Buying and selling real estate in the communities of Long Island
Cornelia Guest sells Old Westbury's Templeton
After two years, Cornelia Guest has sold her family’s fabled Old Westbury estate for $5.8 million, but she is unsure of the fate of the property that has hosted royalty, U.S. presidents and hordes of celebrities.
Guest closed on the sale of the 29-room home where she grew up last week. Responding to word that Templeton is going to be torn down, Guest tells Newsday that she has no idea what the new owners, whom she declined to name, plan on doing with the property.
“To me it’s the most magical place in the world and I’m ready to move on,” Guest says. “I wish the new owners the best of luck.”
The home first came on the market for $20 million in 2008. It was re-listed last summer for $7.495 million, with the price later cut to $6.4 million.
Guest’s parents -- polo champ Winston Guest, an heir to the Phipps fortune and cousin of Winston Churchill, and his wife, garden columnist and style icon C.Z. Guest -- hosted the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Kennedys, novelist Truman Capote and fashion designers such as Halston, Yves Saint Laurent and Oscar de la Renta at the 15.5-acre estate. Guest has also played hostess to luxury fashion designers, including Mark Badgley and James Mischka.
The property, which was listed with Sandy Binder of Shawn Elliott Luxury Homes & Estates, includes the Georgian-style brick mansion built in 1924, a pool, tennis court, three greenhouses, cottages, a 17-stall barn and paddocks. There are flowers and vegetable gardens, and an alley of trees that lead up to Old Westbury Gardens.
Whatever happens to the Gold Coast estate, Guest -- who runs a catering company and event planning company -- will stay in the home for another year and hopes to stay on the Island.
“I’m a Long Island girl,” Guest says. “I think once you’re here you can never leave.”