Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House

By Richard Guy Wilson
Read by Malcolm Hillgartner

5.53 Hours 06/23/2009 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781538464069

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    ISBN: 9781433250576

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    ISBN: 9781433250583

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. 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.” The mansion, along with its magnificent furnishings, art, gardens—and the owners’ hubris, striving, and ultimate failure—are the dramatis personae of this saga. An extravagant product of the desire for social acceptance, Harbor Hill’s story includes elements of farce and tragedy; in a sense it is an American portrait. The portrait encompasses western mining, old versus new wealth, religious differences over the building of a church, and art collecting, as well as the many people involved, from the architects, builders, and workers to the servants and staff who ran the house and gardens.

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Summary

Summary

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. 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.” The mansion, along with its magnificent furnishings, art, gardens—and the owners’ hubris, striving, and ultimate failure—are the dramatis personae of this saga.

An extravagant product of the desire for social acceptance, Harbor Hill’s story includes elements of farce and tragedy; in a sense it is an American portrait. The portrait encompasses western mining, old versus new wealth, religious differences over the building of a church, and art collecting, as well as the many people involved, from the architects, builders, and workers to the servants and staff who ran the house and gardens.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“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 
“A riveting life story of…a prominent turn-of-the-century family…[and] their impressive mansion.” Romantic Homes
“Wilson turns this chronicle of what reporters at the time called ‘Heartbreak House’ into a page-turner…[An] entertaining, enlightening cautionary tale.” Period Homes
“[An] entertaining, enlightening cautionary tale.” Period Homes 

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Richard Guy Wilson

Richard Guy Wilson is Commonwealth Professor of architectural history at the University of Virginia. He is the author or joint author of fourteen books that deal with American and modern architecture and has served as an advisor and commentator for television programs on PBS, C-Span, the History channel, and A&E. His specialty is the architecture, design, and art of the eighteenth to the twentieth century, both in America and abroad.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 5.53
Audience: Adult
Language: English