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Long Island's Gold Coast

  A Brief History

Originally comprising vast areas of the North Shore of Long Island, from Great Neck to Huntington, the Long Island Gold Coast, as it was called, was a favorite retreat of the rich and famous. Starting at about the turn of the century and through the 1930's, the North Shore was a virtual Who's Who of High Society. From the Astors to the Vanderbilts, this was THE place to be for some of the most notable Americans. The mansions constructed during that period numbered in the hundreds.

Today, as one looks at Long Island, it is hard to imagine a time when fox hunts were a regular occurrence, and mansion properties comprised the majority of North Shore real estate. But look closely. Though their numbers are down to but a handful, and even fewer are still privately owned, there are reminders of that long gone era. Pine trees forming a perfect line down the center of the Southern State Parkway, marking the onetime approach to the Belmont mansion. Massive stone gates amid the woods, where once you would enter the Charles Hudson estate. Medieval towers in the twisted woods of Sands Point, where August Belmont had once built an exact replica of an Irish castle, "Beacon Towers" long since demolished. Many remnants remain even after the Long Island Expressway forever changed the landscape of this area, cutting through many of these properties. Others, still exist today, though in another capacity. A college, a museum, a religious institute or State and County parks.

This page will try it's best to cover this topic as completely as possible. From the ruins, to the preserved. Public buildings will be clearly stated, and it is hoped that you will visit them. Not only to get an idea of what once was, but of what still is. These are some of the most magnificent private structures ever created, and in some cases your support of them may help to keep them alive. In the interest of privacy, specific locations of privately held property will not be given, but there is plenty of accessible splendors and ruins for you to discover.