Rockefeller Mansions: A Guide to the Prominent Family’s Lavish Properties

While obviously not the kind of well-appointed mansion that the Rockefeller name came to be known for, this modest home is where John D. Rockefeller started out. He was born on his family’s farm near Richford, New York, in 1839. The Rockefellers moved around throughout his young life, eventually relocating to Ohio.


Kykuit is the most well-known Rockefeller mansion.

Photo: Remi Benali/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

In 1893, John D. Rockefeller bought the manor known as Kykuit in the Westchester County, New York, hamlet of Pocantico Hills. Dutch traders gave the manse its name, which translates to “lookout.” The original wood house burned down in 1902 and was replaced by a three-story Victorian-style home in 1908, however that incarnation didn’t last long, as Mrs. Rockefeller was not a fan. Five years later, a Georgian-style four-story estate with a mansard roof was erected in its place.

The home’s loggia, offering views of the picturesque vista and landscaped grounds. To the west of the manse is a large enclosed garden which features a stone teahouse, pools, and fountains.

Photo: Richard T. Nowitz/Getty Images

Kykuit is one of the formerly occupied Rockefeller mansions that is now open to the public for tours. Following four generations of Rockefeller family residency, the home is a historic site.

Photo: Remi Benali/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

John D. Rockefeller lived in the main house on the grounds while his son John D. Rockefeller Jr. resided with his own family in a separate residence on the compound. Upon John Sr.’s death, John Jr. moved into the main dwelling; afterward, Nelson lived in the estate until his 1979 death. Many of the Rockefeller heirs would go on to call Kykuit home over the years, though each of their individual residences outside of the main house bore their own names, including Hawes House, formerly for Nelson Rockefeller and Laurance Rockefeller’s Kent House.

A midtown Manhattan brownstone

John D. Rockefeller relocated the family to New York in 1884, establishing their new home base in a large brownstone at 4 West 54th Street. The grounds on which the town house once stood are now part of the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art. Abby Rockefeller, wife of John D. Rockefeller Jr., is recognized as one of the museum’s cofounders.

Forest Hill summer home

The Forest Hill summer house was a frequent destination for the Rockefeller family even after they moved away from Ohio, though John D. Rockefeller reportedly limited his time there following his wife’s 1915 death.

Photo: Library of Congress/Getty Images