'The Long Island Estates that Inspired The Great Gatsby' Webinar

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Can't make it live? Register and get access to the full replay for one week! New York Adventure Club | www.AdventureClub.com

About this Event

While Edith Wharton's 1920 novel The Age of Innocence pulled back the curtains on New York City's high society at the time, it was F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel The Great Gatsby that shed a light on their extravagant summer estates — and glittering parties — on Long Island's North Shore. This is the story of some of the most prominent mansions, and families, that likely inspired one of the greatest American novels, and why so few of these architectural wonders are still left standing one hundred years later.

Join New York Adventure Club for a digital exploration of the magnificent estates and mansions of Long Island’s "Gold Coast" that are believed to have inspired The Great Gatsby, the classic 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that centered around one of the world's premier collections of glamour, luxury, and architectural achievement.

Led by historian Gary Lawrance, our virtual showcase of the incredible private properties that once lined Long Island's North Shore will include:

  • A historical overview of the North Shore of Long Island and why it became the social epicenter of New York’s prominent families and known world wide for its wealth, glamour, and dazzling social life
  • Aerial photos circa 1926 showing the endless estates that once were surrounded by ancient forests or overlooked the Long Island Sound — it's believed over 2,000 of these palatial estates once stood
  • A deep dive into some of the most prominent Long Island estates and families including Harbor Hill (a sprawling 100-room French Chateau built for Silver Heir Clarence Mackay), Beacon Towers (an over-the-top fantasy castle built by multi-millionaire and major suffragette Alva Belmont, and later owned by newspaper publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst), and Pembroke (host to decadent parties where high society mixed with Broadway and Hollywood Stars, which is believed to be the inspiration for Jay Gatsby’s parties)
  • Archival photographs showcasing the interiors of these "Gold Coast" mansions, which were all decorated with fine antiques and rare artworks

Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Gary — any and all questions about Long Island mansions and estates are welcomed and encouraged!

Can't make it live? Don't worry, you'll have access to the full replay for one week!

See you there, virtually!

*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar

**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you're using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.

***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week

About Gary

Architect, Author, and Historian Gary Lawrance is an architect from Stony Brook, New York. His firm, Lawrance Architectural Presentations, provides design presentations, architectural models, digital renderings, and design development services to architects, landscape architects and interior designers.

Mr. Lawrance has an extensive background in the history of Gilded Age architecture, landscapes, and society, and co-authored the bestselling book, “Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930” with Anne Surchin (Acanthus Press 2007, Revised 3rd Printing 2013).

Mr. Lawrance’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Newsday, New York Social Diary, Southampton Press, and more. Mr. Lawrance has written for Architectural Digest, Dan’s Papers, Quest magazine, and his two blogs, Mansions of the Gilded Age and Houses of the Hamptons in addition to founding and contributing to the two very successful Facebook groups, Mansions of the Gilded Age & The Gilded Age Society with over 160,000 members combined. Mr. Lawrance also manages two equally popular Instagram accounts, Mansions of the Gilded Age & The Gilded Age Society.


"An enthusiastic expert provide a glimpse of the magic of the era through rare archival photos and stories. I hope he does individual houses as all the stories just begged the questions why, how, what next." -Shari

"I really liked the presenter and his knowledge of architecture, which helped to connect many of the mansions of the Gold Coast to Gatsby." -Lisa

"I loved that the presenter was so passionate about the subject. He knew every mansion on Long Island! Fantastic!" -Jeannene

"Mr Lawrence is very knowledgeable and provided the information and photo history of the mansions in an easy to follow manner." -Sharlene

"I liked the stories of the past owners and families and the social situation and how he related it to the famous novel The Great Gatsby" -Sharon

"The presenter was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the topic. He had plenty of slides that kept the presentation moving." -Alesia

"Gary is so Knowledgeable it was amazing to hear him answer and tell the story's. I could listen to him for hours." -Janet

"Mr Lawrence is so knowledgeable and very pleasant to listen to. Loved all the photos and floor plans. They were very helpful in helping to understand the homes." -Shelly

"I LOVED seeing the pictures of interiors and exteriors and knowing what happened to the houses (even though a lot of the news is sad). I would watch shows about each of the individual houses and their owners." -Kasey

"Being a huge fan of The Great Gatsby and F. Scott Fitzgerald, this webinar let me see how the story came to be although very sad these beautiful homes are no longer with us." -Andrea

"A very informative and a well-organized presentation! The images were interesting and presenter obviously knew his stuff!" -Lora

"Jam-packed talk (over 1.5 hrs) with excellent and interesting historic info and current updates and photos." -Fu Li

"I enjoyed seeing all of the homes, hearing the stories, and imagining the life back then. So sad to hear of so many of their fates." -Jeanne

"I liked the photos and personal stories of the families that built these estates. Fascinating!" -Linda

"The speaker was quite eloquent! I truly enjoyed his enthusiasm. I have family who live on LI so I am curious to take a ride by a few of the properties illustrated. Thank you!" -Nancy

"Living in London, loved being able to experience a US historical and literary event in the company of New Yorkers. Will join you in person when covid is all over. TY so much for your delightful company." -Denise

"I liked the presenter's depth of knowledge." -Nina

"The moderator was excellent. The photos, information well documented. and his personal experience." -Yvonne

"I liked the stories of personalities connected with the estates and whether or not the buildings still survive." -PJ

"Lots of new information from a knowledgeable and enthusiastic source." -Barbara

"The content was super interesting and it's clear the presenter was passionate about and well-informed of the topic. I've been looking for new activities to do while staying home, and this was absolutely perfect. I can't wait to attend some more webinars and eventually join an in-person event once allowed." -Lauren

"Fascinating topic. I live in Midwest, but love visiting NYC & love F Scott Fitzgerald. The photos were fascinating & speaker clearly loves & knows his topic." -Irene

"The lecture included what happened to the houses after their heyday, which was new information to me. I also enjoyed the blueprints. The lecturer was very knowledgeable and it was clear by the way he spoke that he knew and loved what he talked about." -Aleta

"The presenter was fantastic and I loved the detail about the homes and it’s owners and the pictures were great too." -Maria

"Very informative. Loved the use of the photographs." -Alyson

"Loved seeing photos of the estates and hearing the history of the families that lived there." -David

"The host was so knowledgeable and had visited the locations he was talking about and provided inside stories." -Becky

"Fascinating. And through this event I learned about, and joined, New York Adventure Club." -Trisha

"Excellent Photographs, Excellent Commentary by presenter." -Rob

"I liked the presenter's knowledge of the topic. His narrative was great." -Teresa

"The photos, including the aerial photos, were very good." -Andrew

"New topic. Great narrative. Well-informed lecturer. Learned lots." -Irene

"Great information with lots of photos to illustrate; and interesting stories well-told." -Katherine


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Categories: Virtual, Gilded Age

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