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Old Westbury, New York

Coordinates: 40°46′55″N 73°35′50″W / 40.78194°N 73.59722°W / 40.78194; -73.59722
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Old Westbury, New York
Incorporated Village of Old Westbury
Old Westbury Village Hall, Police Station, and Post Office on August 25, 2021.
Old Westbury Village Hall, Police Station, and Post Office on August 25, 2021.
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York
Old Westbury, New York is located in Long Island
Old Westbury, New York
Old Westbury, New York
Location on Long Island
Old Westbury, New York is located in New York
Old Westbury, New York
Old Westbury, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°46′55″N 73°35′50″W / 40.78194°N 73.59722°W / 40.78194; -73.59722
Country United States
State New York
TownsNorth Hempstead
Oyster Bay
Named forWestbury, Wiltshire, England
 • Total8.57 sq mi (22.20 km2)
 • Land8.57 sq mi (22.20 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
164 ft (50 m)
 • Total4,289
 • Density500.35/sq mi (193.18/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area codes516, 363
FIPS code36-54705
GNIS feature ID0959332

Old Westbury is a village in the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay in Nassau County, on the North Shore of Long Island, in New York, United States. The population was 4,671 at the 2010 census.

The Incorporated Village of Old Westbury is one of the wealthiest villages in the country as well as the second-richest zip code in the New York State, topped only by Harrison in Westchester County.[2] In 2007, Business Week dubbed Old Westbury as New York's most expensive suburb.[3] Old Westbury Gardens has been recognized as one of the three best public gardens in the world by Four Seasons Hotels magazine.[4]


1906 Vanderbilt Cup hairpin turn in Old Westbury

Westbury was founded by Edmond Titus,[5][6] and was later joined by Henry Willis, one of the first English settlers.[7] Westbury had been a Quaker community of isolated farms until the railroad came in 1836. After the Civil War, the New York elite discovered that the rich, well-wooded flat countryside of the Hempstead Plains was a place to raise horses, and to hunt foxes and play polo at the Meadow Brook Polo Club.

The Village of Old Westbury was incorporated in 1924, separating itself from Westbury, the adjacent area that housed many of the families of the construction and building staffs for the Old Westbury mansions.[7][8] The "Old" part of Old Westbury's name reflects the community's need for its postal address to be different from the Westbury in Cayuga County, as per postal requirements (it had been using a postal address of North Hempstead for this reason); residents did this when they wanted a local post office ca. 1841, and when they incorporated Old Westbury as a village, they felt that it would be confusing for the village name and post office name to be different from one another.[7] The Village of Westbury, located adjacent to Old Westbury, adopted that designation when it incorporated in 1932 as Cayuga County's Westbury's name was no longer being used.[7]

The area was originally known as Wallage, which is related to a Native American term roughly meaning "ditch" or "hole."[7] By February 1663, it was known as Wood Edge, and by October 1675 it was known as "the Plains edge" or simply Plainedge.[7] The name Westbury began to be used for the area around 1683. The name Westbury was chosen by Henry Willis, who named it after Westbury, Wiltshire, his hometown in England.[7]

Westbury House was the residence of Henry Phipps' eldest son, John Shaffer Phipps. Today, the property is operated as Old Westbury Gardens. Robert Low Bacon built 'Old Acres' in the style of an Italian villa. Other landowners were Thomas Hitchcock and his family, Harry Payne Whitney and his wife the former Gertrude Vanderbilt, founder of New York's Whitney Museum, at Apple Green (formerly a Mott house), Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, whose estate is now subdivided into the Old Westbury Country Club and New York Institute of Technology. The architect Thomas Hastings built a modest house for himself, 'Bagatelle', in 1908. A. Conger Goodyear, then president of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City had a house built in 1938 by famed architect Edward Durell Stone, who also destined the building for Conger's museum. In 2003, the A. Conger Goodyear House was added to the National Register of Historic Places to protect the structure from being demolished to subdivide the expensive land surrounding it.[9] The estate of Robert Winthrop, an investment banker and member of the Dudley–Winthrop family, for whom Winthrop-University Hospital was named, has been similarly preserved. Part of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney's estate and her sculpture studio has been preserved and maintained by one of her grandchildren, Pamela Tower LeBoutillier.

During World War II, a 187-foot-high tower at the present-day Old Westbury Golf & Country Club, aided the military during World War II as a lookout to spot enemy aircraft.[10] Originally built as the water tower for the Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Residence, it now serves as the club's focal point.[10][11]

When Robert Moses was planning the Northern State Parkway, the powers of Old Westbury forced him to re-site it five miles (8 km) to the south. Once the parkway was completed, many residents found it to not be the eyesore they had been anticipating and regretted making their commutes more inconvenient than necessary. In the 1950s, the state purchased land from Charles E. Wilson, a former president of General Motors who needed to sell off his Old Westbury estate to pull himself out of financial crisis and relocate to the nation's capital to serve in President Dwight D. Eisenhower's cabinet. The land, which runs along an edge of the village, was used for the Long Island Expressway.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 8.57 square miles (22.2 km2), all land.[12]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 4,228 people, 1,063 households, and 967 families residing in the village. The population density was 493.9 inhabitants per square mile (190.7/km2). There were 1,109 housing units at an average density of 129.5 per square mile (50.0/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 73.19% White, 4.24% African American, 0.02% Native American, 7.52% Asian, 3.67% from other races, and 2.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.14% of the population.

