Harbor Hill

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Harbor Hill
Harbor Hill is located in New York
Harbor Hill
Harbor Hill
Location of Harbor Hill in New York State
Elevation 348 ft (106 m)
Prominence 348.0 ft (106.1 m)
Location Roslyn, New York,
United States
Coordinates 40°47′57″N 73°38′22″W / 40.79917°N 73.63944°W / 40.79917; -73.63944Coordinates: 40°47′57″N 73°38′22″W / 40.79917°N 73.63944°W / 40.79917; -73.63944
Topo map USGS Sea Cliff

Harbor Hill was a spectacular Long Island mansion built from 1899-1902 in Roslyn, New York, commissioned by Clarence Hungerford Mackay. It was designed by McKim, Mead, and White, with Stanford White supervising the project. It was the largest home he ever designed.[1]

Clarence Mackay (1874–1938) was the son of Comstock Lode magnate John William Mackay, and inherited much of an estimated $500 million fortune upon his father's death in 1902 (approximately $13 billion in 2012 dollars). White collaborated closely with Clarence Mackay's wife, Katharine Duer Mackay (1880–1930), and with her approval, based the main façade of Harbor Hill upon that of François Mansart's Château de Maisons of 1642, using a mix of other influences to finish the overall design.

Built at great expense and furnished lavishly (at least three different decorating firms were employed), the home originally sat on 688 acres (2.78 km2) and enjoyed views across Roslyn Harbor to Long Island Sound. Formal terraces and gardens were finished by Guy Lowell. After Harbor Hill was dynamited in 1947, a fountain with four equestrian statues, designed by Henri-Léon Gréber, was moved to Kansas City, Missouri where it has since been on public display adjacent to the Country Club Plaza.


Harbor Hill in 1922

Harbor Hill, the site of the former mansion, is the highest point in Nassau County, New York, at 348 feet.[1] Whether Harbor Hill or 401-foot Jayne's Hill to the east was the highest point on Long Island was a point of some debate in the 19th century, with Harbor Hill often thought to be the highest summit.[2][3][4][5]

Remaining buildings[edit]

Three remaining buildings from the Harbor Hill estate were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991:[6] Mackay Estate Dairyman's Cottage, Mackay Estate Gate Lodge, and Mackay Estate Water Tower.


  1. ^ USGS GNIS Detail, Harbor Hill
  2. ^ "Highest Point on Long Island". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 7, 1901.  (reporting that Jayne's Hill is indeed taller)
  3. ^ "Walt. Funnel Stands Up For Jayne's Hill". The Long Islander. Dec 15, 1938.  ("There was really a bit of blood pressure on the subject as advocates pressed their arguments...")
  4. ^ "Questions Answered". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 9, 1887.  (listing Harbor Hill at 384 feet, and Jayne's Hill at 383)
  5. ^ Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac, 1890, p. 85 (Harbor Hill 384; Jayne's Hill 383)
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 

External links[edit]

See also "Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House" by Richard Guy Wilson.