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Salutation House in the Movies

by habituallychic

10 . 25 . 21

When I posted about A Perfect Murder last week, I mentioned that one of the locations used was Salutation House in Glen Cove, Long Island. It sits on a 46-acre private island also named Salutation and was for sale in 2017. It’s been used for a few television shows and movies so I thought it would be fun take a look at this historic house along with images from the films Sabrina and A Perfect Murder and the Tern Haven episode of Succession from season two.

According to the real estate brochure, “The land was granted by King George I and purchased by Peter Caverly in 1721 for two hundred pounds. Approximately 46+ acres are comprised of land, roads and a beautiful sandy beach. 10+ adjacent acres were granted with “underwater” rights, valuable for fishing, clamming and boating. The tranquil 28+ acre pond, which flows into the Long Island Sound, is home to oyster beds and many varieties of wildlife. Making this a total offering of over 85 acres. The fortified 700 foot sea wall, a 250 foot dock that accommodates yachts and seaplanes, and a helicopter landing spot complete this phenomenal property.”

“Salutation” was built in 1919 by Junius Spencer Morgan, son of J.P. Morgan Jr., with a later addition completed in 1928. The architect was Roger H. Ballard, and Frederick Law Olmsted, the celebrated landscape architect of New York City’s Central Park, was engaged to design the property. Mature ornamental plantings, specimen trees, walled gardens and rose gardens have thrived and contribute to the magical aura of this truly extraordinary property.

In the 1940s, Morgan invited “various owners and friends to build their own residences on the island.”

Morgan died in 1960, at which time the estate was passed to his wife. She held possession of the main house until the ‘70s, when the home and an additional 19 acres of land were sold to coal tycoon John Samuels. In the ‘90s, Samuels filed for bankruptcy, and the estate had a minimum bid of $5.7 million on it. 

Margo Walker, a real estate broker and socialite, purchased three of the homes, and eventually purchased all of them.

This is a scene from Sabrina.

The house was filmed in the spring for Sabrina and Succession but it looked especially lovely filmed in the fall for A Perfect Murder seen here.

The stately and monumental manor house is constructed of stone transported by barge from quarries in upstate New York by Mr. Morgan. The roof tiles are also of stone.

The house is approximately 27,000 square feet in size, and has had only three owners. Original details including wide-plank flooring, magnificent millwork and leaded glass windows have been meticulously maintained. Many sets of French doors open to terraces with spectacular views of the water, gardens, lawns, and sunsets.

The house is usually photographed from the front and back but the entrance is actually on the side corner of the house as seen here

You get to see much more of the house in the remake of Sabrina from 1995.

I especially love all of the costumes of the matriarch of the Larrabee family, Maude Larrabee played by the delightful Nancy Marchand, in Sabrina.

The octagonal entrance foyer is illuminated by a dramatic skylight located three floors above. Arched doors lead to the baronial Great Hall. Salutation House has 16 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, and 8 reception rooms.

Great Hall with its marble and stone flooring, beamed ceiling, wainscoting, and a myriad of other architectural details is a testament to the vision of the architect, Roger H. Ballard, and the excellence of the craftsmen who executed that vision.

In Sabrina from 1995, the Great Hall walls were painted white. They must have been painted soon after because they appear red in A Perfect Murder which was filmed in 1997 before released in 1998.

A view of the Great Hall from the real estate listing which listed the entire island for sale at $125,000,000.

Harrison Ford in the Great Hall in Sabrina.

Behind the stairs is the door that leads out to the garden facing the water.

Set decorator George DeTitta Jr. talked about his work on Succession, “This was my return to the Sabrina house! These were the same hallways I did for Harrison Ford’s character’s estate in the film Sabrina. 1995 vs 2019. Now I was furnishing for the Pierce matriarch, played by Cherry Jones…and as I walked through during our scout, I saw some of the furnishings we had made for the film were still there! Here, chair and side tables by Theodore Alexander.”

Another view of the very long Great Hall. Along each side are grandly proportioned entertaining rooms that include a formal living room, dining room, delightful octagonal shaped breakfast room, and a music room, all with fireplaces and high ceilings.

The handsome mahogany paneled library has wide plank floors and two fireplaces.

The Library was used for all the productions including Sabrina, where the painted panels were either not installed yet or were removed.

I have a love hate relationship with Succession since it focuses on the ridiculous new money Roy family so it seemed fitting that they used Salutation for the old money Pierce family in the Tern Haven episode.

Michael Douglas and Constance Towers in the Library in A Perfect Murder.

It looks like this sofa made an appearance in most of the productions too.

Another view of the Library in A Perfect Murder with Constance Towers who plays the mother of Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in the film.

Nancy Marchand and Greg Kinnear in the Library in Sabrina.

I think it’s fun that each film and tv episode filmed at Salutation had a strong female character who owned the house including Cherry Jones who played the matriarch of the Pierce family, Nan Pierce, here with Annabelle Dexter-Jones, in Succession.

Another view of the Library.

You can see that the main staircase is directly across from the Library in A Perfect Murder.

The living room walls are made up of bleached oak panels.

The living room served as the office for Nan Pierce in Succession episode ‘Tern Haven’.

Another view of the living room.

Another view of the living room in Succession with Holly Hunt, Cherry Jones, and Annabelle Dexter-Jones.

The wood paneled music room overlooks the outdoor gardens.

THe music room was used as an office in Sabrina.

Another view of the music room.

Harrison Ford in the music room in Sabrina.

Another view of the music room.

Another view of the music room.

The formal dining room looks out over the water.

The formal dining room in A Perfect Murder.

Another view of the formal dining room which also has French doors to a terrace.

The formal dining room was used for a large dinner party scene in Succession. I am annoyed with the seating of the guests at this table. The old money matriarch Nan Pierce would have never seated couples together or so many women next to women and men next to men or people who knew each other next to each other. The most fun thing to do when creating the seating chart for a dinner party is mixing things up and trying to place people next to someone they might enjoy meeting.

I’m not sure if this little pass through room seen in Succession is the Butler’s Pantry or hallway.

I find it interesting that the kitchen they showed in Succession is wallpapered. I wonder if this is the butler’s pantry.

The kitchen and servant’s area in Sabrina looks original to the house.

Another view of the kitchen servant’s area in Sabrina.

The party prep in the kitchen in Sabrina.

The breakfast room.

The breakfast room as seen in Succession.

The home gym which may be located on the second floor.

I love this scene of Nancy Marchand and Harrison Ford in the home gym in Sabrina.

The second floor landing as seen in Sabrina.

The second floor appears to have upholstered walls in Succession.

One of the bedrooms used in A Perfect Murder.

This bedroom overlooks the gardens in A Perfect Murder.

Michael Douglas in the en suite bathroom in A Perfect Murder.

A larger bedroom in Salutation House.

The same bedroom was seen in Succession.

Always remember to close the toilet seat before photographing bathrooms for real estate listings.

Another bedroom seen in Succession.

And another bedroom in Succession.

And another.

The garage plays a large role in Sabrina but it looks like it was changed at some point.

The garage as seen in Sabrina.

The eight-car garage as seen from the other side in the real estate listing.

Sabrina’s father, the chauffeur, in Sabrina. He took the job so he could read books.

Another view of his apartment in Sabrina.

The grounds around the main house were designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Unlike the beginning of Sabrina, there are no tennis courts or indoor swimming pool.

There is an outdoor swimming pool.

I don’t know who purchased Salutation Island or whether we’ll see it on film again so I hope you enjoyed this tour.