About

Historical view of the mansion

“Reflected in the waters of a tranquil lake stands the [NYIT de Seversky Mansion], considered to be one of the most palatial of the North Shore residences.”

—Monica Randall, The Mansions of Long Island’s Gold Coast

History

We welcome you to be part of the legacy and tradition of outstanding and elegant Gold Coast entertaining at the NYIT de Seversky Mansion. In 1916, businessman, inventor, and philanthropist Alfred I. du Pont commissioned architect Thomas Hastings of Carrere & Hastings to design his new Long Island residence. Other captains of industry, who were also enjoying this era of optimism and soaring fortunes, were building grand showplaces on Long Island’s Gold Coast, which offered an easy commute to Manhattan. Du Pont’s White Eagle, as the neoclassical/Georgian mansion situated on almost 300 acres in Old Westbury was then called, was completed in 1918 at a cost of $1.1 million.

Two years later, Mrs. du Pont, the former Alicia Bradford Maddox, died unexpectedly. After du Pont remarried, he sold the estate in 1926 to Fredrick E. and Amy Phipps Guest, who renamed the estate Templeton. When Amy Phipps Guest’s parents gave up their Fifth Avenue residence in Manhattan in 1928, she renovated her Old Westbury home. The entire marble entry hall and stairs of the Fifth Avenue residence were dismantled stone by stone and moved to Templeton.

The newly installed grand staircase led to 13 classic European country–styled bedrooms and parlors, originally designed by Charles of London, and today are used as NYIT offices. Mr. Guest, Winston Churchill’s first cousin, was the grandson of the seventh Duke of Marlborough. Mrs. Guest was the daughter of Henry Phipps, Andrew Carnegie’s partner in the Carnegie Steel Company. Mrs. Guest stayed on at the estate after her husband’s death in 1937. Upon her death in 1959, the mansion was left to her son, Winston Guest, a well-known international polo player. In 1972, New York Institute of Technology purchased Templeton from the Guest family and named it after the famous Russian aviator, Alexander P. de Seversky, a member of the NYIT Board of Trustees who was instrumental in the acquisition.

Did You Know?

The NYIT de Seversky Mansion has had many names, including White Eagle, Templeton, and the de Seversky Center.