"I dream't I dwelt in marble halls"
Devoted to the histories and current state of the great mansions of America's Gilded Age.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hydrangeas: A Hamptons Classic


A Hamptons summer cottage during the Gilded Age with it's entrance dotted with hydrangeas.
There are certain things that when encountered will always remind you of a Hamptons Summer. The sound and smell of the ocean, blue and white interiors, vast green lawns surrounded by privet hedges and those wonderful billowing plants that are so much a part of summer landscapes—the classic hydrangea.

To read the rest of the story visit Dan's Papers.

To read more about the great classic homes of the Hamptons read Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin. 2007/2013.

Old Trees at Southampton: A Hamptons Social Powerhouse


Old Trees at Southampton: Gary Lawrance Collection

Old Trees at Southampton: A Hamptons Social Powerhouse, by Gary Lawrance


The Hamptons in the “Gilded Age” (1880-1930) was a place where everybody knew each other, especially members of New York Society. This select group of people often called The 400, would venture out from New York City to escape the sweltering heat and unhealthy air. And just as Mrs. Astor, who was considered the “Queen” of New York Society had her following of friends who summered in Newport, The Hamptons had Louisa Robb Livingston.

To read the rest of the story visit Dan's Papers.

Old Trees is also a featured chapter in the book, Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin. 2007/2013.

Buy Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance and Anne Surchin at Amazon



Friday, June 5, 2015

Gatsby’s Mansions: The Long Island mansions that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s,"The Great Gatsby”

On June 9, 2015 at 2pm, Architect & Author Gary Lawrance will be giving an illustrated presentation about some of the great mansions that once lined the North Shore of Long Island, that were said to have been the locations used by F. Scott Fitzgerald, while writing his great American novel, "The Great Gatsby".

The North Shore of New York's Long Island, due to the numerous concentration of estates and mansions built during the Gilded Age became known as the "Gold Coast". It was here that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote and partied with the very rich, famous and celebrated people of the 1920's Jazz Age. The Gold Coast started at Great Neck, where Fitzgerald lived and ran along the Long Island Sound to Centerport. When Fitzgerald wrote, "The Great Gatsby", he didn't use just one house or location but combined many. Sometimes he moved them all around so that those that were almost next to each other ended up being moved across the water.

Some of the mansions that will be discussed are the following,

Pembroke, The De Lamar mansion at Glen Cove, New York.
Pembroke, the Captain De Lamar Mansion at Glen Cove. Where many parties during the roaring twenties attended by some of the silent screen's greatest stars took place when the house was later owned by Marcus Loew, the movie theater magnate.
Beacon Towers, The Belmont mansion at Sands Point, New York.
Beacon Towers, Sands Point, The castellated mansion of Alva Vanderbilt Belmont which bears a very close resemblance to Gatsby's Mansion as described by Fitzgerald.

Lands End in the background, The Swope mansion at Sands Point, NY.
Land's End, Sands Point, The colonial revival mansion of publishing giant Bayard Swope,
which architecturally could have been the home of Daisy & Tom Buchanan.

A brief aerial tour of Long Island's Gold Coast circa 1926 will  look at some of the other mansions of the era. Not to be left out are Clarence Mackay"s, Roslyn mansion "Harbor Hill", where the Prince of Wales was entertained at a party befitting the Great Gatsby and "Oheka", the former estate of banker, Otto H. Kahn, which was the largest private residence on Long Island. Oheka which to many loyal fans of the TV Series, "Royal Pains" is used as the home of a millionaire, Boris Kuester Von Jurgens-Ratenic. Mr. Lawrance will also show how this majestic mansion deteriorated into a hideous fire ravaged ruin, but through creative preservation ideas, has been returned to it's former splendor as a luxury hotel and catering venue.


Harbor Hill, The mansion of Clarence Mackay at Roslyn, New York.
Oheka Castle, The Otto H. Kahn mansion at Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
The talk will be held at Mill Neck Manor also known as Sefton Manor, the site of this springs latest Long Island show house. Make a day out of it and attend the show house and plan on attending my talk. Click HERE for information about the show house. Mill Neck Manor is located in Nassau County on the North Shore of Long Island, near Oyster Bay.

Gary Lawrance is an Architect and Author from Stony Brook, New York. He is co-author of the book, "Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930" with Anne Surchin. The book can be bought on Amazon.



Monday, May 25, 2015

The 6th Annual Southampton Historical Museum House Tour

The Southampton Historical Museum is holding it's 6th Annual House Tour on May 30, 2015. From cottages to mansions this is a not to be missed event! The event starts at 1pm and continues till 4pm. It is then followed by a champagne reception at the Museum. Click HERE for more information. Below are a few views of the homes that will be on the tour.








