C.V. Rich Mansion film location

When the production team behind FX’s second season of Feud began scouting for opulent locations to film Capote vs. The Swans, they soon found that with a particularly accommodating Westchester mansion, they could transport the viewer to Montego Bay without the cost of sending crews to the Caribbean.

“They wanted to do a Jamaica scene,” says Kristen Larkin, the venue rental manager for The Woman’s Club of White Plains, the group that owns the historic C.V. Rich Mansion. “They kept going back and forth over filming here or in Jamaica, and I worked with [director] Gus Van Sant for a year, before they finally pulled the trigger and chose to do it here.” 

One of the many reasons that the location is ideal for production teams? “We’ll let them do anything,” Larkin says. “They want to paint a bedroom? Sure. Move furniture in or out? That’s fine!” 

But a key factor for the Feud shoot in particular was that the mansion let production refashion their courtyard into a tropical getaway. “They put this beautiful yellow and white striped fabric on our awning to give a visual of being at Jamaican vacation home,” Larkin says.

A Site for ‘50s Grandeur or Serious Conversations

The C.V. Rich Mansion is named for former Wall Street financier and National City Bank executive Charles Vanderlip Rich, who bought the estate in 1916. He lived there with his wife and two children until 1931, when the empty-nesters moved back to New York City. They sold the home to a predecessor group of The Woman’s Club of White Plains, which agreed to maintain the elegance of the home.

Because of this, the home retains much of its pre-Depression lavishness. According to the Woman’s Club site, many of its original features remain, including double-blown Mercury Glass in the foyer’s closet doors, and a walkway known as Peacock Alley because of the wallpaper that lined the walls. 

The mansion’s library is a popular filming choice for interviews — NBC’s newsmagazine series Dateline frequently books the room, as does CBS drama FBI: Most Wanted. The room’s fireplace and irons are original, as are the hand-carved bookcases, which showcases a bust of Mr. Rich done by famed American sculptor Rudulph Evans, who also created the 19-foot-tall statue of Thomas Jefferson at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“Our library is gorgeous,” Larkin says, noting the room’s oversized dark leather chairs. “It’s very conducive to a sophisticated sit-down interview.”

The mansion’s living room, which features original sconces and rosette-and-garland moldings, was the site of a central scene during Feud’s first episode. A 1955 black-tie dinner, during which a particularly salacious and pivotal Truman Capote story was introduced to the audience, was filmed at the C.V. Rich Mansion. The scene features Tom Hollander’s Capote regaling the dinner guests, hosted by Naomi Watts and Treat Williams as Babe and Bill Paley, with a tale that becomes central to the show’s plot. 

Practical amenities, too

Beyond the mansion’s numerous indoor draws—which also include a tea room, ballroom, sun room, kitchen, and many upstairs bed- and bathrooms—the fact that its grounds can accommodate longer-term parking for production trailers and equipment makes it a particularly film-friendly venue. They’re even available just for parking, if crews are working elsewhere in the area.

“It’s exciting for the town,” she says, saying that when productions choose Westchester locations, everyone benefits. “When they’re here, they’re going out into the community and shopping or grabbing lunch or stopping in a CVS.” 

Either way, Larkin says local residents appreciate the glimpses of itself they later see on TV.

“We hosted a Capote viewing party for our members,” Larkin recalls of when the show premiered in January 2024, after filming at the mansion for roughly a week the previous year, “and we were literally in the first episode! We had no idea when our episode would be, but it was so beautiful and it created this excitement and this buzz among the members and within the community.”

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