There were 1,063 households, out of which 43.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 82.2% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 9.0% were non-families. Of all households 5.6% were made up of individuals, and 2.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.33 and the average family size was 3.37.

In the village, the age distribution of the population shows 22.7% under the age of 18, 20.2% from 18 to 24, 19.9% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $163,046, and the median income in the village was $184,298 for a family. The median earnings of the 899 households (89.6% of total households) in the village that took in earnings supplemental to income was $230,721. Males had a median income of $100,000+ versus $45,200 for females. The per capita income for the village was $72,932. About 1.1% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools[edit]

The Wheatley School, one of the public high schools serving, and located within, Old Westbury.

Residents are zoned to schools in one of four school districts, depending on where in the village they reside.[15] They are the East Williston Union Free School District, the Jericho Union Free School District, the Roslyn Union Free School District, and the Westbury Union Free School District.[15]

Additionally, the Westbury Union Free School District's high school, Westbury High School – along with the East Williston Union Free School District's secondary school, The Wheatley School – are located within the village.

Private schools[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]


Old Westbury Gardens is one of several estates built by the Phippses in Old Westbury.

Notable people[edit]

Mrs. Henry Phipps and Her Grandson Winston by John Singer Sargent (1906/07)

In popular culture[edit]



  • Alpha House: The forthcoming second season of the Amazon series starring John Goodman had scenes filmed in an Old Westbury estate [33]
  • Gossip Girl: Season two's nineteenth episode, "The Grandfather", originally airing March 23, 2009, featured an Old Westbury estate as the "van der Bilt” mansion
  • The Gilded Age: Season two's sixth episode, “Warning Shots", originally airing November 26, 2023
  • Paper Dolls: 1984 primetime drama starring Morgan Fairchild, Nicollette Sheridan, Lauren Hutton and Mimi Rogers
  • Person of Interest: Season one's seventeenth episode, "Baby Blue", originally airing March 8, 2012, included Moretti's car crash and other road scenes filmed in Old Westbury. The series returned to Old Westbury for the fifth season's sixth episode, "A More Perfect Union", originally airing May 23, 2016, which included horse-riding scenes at the Dudley–Winthrop family estate and a wedding at the Alexander de Seversky mansion.
  • Royal Pains: Season one's third episode, "Strategic Planning", originally airing June 18, 2009, features the Phipps estate as the home of a wealthy senator and used the lawn as a University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish practice field
  • Sex and the City: Season five's finale episode, "I Love a Charade", originally airing September 8, 2002, featured an Old Westbury home in place of an estate in the Hamptons

Reality television[edit]

  • America's Castles: A&E Network documentary series on gilded age homes featured Peggy Phipps Boegner touring one of the Phipps family's estates on the episode airing August 8, 1995, entitled "The Gold Coast".
  • Growing Up Gotti: A&E Network reality series about life in Victoria Gotti's Old Westbury home in 2004 and 2005
  • Princesses: Long Island: Bravo reality series, which features Old Westbury resident Erica Gimbel as one of the six original cast members
  • Secrets and Wives: Bravo reality series, that features the lives of women living in Old Westbury and surrounding towns
  • Selling New York: In season five's first episode, "A Prince Looks for a Property...", originally airing January 19, 2012, Prince Lorenzo Borghese views an Old Westbury estate, along with two other North Shore properties, but ultimately does not purchase any of the properties because he found that they each were too large


According to Bloomberg/Businessweek, as of 2011, Old Westbury is the second "richest" town in the United States, trailing behind only Palm Beach, Florida.[38] The magazine previously dubbed the town "New York's wealthiest suburb."[3]

Based on a study done by Bloomberg in 2015, the average household income in the village is greater than $640,000.[39]

In 2011, Forbes, having done a study of "America's Millionaire Capitals", found that the average net worth of Old Westbury households was $19.6 million and with an average annual income of $1.2 million.[40] The controlled study included only households with incomes greater than $200,000, which excluded only residents that are living in college dormitories and the staff of homeowners.

The village is famous for being the seat of many of New York's (and America's) wealthiest families, including the Phippses, Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Webbs, Du Ponts, Winthrops, Mortimers, Belmonts and Huttons. While many of these older families—the founding members of the social elite and those that emerged during the gilded age—still count members as Old Westbury residents, the village has also maintained a substantial set of industrialists, businessmen, collectors, athletes and entertainers.[41]

The Old Westbury Fund is a hedge fund that is named after the town.