Thursday, May 21, 2015

Houses of the Hamptons: The Gilded Age



Houses of the Hamptons at Mill Neck Manor
This coming Saturday, May 23, 2015, Gary Lawrance, co-author of the bestselling book, “Houses of the Hamptons, 1880-1930” with Anne Surchin will be giving an illustrated presentation about some of the great mansions of the Hamptons from the Gilded Age. They will include, Wooldon Manor, the home of Jesse Woolworth Donahue, Black Point, the H. H. Rogers mansion, Bayberry Land, The Duponts Chestertown House, Villa Mille Fiore, Red Maples and The Orchard, one of architect Stanford White’s last great commissions. The talk will also give a brief history of the founding of the Summer colony.
I will be giving this talk at Mill Neck Manor also known as Sefton Manor, the site of this springs latest Long Island show house. Make a day out of it and attend the show house and plan on attending my talk. Click HERE for information about the show house. Mill Neck Manor is located in Nassau County on the North Shore of Long Island, near Oyster Bay. 

For those who cannot attend but would like to know more about the Houses of the Hamptons, during the Gilded Age, please click HERE for New York Social Diary's review of "Houses of the Hamptons, 1880 -1930". The book, “Houses of the Hamptons, 1880-1930”  by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin is also available to buy on Amazon. There are also copies on eBay of the now rare out of print 2007 first edition which can be autographed and inscribed by co-author, Gary Lawrance.

You can also preview both editions of the book on the on following links.



I also recommend visiting the publisher of the book, Acanthus Press for many other fine titles, many of them covering other great mansions of the Gilded Age. The publisher is also offering readers of this blog a special 25% off discount if you buy, Houses of the Hamptons, 1880-1930 at his online STORE along with the same discount for some of his other select titles. Please enter the code, "Hamptons2015" when checking out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mrs. Astor's Fifth Avenue: Secret Splendors of the Gilded Age

Mrs. Astor's Fifth Avenue lecture by Gary Lawrance
On May 17, 2015, Gary Lawrance will be giving a talk about the Fifth Avenue Mansions of the Gilded Age. The home of Mrs. Astor will be highlighted and the other great mostly now gone mansions of members of the 400 will be discussed. I will be giving this talk at Mill Neck Manor also known as Sefton Manor, the site of this springs latest Long Island show house.  Make a day out of it and attend the show house and plan on attending my talk.  I will also be giving two more talks, which I will mention when they are happening or can be seen on the events page of the show house HERE.

If you can not make my lecture, please make sure you visit the show house. Mill Neck Manor is one of the most spectacular mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast and not to be missed! Click HERE for hours and directions.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Long Island Mansions of the Gilded Age: The residence of John Sergeant Cram at Old Westbury, New York.


Not too much is known about this Tudor style mansion at Old Westbury. It is believed to have been built circa 1900 for John Sergeant Cram. Cram was a former Public Services Commissioner and President of the Dock Board of New York City. Mr. Cram died in 1936 and the mansion survived until the early 1980s, when it was destroyed by fire. To see more of this house and how it looked after the fire click HERE.

The John Sergeant Cram estate at Old Westbury, New York.

Related Book
You can read this book online HERE and also buy a reprint copy at Amazon

Gary Lawrance is author of the book, Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 with Anne Surchin.
It can be bought HERE at Amazon books.






Friday, March 27, 2015

Long Island Mansions of the Gilded Age: The James Clews mansion, La Lanterne at Brookville, New York.


The James Clews Residence at Brookville. Designed by architect Horace Trumbauer in 1929, the mansion was called, La Lanterne. The house is partially existing as two separate residences now, when the center section was demolished about 40 years ago. See the site HERE.

The James Clews mansion at Brookville, New York. Photo: Mansions of the Gilded Age

More about La Lanterne 
The Downeast Dilettante
 
Related Book
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0926494414
Read more HERE

Gary Lawrance is author of the book, Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 with Anne Surchin.
It can be bought HERE at Amazon books.
 








