Vanderbilt Mansion

Nassau County Museum/L.I. Studies Institute
The elaborate entrance to Vanderbilt's Centerport mansion.

This 43 acre estate in the town of Centerport overlooks Northport Harbor and the Long Island Sound. Eagle's Nest, as the mansion was called, was built by William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. beginning in 1928. Vanderbilt was the great-grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, the founder of a large transportation empire that included the New York Central Railroad and Grand Central Terminal in New York City. William, Jr. was an avid yachtsman and auto racer and built the Long Island Motor Parkway in 1908. He was very interested in marine biology, and the house today contains a museum for marine specimens.

Eagles Nest has a Spanish architectural flavor. The entrance is made up of a cobblestone drive which leads to a large bell tower and an ancient tower clock. This house has 24 rooms with many antiques and exotic works of art. The dining room has a tiled floor with a carved wooden ceiling. It is decorated with old weapons. There is also an organ room, with a $90,000 pipe organ.

Also included in this estate is a marine museum that has over 17,000 specimens of marine life. The lower level of the mansion has the blue walls and blue lights. This gives the room the feeling of being under water.

The house and museum are now open to the public.

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