Another Historic Gold Coast Estate Falls by the Wayside

Lands End - Melville, NY

The Estate that is rumored to be the inspiration for the classic novel “The Great Gatsby” is slated for demolition later this month.  While many attempts were made to sell the estate there was little to no interest given the amount of additional funds that would have been required to restore the property.

By Emily C. Dooley  Newsday

MELVILLE, N.Y. — The once-grand white house watches over Long Island Sound from the tip of Sands Point, its days numbered.

Lands End, the 25-room Colonial Revival mansion that local lore says was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s inspiration for Daisy Buchanan’s home in “The Great Gatsby” faces demolition this month.

In the 1920s and ’30s, Winston Churchill, the Marx Brothers and Ethel Barrymore attended parties there. Fitzgerald was perched on the back deck, drinking in the view. Rooms featured marble, parquet and wide wood-planked floors, Palladian windows and hand-painted wallpaper.

Now, the front door is off its hinges, wood floors have been torn up for salvage, windows are missing and the two-story Doric columns are unsteady.

Sands Point Village in January approved plans to raze the house and divide the site into lots for five custom homes starting at $10 million each.

Lands End is the latest Gold Coast estate to fall. With each demolition, the North Shore loses more of its gilded past, when sea breezes and social events attracted the rich and famous. Historians say hundreds of the mansions have been lost in the past 50 years as owners faced increasing taxes and high maintenance costs.

“The cost to renovate these things is just so overwhelming that people aren’t interested in it,” said Clifford Fetner, president of Jaco Builders in Hauppauge, N.Y., and Lands End project construction manager. “The value of the property is the land.”

Please continue to “Gatsby” Place Joins Doomed Mansions list by Emily C. Dooley to read her article in it’s entirety.

Am Amazing Restoration in Biloxi, MS – History Uncovered After Katrina

I thought this was an incredible story about a piece of history that was discovered AFTER Katrina.   The Beauvoir house in Biloxi, Mississippi!   Here is the article from CNN ……

photo courtesy of

“You can’t miss Beauvoir as you drive along scenic U.S. Highway 90 through Biloxi, Mississippi. Its grand staircase, with the railings scrolling outward, welcomes you like open arms.

The front porch wraps around the entire front of the home, supported by regal white pillars, common during the antebellum period.

It’s the kind of front porch where you can envision someone sitting in a rocking chair with a glass of iced tea, as the breeze from the beach offers the only respite from a humid August afternoon.

When Hurricane Katrina devastated Mississippi’s coastal areas, the storm tore up the home. But it also peeled back a little slice of history about Beauvoir that might never have been known otherwise.

Beauvoir was the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.”

You can read the rest of the article here……. The before and after shots are simply amazing!

Lynnewood Hall – From Regal to Ruins

Lynnewood Hall

Then and Now

The following excerpt is from a FOX news article.  To read the story in its entirity please follow the link at the end.  There is also a Facebook Fan Page – Save Lynnewood Hall for those of you interested in following the story.

“Lynnewood Hall, a century-old stunner of a building just outside Philadelphia, silently, almost invisibly, languishes 200 feet beyond a two-lane blacktop road like a crumbling little Versailles.

The graceful fountain that welcomed hundreds of well-heeled visitors, President Franklin Roosevelt among them, was dismantled and sold years ago. Its once meticulously sculpted French gardens are overgrown with weeds and vines. The classical Indiana limestone facade may have lost its luster but its poise still remains — at least from the other side of rusted wrought iron gates that keep the curious at bay.

Like other Gilded Age palaces of the nation’s pre-Depression industrial titans, Lynnewood Hall is a relic of a bygone era facing an uncertain future. Will it befall the same fate as neighboring Whitemarsh Hall, the demolished mansion of banking magnate Edward Stotesbury? Or will it be returned to former glory, like industrialist Alfred I. duPont’s former Nemours Mansion in Delaware?

“It’s a tragedy that people drive past Lynnewood Hall and don’t know what it is, or don’t even notice it’s there,” said Stephen J. Barron, who runs a website and Facebook group aiming to drum up interest in the mansion’s plight. “It breaks my heart and it bothers me. The house is a work of art.”

Long before its current humble predicament, Lynnewood Hall was home to the uber-wealthy Widener family and called “the last of the American Versailles.”

Please following this link to FOX news for the complete article.

National Trust for Historic Preservation announces 2010 America’s Most Endangered Places

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced their 2010 America’s 11 Most Endangered Places list.  Among the 11 you will find:

  • President Lincoln’s cottage in Washington D.C.
  • Angel Island Immigration Center in San Francisco
  • Merritt Parkway in Fairfield County Connecticut
  • Metropolitan AME Church in Washington D.C.
  • Threefoot Building in Meridian Mississippi

Check out the list and be sure to share with friends!  Together we can all make a difference in saving historic places!!!!

Saving Endangered Places with Social Media.

Historic Home for Sale in Louisburg NC – ONLY $128,000.00

101 S. Elm Street

I simply can not believe that someone hasn’t scooped up this gorgeous historic home in Louisburg NC! I stopped by the other day and snapped some shots to share in hopes that one of my readers will take an interest in this beauty and spread the word.  This home is an incredible example of early 1900 architecture and has stood the test of time.

This historic home has commanding views of historic downtown Louisburg NC and is a well-known landmark for anyone that is familiar with the area.  This home has been reduced to a really unbelievable price of only $128,000.00 and will certainly live up to its new owners expectations.  A few upgrades have already been completed but more needs to be done.

A few features of 101 S. Elm Street are:

  • circa 1901
  • 6000 square feet
  • 17 rooms
  • 6 bedrooms
  • 4 full baths
  • grand staircase
  • wrap around porch
  • fireplaces throughout the home

101 S. Elm Street - Rear Elevation

Here is a view of the rear of the home.

101 S. Elm Street - Side Elevation

Side View of 101 S. Elm Street

If you would like more pictures of 101 S. Elm Street in Louisburg NC or would like to make an appointment to see this beautiful historic home please feel free to call me at 919.649.6128 or simply send me an email.  You can also visit my website, Wake Forest NC House Chick for more information about me and how I can help you if you are thinking of buying or selling a home!

Glencoe Mill Village, Burlington NC – Return to a Mill

Amazing piece on the restoration of Glencoe Mill Village in Burlington, NC!  Here is an account from someone that was there when it was ruins and has seen the incredible rebirth!

“Such potential—not to mention the tangible successes at Glencoe—gives hope to the architects of the heritage corridor that other towns will pay similar attention to their own at-risk mill buildings. But it’s not always easy to get people to see the value of what’s right in front of their noses.”

You can read the entire article at National Trust for Historic Preservation – Return To A Mill

Always Two Sides – John Baldwin vs Bath NC

Incredibly interesting article regarding a developer from the Raleigh NC area that has moved to a quaint, historic hamlet on the North Carolina coast. I am familiar with John Baldwin and his portfolio of estates in the Raleigh NC area – some of you are as well! Victoria Park in Rosemont in Wakefield Plantation? Surely that rings a bell for some of you….

While I am most definitely “for” economic stability in small towns and “keeping in local” I can’t condone changing the landscape of a location that has preserved a way of life and atmosphere for so many years. Businesses are vital for an area to retain the local workforce and keep money flowing into the local economy but at what cost?

Obviously, I have not attended any of these meetings and I am just on the outside looking in basing an initial opinion on an article. However, I do know some of the story from the Wakefield Plantation side of the equation…… just saying.

Please, take a moment and read the article – what are your thoughts? I know developers that specialize in preserving historic elements and I don’t think they would approve.

Bath fights developer for its soul – Local – The Sun News