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Home of the Week: A Grand 1930s Estate Lists for $23 Million on Long Island’s Gold Coast

Long Island’s famed Gold Coast, just outside of New York City, is full of dazzling mansions and gilded estates built by wealthy city dwellers seeking country homes in the 1920s and 1930s. This affluent area on the island’s northern coast even served as inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby.

The Gold Coast once held the highest concentrations of American wealth, and today, the area remains an upscale part of Long Island, with many of those centuries-old homes of Gilded Age nabobs still intact. One such estate is back on the market for $23 million. Located at 75 Post Road, the baronial brick mansion was built in 1936 for Howard Phipps, the son of Henry Phipps, Jr., a partner at Andrew Carnegie’s Carnegie Steel Company. (The brick was imported from Williamsburg, Virginia, the birthplace of Phipps’ wife, Mary.) The property was then passed onto his son, Howard Phipps, Jr., who is currently selling the home. Named Erchess (pronounced “airchless”) after a Scottish castle the family would visit, it is one of the last Gold Coast-area mansions occupied by the original family.

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75 Post Road Erchless
The wood-paneled library.

The 16,000-square-foot U-shaped mansion presides over a plump 92 acres of rolling hills and forest and contains a whopping 15 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, plus two powder rooms. The Georgian Colonial structure has been modernly renovated over the years but retains original crown moldings, soaring ceilings, a spiral staircase, nine fireplaces, regal archways, and a wood-paneled library or two.

“The house is impeccably maintained from its original construction; it truly doesn’t need any sort of renovation,” says Lois Kirschenbaum of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. “Almost every room has a fireplace with marble mantles, and they were imported from London. The moldings and woodwork are detailed, elaborate, and just breathtaking.”

Across the sprawling property are four greenhouses, a swimming pool complemented by a pair of pagoda-style cabanas, a tennis court, a superintendent’s house, a four-stall carriage house with staff bedrooms, a few cottages for guests or staff, and equestrian facilities. Erchless was built on a former Quaker farm, and a few of the barns and potting sheds were used as outbuildings. There’s also a cellar dating back to the 1600s.

75 Post Road Erchless
The elegant living room.

Through the light-filled entry, you are met with a gorgeous curved spiral staircase and a hallway primed for a prized art collection. The main level features an intricate wood-paneled library that wouldn’t look out of place in a royal château; an elegant living room with a marble fireplace; a sunroom; a formal dining room; and kitchen with an antique refrigerator. There are many oversized en suite bedrooms, as well as smaller bedrooms dedicated for staff or guests. Kirschenbaum says that the family was ahead of their time, and installed an elevator (that still operates today) and planned for central air conditioning.

When you’re outside looking at the backyard meadow, there are two allées of trees (one to your left and one to your right) which lead to the outdoor amenities. From the home, the winding allée keeps the stables, tennis courts, and cottages out of view. There are also award–winning organic rhododendron gardens planted by Phipps, a horticulturist. The landscaping was done by Innocenti and Webel, and the garden design was curated by Philip Goodwin, an original designer of the Museum of Modern Art.

75 Post Road Erchless
The sunroom.

“There are no gardens of this caliber in the northeast,” she says. “Howard Phipps was a horticulturist, and every day he would walk the gardens with his wife. There are Japanese gardens, magnolias, rare Japanese flowers, and just the most magnificent plantings. When his son started to live at the property, they maintained and loved the gardens.”

This is not the first time the property has been listed; in 2018, it hit the market for just under $30 million. The home is offered turnkey, with the exception of museum-quality antiquities and artwork owned by the Phipps family.

Click here for more photos of Erchless.

75 Post Road Erchless
75 Post Road Erchless

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