The Carnegie Mansion

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Andrew and Lousie Carnegie, along with their daughter Margaret, moved into their new New York mansion in 1902. The mansion, designed in the Georgian style with Beaux Arts accents, was groundbreaking in its location Uptown, technological features, and steel-frame construction. Carnegie pursued philanthropic endeavors in the decades he lived there, and Louise maintained the household until her death in 1946. After other residents and lives, the mansion opened, transformed, as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in 1976.

Return to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum history.

A Brief History

View of the Carnegie Mansion from the house's garden, with green foliage on its facade and orange chairs in the grass.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is housed in the former home of industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie. The 64-room mansion was built from 1899 to 1902.

Architecture & Interiors

Detail of an elevation drawing of the front of a house, with a dome-like canopy covering a doorway.

Floor plans of the mansion document how rooms were used by the Carnegies and their staff floor by floor. Historical photography and architectural plans further illuminate life in the Carnegie Mansion.

Life of a Mansion: The Story of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Dark wood paneled staircase with large chandelier and extremely large bold type saying "LIFE OF A MANSION: THE STORY OF COOPER HEWITT, SMITHSONIAN DESIGN MUSEUM" in all capitals.

The book Life of a Mansion (2014) by architectural historian Heather Ewing tells the story of the building that Cooper Hewitt calls home. It details how Andrew Carnegie’s grand but functional Fifth Avenue mansion was constructed, as well as the subsequent lives it has had as both a school and now a museum.

The Carnegies & The Hewitts

Andrew Carnegie's signature embroidered on a white tablecloth.

The Carnegies and the Hewitts were social acquaintances, and Andrew gave generously to The Cooper Union Museum, also serving on the institution’s Advisory Council.


Historical photograph of a lavish interior with woodwork, lighting fixtures, and sculptures.

Take a virtual tour through the Carnegie Mansion on Cooper Hewitt’s Instagram page. Through historical imagery, be immersed in what the house looked like as a family residence full of innovation and splendor.