Thursday, March 26, 2015

15,000 Members on Mansions of the Gilded Age

Mansions of the Gilded Age on Facebook
Mansions of the Gilded Age has a group on Facebook that has just reached 15,000 members. The group was founded in 2011 and grew to 1,000 members in a year, by mid 2013 the group reached 2,400. By August 2014 the group reached 10,000. 7 months later the group grew again by another 5,000!  I want to thank the many members for joining and all their contributions and congratulate them for making the group what it is and let's keep it going! Nothing was too BIG for the Gilded Age, so there are no limits!  I founded the group to share my lifelong interest in the Gilded Age and the homes of the period. When the group had 1,000 members I was amazed at how much interest there was out there. I do research all the time on mansions and always love to share what I find. Old books, mansions to visit, movies, and most importantly to me, while sad, is to show the many, many mansions that are now gone. I only hope that through the groups huge reach, we can make more people aware of the great loss to our architectural history and maybe just be able to save something for the future generations! I also want to thank the many members who openly share their favorite mansions and collections. Every day I see new mansions and old photos of houses I know so well from different angles and eras. So THANK YOU again everybody and keep on posting, sharing and telling friends about Mansions of the Gilded Age!  If you are not a member, please ask to join and enjoy the group! Mansions of the Gilded Age on Facebook

Gary Lawrance

Thursday, March 19, 2015

East Hampton Mansion Burns, 57 West End Road totally destroyed by huge fire Once owned by Hard Rock Cafe Co-Founder Peter Morton

Vintage 1920s photo of Heather Dune at at 57 West End Road, East Hampton. Destroyed by fire on March 18,2015            Photo: Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin
Yesterday afternoon one of the historic seaside mansions from the Hampton's Gilded Age was totally destroyed by a massive fire. The fire raged with gusting winds so badly that within a few hours, the once commanding oceanfront house was leveled. View video of the fire HERE.

The history of the once elegant mansion started in1926. The house was built for Ellery Sedgwick James by noted architect, Roger Bullard.  Roger Bullard was known for many of  his elegantly simple homes that appealed to a patrician clientele. One of his most famous nearby buildings is the venerable Maidstone Club, East Hampton's most exclusive golf and beach club. Ellery James was such a client, his mother Laura Brevoort was from one of the oldest New York families, with a lineage that goes back to the Puritans.  

The House when completed was named Heather Dune and was located at 57 West End Road at East Hampton, New York. A narrow strip of land that is surrounded by the ocean and Georgica Pond. The house took advantage of both views and this bit of windswept land with its wild grasses and heathers  inspired the name of the residence.


Vintage 1920s photo of Heather Dune at at 57 West End Road, East Hampton. Destroyed by fire on March 18,2015            Photo: Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin


According to Authors Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin in their bestselling book, Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930, " Bullard presented a building conceived not as a hodgepodge from different era, but as " Pleasing, appropriate, in good taste and dignified-- rather than 'Georgian' or ' French or whatnot,' " reflecting his belief that the "best results in the design of  a country house are obtained when an effort is directed toward rationalizing style, or avoiding over stylized building." Elements associated with one style could be used with elements of another, so long as the variants didn't clash."
The floor plan of the house was an interesting layout with main rooms facing the two water-views and was planned for living and not formal display or impression. This can be seen in the plan presented here and interiors.

Vintage 1920s Floor Plan of Heather Dune at at 57 West End Road, East Hampton. Destroyed by fire on March 18,2015            Photo: Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin
Vintage 1920s photo of Heather Dune at at 57 West End Road, East Hampton. Destroyed by fire on March 18,2015            Photo: Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin

Vintage 1920s photo of Heather Dune at at 57 West End Road, East Hampton. Destroyed by fire on March 18,2015            Photo: Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin


Mr. James unfortunately did not enjoy his new home for long. He died in 1932 at the young age of 37 after a long illness. Heather Dune stayed in the family for years, then was sold and occupied by various owners. The home at one time was owned by Peter Morton, co-founder of the "Hard Rock Cafe".

Heather Dune is now one the lost houses of the Hamptons Gilded Age, and one could only hope it will be rebuilt as it was, but most likely a new home will rise to take it's Landmark status.

Heather Dune is a featured chapter, with floor plans and vintage interiors in the book, "Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930" by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin, Acanthus Press 2007. For those who wish to purchase the book, make sure to buy the 2007 edition. The 2007 is now very rare" Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930" was revised for a third printing in 2013 and the James house was replaced by the infamous house, "Grey Gardens", located just up the road from Heather Dune. For a review of the book, Click HERE to read about it on David Patrick Columbia's, New York Social Diary.

If you like Gilded Age Mansions, please ask to join Gary Lawrance's Facebook group, Mansions of the Gilded Age, now with almost 15,000 members.

Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin Now rare first editon.

Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 by Gary Lawrance & Anne Surchin, Revised editon 2013


Mansions of the Gilded Age is also on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Please also visit my other blog, Houses of the Hamptons.

Houses of the Hamptons


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