All that glitters is Gatsby at these 8 Gold Coast mansions

The Oheka Castle (Credit: Phillip Ennis)

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Today, much is made about the Hamptons being Hollywood’s hideaway. But during the bygone era, the Gold Coast provided a retreat from city life for some of the nation’s most powerful families. The Vanderbilts owned an estate there, as did mining tycoon Daniel Guggenheim. Even President Theodore Roosevelt took his turn — his home is considered the first “Summer White House.” The rip-roaring parties and extravagant lifestyles inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.

A who’s-who of movers-and-shakers are still drawn to the area. Taylor Swift used Oheka Castle as the backdrop for her video “Blank Space,” and television show “Royal Pains” shot several scenes at Old Westbury Gardens. But the iron gates have opened to the public, too, ushering in an era where anyone can walk on Long Island’s opulent side. Take a trip down the winding North Shore roads to eight Gold Coast Mansions that prove all that glitters is still Gatsby.

Coindre Hall

Coindre Hall. (Credit: Coindre Hall)

This 30,000-square-foot French château simultaneously takes guests back to medieval times and the age of Gatsby. Clarence Luce designed the estate for pharmaceutical mogul George McKesson Brown, and Luce knew how to create an entrance. A stately foyer with an impressive circular stairway welcomes visitors to the 40-room Main House. The grand ballroom, adorned with chandeliers and red curtains, emanates 1920s splendor. The property overlooks 34 acres and includes a boathouse with views of the Long Island Sound. Commonly used for weddings and events, the outdoor grounds are dog-friendly. Go


Hempstead House

Hempstead House. (Credit: Sands Point Conservancy)

Arguably the granddaddy of them all, this is the property that inspired “The Great Gatsby.” Howard Gould, son of railroad magnate Jay Gould, initiated construction on the estate in 1900. He sold it to mining mogul Daniel Guggenheim, who entertained notable figures including Charles Lindbergh and Madeleine Albright. After Guggenheim passed in 1930, Hempstead House’s future fell into unsteady hands. But Sands Point Preserve has the estate glimmering again for events, walks and movies including “Malcolm X” and “Great Expectations.” Go


Coe Hall (Planting Fields Arboretum)

Coe Hall. (Credit: Coe Hall)

This 409-acre estate once belonged to insurance and railroad executive William Robertson Coe and his wife, Mary “Mai” Huttleston Coe towards the end of the Gilded Age. They landscaped a garden full of large rhododendrons, cherry trees and oaks, which people still explore today. As for the interior, it’s throwback elegance — skillfully designed wood and stone carvings, several original furnishings and stained glass windows are among the notable features. Go


Old Westbury Gardens

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fe/Old_Westbury_Gardens_10.JPG

Old Westbury Gardens (Credit: Gryffindor/ Wiki images)

Nestled among 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes, U.S. Steel heir John Shaffer Phipps built this home for his British finance Margarita, who longed for a place like her family estate in England. It remains a beauty. Inside, it’s traditional Charles II-style mansion — rooms are flanked by white drapery and patterned throw rugs keep wooden floors cozy. The gardens and bygone-era charm make it a favorite spot for weddings and photographs.Go


Vanderbilt Museum

Vanderbilt Mansion. (Credit: Vanderbilt Mansion)

William K. Vanderbilt II, called “Willie K.” by his inner circle, claimed this as home base. During his global travels, he gathered one of the world’s most extensive, privately assembled collection of marine specimens from the pre-atomic era. Vanderbilt displayed them in his own museum, the Hall of Fishes. When he died in 1944, he established a trust fund to finance a museum and deeded it to Suffolk County. Today, it is home to extensive collections including the mansion, antique household furnishings and fine art. Go


Oheka Castle

The Oheka Castle (Credit: Phillip Ennis)

Once the palatial country home of financier, philanthropist and patron of the arts Otto Hermann Kahn, this Huntington estate resembles a French château. In its heyday, Kahn used it for lavish parties and designed formal gardens consisting of clipped greens and water terraces. When he died in 1934, Oheka was sold and fell into disrepair. It has since been restored to its former glory and is now a popular place for weddings and Hollywood. “Citizen Kane,” “Royal Pains”and “Madame Secretary”have used Oheka as a backdrop. Go


Mill Neck Manor

Mill Neck Manor. (Credit: Jkingny / Wiki Images)

This 34-room tudor-style mansion offers a taste of the Gilded Age in a waterfront setting. Once called Sefton Manor, the two-story home belonged to Robert Leftwich Dodge and his wife, cosmetics heiress Lillian Sefton Dodge. The lavish home is covered in rusticated Westchester granite blocks trimmed in limestone cover. Lutheran Friends of the Deaf purchased the estate in 1949 and founded Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf. Go


Sagamore Hill

Sagamore Hill.

Twenty-five miles east of Manhattan, Sagamore Hill served as the summer home for President Theodore Roosevelt from 1885 until his death in 1919. Sagamore, which is the Algonquin word for chieftain or head of the tribe, was the birthplace of three of Roosevelt’s five children and once boasted a water closet with a porcelain tub (considered a luxury at the time). Congress ensured Sagamore Hill would be preserved by naming it as a National Historic Site in 1962. Though it closed for four years from 2011-15 for restoration, it is open for business today. Go