News: Great Gatsby Mansion Demolished
(Long Island, N.Y.) The Sands Point mansion, now dubbed the “Great Gatsby Mansion,” was torn down on Monday by a team of bull dozers and excavation loaders. The mansion known as “Lands End” is said to have inspired the Buchanan estate in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic “The Great Gatsby.” In its place, five houses will be built with an estimated value of $10 million each and 11,000 square feet of property.
The mansion was once on the market for $28 million in 2005, on sale from its former asking price of $50 million. Reports claim that it was built in 1902 for John Scott Browning Sr. and was purchased in 1921 by Malcolm Douglas Sloane. Sloane’s wife named the estate “Keewaydin.”
Keewaydin was sold in 1929 to Herbert Bayard Swope, a journalist who is believed to have coined the terms “cold war” and “op-ed.” He was one of the earliest recipients of the Pulitzer Prize and editor of the New York World. Some sources claim that he inspired aspects of Fitzgerald’s titled character who is known for throwing lavish parties. Swope’s affairs contained an elaborate guest list that is said to have included Albert Einstein, Ethel Barrymore, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Marx Bros., Winston Churchill, and the Fitzgeralds.
In 1983 the mansion was sold to Charles Shipman Payson and named “Lands End” after having passed through many owners. It was sold again in 2004 after being on the market for $30 million and was quickly put up for sale with subdivision approvals. The current owner of the property paid $17.5 million for the twenty-five room dwelling.
The property encompasses over fourteen acres and 1,700 feet of waterfront overlooking the Long Island Sound. The mansion has fifteen bedrooms and fourteen bathrooms, eleven of which are full baths. A seven-car garage, pool, rose garden, and guest house are also among the amenities.
The home, which is said to be a masterpiece of Stanford White, costs nearly $4,500 a day to maintain. This, according to the current owner, is the reason he was forced to demolish the historical home. He claimed to have originally bought the mansion for his wife and family to live in, but they later refused to reside in such a big home. The mansion was purchased from the wife of the former owner of the Mets.
After World War II an estimated fourteen hundred mansions were built along the Gold Coast of Long Island’s North Shore, which extended eastward to Huntington Bay. Only four hundred remain, some of which have been turned into museums. Lands End was once said to be the location of a Vanity Fair photo shoot with Madonna and the setting of a movie called “The Greek Tycoon.”
Fitzgerald lived in Great Neck, Long Island with his wife after the success of his first novel. He wrote “The Great Gatsby” in his twenties and it was published in 1925. Fitzgerald, originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, left Long Island prior to the novel’s release. He died in 1940 at age forty-four.
Some controversy remains over the mansion’s connection to the legendary author. Reports have claimed that the mansion couldn’t have been the inspiration for Fitzgerald’s portrayal because it wasn’t the same color as what is described in the novel. Other reports are certain that Fitzgerald had Lands End in mind, and that he was a frequent visitor of the mansion during the height of its glory.