Beacon Towers was one of the many estates of Alva Smith Vanderbilt. She commissioned Richard Howland Hunt, son of famed architect Richard Morris Hunt to design & construct the castle in 1917. Alva was the wife of William Vanderbilt, and was also the lady of the house for Marble House in Newport while married to Vanderbilt. She eventually divorced Vanderbilt and was married to Oliver Belmont on January 11, 1896. The estate was located in Sands Point and is said to have had over 140 rooms. Alva used the estate until she sold it to William Randolf Hearst in 1942. Hearst made numerous changes to the estate especially to the front facade, adding an entire new floor. The estate was later demolished in the late 1940’s. The original gate house still exists and is serving as somebody’s home.