This is what's left of 'Spring Hill', the former Henry Carnegie "Hal" Phipps estate in Old Westbury. John Russell Pope designed the house in 1903 for William L. Stow, a stockbroker who went bankrupt after the panic of 1908. After Hal married Gladys Livingston Mills in 1907 he purchased 'Spring Hill' in 1908 and took possession in 1909. Horace Trumbauer designed alterations to the house in 1915. It was demolished in the early '70s after the death of Mrs. Phipps. Below is what is left of the garden wall and double staircase. In its time there were reflecting pools and gardens over what is now the swimming pool. Click HERE to see Spring Hill on google earth.
Today I went into the only piece of the house that still remains, the basement, to check out the hidden wine cellar. During prohibition the wine cellar was hidden beneath the basement level accessed via a staircase in the floor. It was pitch black down there but the shelves and racks remained. There were a bunch of labels ranging from the '50s to the early '70s still stuck to the cabinets. Given the labels the wine would have been some of the very best.
Some of the names on the shelves included:
- Leoville, Marquis '59
- Latour '65
- Carruades De Lafite '61
- Montrose '59
- Margaux - '52
Towards the front of the property are the estate's stable and greenhouses which are original to 1903. Mrs. Phipps and her brother Ogden L. Mills were responsible for Wheatley Stable, one of the most prominent stables of their time and which produced the champion sire Bold Ruler. The Phipps' son Ogden continued the tradition with his own stable which bred such notables as Buckpasser, Personal Ensign and Easy Goer.