When Forbes asked billionaire investor Steven Schonfeld what the "wisest investment" he ever made was, his answer was "Old Westbury land".[42]


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "This is Long Island's Richest ZIP Code". April 11, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Business Week, "The Most Expensive Suburbs of the Biggest U.S. Cities, New York City: Old Westbury"
  4. ^ Four Seasons' Magazine, "Where is the World's Best Public Garden?" Old Westbury Gardens, Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley and Singapore's National Orchard Garden are named as the three best public gardens in the world
  5. ^ Titus Family in America-Page 3
  6. ^ "Westbury". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Winsche, Richard (October 1, 1999). The History of Nassau County Community Place-Names. Interlaken, New York: Empire State Books. pp. 77–78. ISBN 978-1557871541.
  8. ^ "Village History". Village of Old Westbury. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  10. ^ a b "About Us - Old Westbury Golf and Country Club". www.owgolf.com. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  11. ^ Hicks Nurseries (Westbury, Nassau County; Hicks, Edward; Hicks, Henry; Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection (1913). Illustrated price list : spring, 1913. National Agricultural Library U. S. Department of Agriculture. Westbury, Nassau Co., N.Y. : Isaac Hicks & Son.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Long Island Index: Interactive Map". www.longislandindexmaps.org. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  16. ^ "Cityfile: Ashanti". cityfile.com. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008.
  17. ^ Fox, Margalit (December 23, 2011). "Doe Avedon, Fashion Model and Actress, Dies at 86". The New York Times.
  18. ^ Hudson, Edward (July 26, 1987). "Max Fortunoff, 89, Is Dead; Headed Specialty Store Chain". New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
  19. ^ Frankel, Bethenny (2009). Naturally Thin. Touchstone. pp. Introduction.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on February 29, 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (August 19, 2001). "To The Manor Born". The New York Times.
  22. ^ Banks, Beverly. "Actor Kevin James Must Face Nanny's Bias, Retaliation Claims". Law360. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  23. ^ Nash, Eric P. (December 13, 2000). "Jack Liebowitz, Comics Publisher, Dies at 100". New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  24. ^ Bryan, Carmen, It's No Secret: From Nas to Jay-Z, from seduction to scandal, a hip-hop Helen of Troy tells all. New York: VH1 Books, 2006. p 208.
  25. ^ Harrison Connery (March 14, 2023). "Finding Nimmo a home: Mets star buys in Old Westbury". The Real Deal. Retrieved March 15, 2023. After securing a $162 million long-term contract with the New York Mets, outfielder Brandon Nimmo is taking a walk to Old Westbury.
  26. ^ Ewen, Lara (April 6, 2018). "$1,888,888M Old Westbury home started as farmhouse". Newsday. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  27. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (May 8, 2014). "Damien Hirst Statue of Giant, Naked Pregnant Woman Scandalizing Long Island Rich People". New York Magazine. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  28. ^ "Former Nautica CEO Lists Sporty Long Island Estate for $7.5M". Curbed. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  29. ^ "Forbes List Directory". Forbes.
  30. ^ Braff, Danielle (May 15, 2015). "NYC Mayor Jimmy Walker's Old Westbury Mansion for Sale". Newsday. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  31. ^ Chitwood, Adam. "Production Begins on ADMISSION Starring Paul Rudd and Tina Fey; Lily Tomlin Joins Cast". Collider.com. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  32. ^ "Wednesday, June 6 Filming Location information". On Location Vacations. June 6, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  33. ^ a b Harwood, John (September 12, 2014). "An inside look at how Amazon makes TV shows". CNBC. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  34. ^ "Friday, Sept. 16 & Weekend Filming Locations in NYC, Boston, Portland, L.A., Chicago & more". On Location Vacations. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  35. ^ Guzman, Rafer (June 19, 2012). "New Jersey-based 'Dark Horse' shot on LI". Newsday. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  36. ^ "Giant House Party Scene". Backstage. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  37. ^ "Star-Studded Movie Filming In Old Westbury, Glendale Seeks Extras For House Party Scene". Nassau Daily Voice. October 15, 2022. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  38. ^ Stonington, Joel; Venessa Wong (December 2011). "America's Richest Zipcodes: Where the 1% Lives". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  39. ^ "This Is America's Richest Zip Code". Bloomberg. April 10, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  40. ^ "Millionaire Capitals: Old Westbury". America's Millionaire Capitals. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  41. ^ Fischler, Marcelle S. (August 4, 2011). "Developers Building for 'Today's Gatsby' - In the Region/Long Island". The New York Times.
  42. ^ Greenberg, Duncan (March 19, 2010). "Billionaire Speaks Out: Steven Schonfeld". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved July 21, 2013.

External links[edit]