Harbor Hill

Portrait of a House

Richard Guy Wilson (Author)

Overview | Inside the Book

A "palace" ruled by a "queen," Harbor Hill in Roslyn, Long Island, was commissioned by the beautiful and imperious Katherine Duer Mackay, wife of one of the country's wealthiest men.

The mansion along with its magnificent furnishings, art, gardens, and the owners' striving, hubris, and ultimate failure are the dramatis personae of this saga. Stanford White, the architect, wrote, "with the exception of Biltmore, I do not think there will be an estate equal to it in the country." An extravagant product of the desire for social acceptance, the portrait encompasses western mining and old versus new wealth, religious differences and the building of a church, art collecting, and the many people, from the architects, builders, and workers to the servants and staff who ran the house and gardens. Harbor Hill's story includes elements of farce and tragedy; in a sense it is an American portrait.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • March 2008
  • ISBN 978-0-393-73216-0
  • 9.4 × 12.3 in / 264 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“[L]oving and detailed study.” — Lucy Worsley, The Times (UK)

“Fully illustrated look at this marvelous house and...surrounding structures...along with an in-depth look at the families who’ve called it home.” — Long Island Pulse

“Wilson has compiled a riveting life story of...a prominent turn-of-the-century family…[and] their impressive mansion...that was intended to be remembered” — Jickie Torres, Romantic Homes

“The book delves into its creation, its owner and family, its place in society--and so much more.” — LoHud.com

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