Oct 12 2013

Update: A Historic Event: A Motor Parkway Director’s Horse Returns to Roslyn

The unveiling of a historic horse statue built for Clarence Mackay, an original director of the Long Island Motor Parkway and friend of William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. was celebrated on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

The event was reported in the Sunday, October 20, 2013 issue of Newsday .


Howard Kroplick

Over 250 people attended the Unveiling event named StatueFEST.. Franklin Hill Perrell, Executive Director of the Roslyn Landmark Society was the master of the ceremony.

The "Godmother" of the Mackay Horse Statue Town Clerk Leslie Gross and the "Godfather"- the Town Historian.

Here, I am showing the lucky horseshoe that was found at the base of the horse statue. Amazing, but true.

The Mackay Horse Statue unveiled.

Confetti added color to the unveiling.

Particpants in the ceremony.

Several members of the Mackay family participated in the event and assited in the countdown.

Late in the evening, the statue was still being admired.

Clarence Mackay

Clarence Mackay (1874-1938) was the heir to the Comstock silver fortune and was a major figure in the development of the international telegraph business. A resident of Roslyn, Mackay was involved in many of the major social and sporting events held on Long Island.

Following the conclusion of the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race, William K. Vanderbilt Jr. was asked to address his friends and race officials at the Westbury grandstand.

Clarence Mackay was seen in the middle between William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. (left) and Vanderbilt Race Commission Chairman Jefferson De Mont Thompson (right).

As listed in the 1906 prospectus, Clarence Mackay was an original director/incorporator of the Long Island Motor Parkway.

Mackay's Harbor Hill 648-acre estate in Roslyn (now East Hills) was one of the largest on Long Island with formal gardens and terraces surrounding the main house designed by Stanford White. This 1920 aerial captured the west garden of the estate nearing completion.

The west gardens featured two 25-foot statue/pedestals of horses and their groomsmen.

Mackay's statues were modeled after sculptures commissioned  in 1739 by King Louis XV of France for his royal palace, Chateau de Marly. 

The Harbor Hill mansion was demolished to make way for new homes and the north statue was relocated to the front of Roslyn High School. The south statue remained in its original position for nearly a century in what eventually became the backyard of an East Hill’s home.

When the home was sold in 2010, the statue was donated to the Town of North Hempstead with Roslyn Landmark Society designated to supervise its restoration and relocation. to Gerry Park. 

Last Friday, restoration of the original 13 1/2-foot pedestal for the statue was completed on Main Street in Roslyn.

On Saturday, October 19, 2013,  the statue was uncovered. I had the honor of coordinating this historic unveiling.

Film "The History of the Mackay Horse Statues" (8 Minutes)


Oct 13 2013 Ken Harris 9:22 AM

Thanks for the Mackay horse statues presentation—a nice success story.  I always feel a little sad when I think of all the beautiful mansions that have been torn down to put in streets and build new homes.  Of course, I’m living now on a street that did not exist until the 1950’s when the mansion that stood there was torn down and the estate property was divided into building lots and streets put in, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.


Oct 13 2013 Howard Kroplick 9:33 PM

From Florence O.

Interesting story on the horse sculpture.

Oct 14 2013 Lou 11:54 AM

Ken , I relate to your feelings . I feel the same way…. I long for times past.The openess . Progress isn’t my cup of tea. Not when such beauty gets torn down to make just a bunch of cookie cutter boxes….Something seems off about it all…
Howard, thanks again for another historical gem of a story…..

Oct 14 2013 Leo Cerruti 7:23 PM

Ah! So that explains a small mystery for me. I was driving along Glenwood Landing Rd. through Glen Head a couple of weeks ago and spotted this huge horse sculpture, I couldn’t stop due to some crazy people in an SUV right on my tail but I was wondering what that huge statue was doing there. It was probably the establishment that refurbished it. Mystery solved!

Oct 20 2013 Greg Oreiro 11:34 PM

A very nice day! The MacKay horses are just incredible. It’s so nice to have a not-so-little piece of one of the greatest mansions ever constricted to be so accessible to LI Gold Coast mansion enthusiasts like myself. Also, it was great seeing some other LIMPPS members there like Joe, Steve, and Ted!

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.