glorious, especially the walled garden. Gorgeous!
Plan to spend a half day at this Gilded Age estate and give generously if you can. The home needed a new roof, last I heard. And that’s a several million-dollar capital improvement. There aren’t many estates like this left on Long Island, so appreciate its glory and historic merits.
The property is out of this world.