Hempstead House at Sands Point Preserve
127 Middle Neck Road
Port Washington, New York 11050
Perhaps the most impressive it the North Shore’s early-20th-century estates, inside the foyer of Hempstead House, one glimpse of the imposing vaulted ceiling stirs the imagination of a grand lifestyle that once existed at this Gold Coast estate. Even though the house is no longer furnished, its architecture provides a hint of an elegant time long gone. In its heyday in the 1920s, Hempstead House revealed a taste for extravagance. In the Entry Foyer was an organ made of oak. The pipes still visible on the walls above were merely for show – the music reverberated through openings in the floors.
The walnut-paneled Library was copied from the palace of King James I; relief portraits of literary figures still decorate the plaster ceiling. Even now, stone gargoyles around the ceiling peer down from above in the Summer Living Room. Distinctive features of the house include an enclosed cobblestone courtyard, thickly mortared brick walls, steeply pitched roofs of heavy tile, and a round tower. The Medieval atmosphere is continued inside the house by the arches, thick wood beams, textured plastered walls, and carved stone mantels.