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Carnegie Steel Scion Selling ‘Gatsby’-Esque Estate on New York’s Gold Coast

Just 26 miles east of Manhattan, Old Westbury, New York, has long been an old-money enclave dotted with sprawling estates, many built by New Yorkers seeking to escape city life and indulge in pastoral hobbies from horseback riding to gardening.  

One such grand estate on Long Island’s Gold Coast that harkens back to the era of opulence captured in “The Great Gatsby” has returned to the market for $23 million.

The estate was built for Howard Phipps in the 1930s. His father, Henry Phipps Jr., was Andrew Carnegie’s partner in Carnegie Steel. The seller is Howard Phipps Jr., the original owner’s son. 

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It’s not the first time the estate, called Erchless after a Scottish castle the family often visited, has been offered for sale. It first came to market in 2018 for $29.9 million but didn’t trade hands, according to its most recent listing agent, Lois Kirschenbaum of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. In 2018, the home’s listing agent told The Wall Street Journal that Phipps, then 83, was looking to downsize in his later years. 

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Phipps Jr. declined to be interviewed for this story.

“We don’t have properties like this anymore,” said Kirschenbaum, who listed the estate last week. “This probably will be one of the last on the North Shore of Long Island, one of the great homes of a bygone era, that will pass hands.”

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Erchless comprises 92 verdant acres with a roughly 16,000-square-foot main house and a smattering of secondary buildings, including four greenhouses, a four-stall carriage barn with loft bedrooms, a four-stall cow barn with a cellar dating to the 1600s, a superintendent’s house and a chauffeur’s house, according to a brochure shared by Kirschenbaum. 

The property is also home to extensive gardens including an “award-winning rhododendron garden considered to be the finest of its kind in the Northeast United States,” reads the listing. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that the elder Howard Phipps was a respected horticulturist who was awarded the bronze medal by the New York chapter of the American Rhododendron Society in 1978. 

The main home was built in a U-shape in the Georgian Colonial style with heavy input from Harriet Dyer Price, wife of the elder Howard Phipps. “She wanted it to be compact and centralized,” Kirschenbaum said. “She didn’t want it to be rambling and that was definitely accomplished in the design.”

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The main home has seven generously sized family bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom, as well as eight additional smaller bedrooms that were intended for in-home help, Kirschenbaum said. There are 12 bathrooms in total. Many original details shine through in the home, like the eye-catching curved staircase and nine fireplaces, but it also enjoys modern upgrades, like air conditioning, Kirschenbaum said.

The home is being marketed as a single estate, but Kirschenbaum noted that a buyer could attempt to subdivide the property as of right in the future. 

“Even if a developer buys this property, I don’t see where they would take this manor home down,” Kirschenbaum said. “I don’t see someone tearing this down specifically because of the condition, how it’s been maintained, and how beautiful it is.”

Read More: Carnegie Steel Scion Selling ‘Gatsby’-Esque Estate on New York’s Gold Coast

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