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Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House

Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House

Richard Guy Wilson

ISBN: 978-0-393-73216-0

*Norton agency titles

288 pages

Select type: Hardcover

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The story of a grand estate erected at the turn of the last century, an embodiment of the excess of the Gilded Era.

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, and gardens, and the owners\' striving, hubris, and ultimate failure are the dramatis personae of this saga. Stanford White, Harbor Hill\'s architect, wrote, "with the exception of Biltmore, I do not think there will be an estate equal to it in the country." Detailing the extravagant product of the owners\' desire for social acceptance, the story encompasses western mining and old versus new wealth, religious differences and the building of a church, art collecting, and 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 an American portrait. 175 duotone and 8 color photographs.