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Long Island's Gold Coast


Ruins and Remnants

Once, some of the grandest estates on Long Island, the following have been lost forever. Gone by way of the bulldozer or catastrophe, most of these lost estates have been totally erased from the landscape, replaced by housing developments. However, some have managed to leave behind a few reminders of their existence. Remnants of a long lost time, most unnoticed, yet still evidence of the grandeur that once was.

Garvan estate Francis P. Garvan estate, built 1891, demolished-Once a sprawling estate of stables and gardens, hardly a trace remains of this gold coast estate . An original garden wall from the Garvan estate, with its distinctive brick pattern, still exists. Today, that wall surrounds a recently constructed house. What once was the sweeping lawns of a vintage gold coast mansion, is now a typical upscale Long Island housing development.

Knollwood Charles Hudson estate, demolished 1959-Also referred to as the King Zog estate, this site is now a part of the Muttontown Preserve. Once, a huge stone mansion, with classical columns and balustrades, a visit to this site today is not unlike seeing the remnants of a Roman ruin. It is an eerie, haunting site. Huge trees, some toppled, stand out amid the overgrowth in a perfect line, bordering the approach to the garden stairs. These trees, at least 75 feet tall today, appear in old photos as probably only 15-20 feet tall. Shattered balustrades,stone terrace walls, and massive stone stairs, sit silent and forgotten amid the heavily wooded preserve.

Knollwood as it used to be.

Knollwood today. Notice the alcove to the left. It appears in the previous photo above, right side, by the stairs.

Closeup of remains of fountain. It just appears on extreme right side of the previous photo above.

Meudon William Guthrie estate, demolished-A grand replica of Meudon palace in France, this palatial stone mansion once sat high atop terraced hills overlooking Long Island Sound. The wrought iron fencing which surrounded this once magnificent example of gold coast extravagance, now encloses numerous private homes. A few clues to what was once here still exist. Huge trees line the approach to a grand stone staircase, and further on, a balustrade rail. At the top of these stairs, where once stood a palace, is a modern contemporary home. The most striking remnant is almost overlooked. High atop a hill, stands what appears to be a partial facade of the mansion, a lintel supported by Tuscan columns. What once would have been a terraced, landscaped slope leading to this facade, is now just a heavily wooded hill.

Remains of Meudon.

Beacon Towers Mrs. O.H.P. Belmont estate, demolished-A replica of an Irish castle constructed on the north shore coastline, this mansion leaves behind what now appears to be medieval ruins. When it existed, this structure must have been a surreal sight. A full scale Irish castle, complete with towers and rampart, rising out of the sand. Today, strewn about the woods, are old iron fences, stone turrets, and miscellaneous structural components. What appears to have been the gate house, still exists as a private residence.

Beacon Towers as it used to be.

Beacon Towers gate house as it appears today.

Harbor Hill Clarence MacKay estate, demolished-This estate was once located on a high point in Roslyn. A massive Beaux Arts structure, the mansion and distinct stables have been demolished. Today the property consists of the Roslyn High School, Roslyn A.N.G. Station and a housing development. All that remains are a few relics of this grand estate. The stone main drive entry still exists, behind which now stands the town pool. The water tower, designed by Mckim, Mead and White, stands in the middle of a housing development. An original statue of a horse and rider is now at the front of the Roslyn High School. The formal gardens, one of the finest on the gold coast, have disappeared without a trace.

Aerial view of Harbor Hill.

Ferguson Castle Juliana Ferguson estate, demolished 1970-In Huntington Bay, located on East Shore Dr., still exists the old gate house of Ferguson Castle. The Castle was obtained by Suffolk County and demolished in 1970 after the county found it could not fund and maintain the mansion. All that remains is the gate house with a new residence on the property above it.

Aerial view of Ferguson Castle.

Burrwood Walter Jennings estate, demolished 1995-High on a hill at the end of Jennings Rd. in Cold Spring Harbor, are the remains of the Walter Jennings estate "Burrwood", named after Aaron Burr. The estate was privately owned for a time, then became a school for the blind, reverted back to private ownership, and finally sold to a developer and demolished in 1995. The gate house and a few smaller structures remain along with acres of undeveloped property. However, the main grounds, where once stood a magnificent mansion, now hosts new upscale housing.

Burrwood from a vintage postcard.

Rosemary Farm Roland Conklin estate, burned down-Although the main house burned down a few years back, there are still some interesting remnants left of Rosemary Farm. The clock tower, part of the old carriage house, still exists. And the most unusual remnant, the amphitheater, has been fully restored. Built in 1918, the theater was used for outdoor plays and operas. The main stage is surrounded by a moat, and accessible by a stone bridge.

Early photo of Rosemary Farm amphitheater. The mansion is seen on top of hill

Amphitheater today.

Remains of mansion.

Laurelton Hall Lewis Comfort Tiffany estate, burned in 1957-Built by Lewis Tiffany of Tiffany Glass fame. Although badly damaged and vandalized, large portions of the mansion remain. However, even by looking at what remains, it is hard to imagine the splendid structure that once stood on the site. The mansion, which was designed by Tiffany himself, was a sprawling structure. What remains today is the abandoned and boarded up northern end.

Early photo of Laurelton Hall.

Same view, as seen today.

Pembroke Joseph DeLamar estate, demolished in 1968-Built in 1916, this was a sprawling estate set on the shores of Glen Cove. After the death of DeLamar, the estate eventually passed ownership to Marcus Loew, the renowned film producer and theater owner.

Remains of Pembroke entry gate.

Matinecock Point J. P. Morgan estate, demolished in 1980-Built in 1913, this was the estate of the son of financier J. P. Morgan. Located on East Island in Glen Cove, the approach to the estate was protected by a guarded bridge. In fact, Morgan survived an attack in 1915 by an assassin who entered the estate and shot him two times.

Remains of Morgan Bridge and guard station.