Classical Excursions

 :: << back

Long Island
Long Island's Gold Coast
April 15 - 17, 2005

Sponsored by The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America

Starting in 1890, Long Island's North Shore was transformed from farmland to polo fields, manicured lawns, and country estates and was nicknamed the Gold Coast Located just over an hour's drive from Manhatten, Long Island's famed Gold Coast once hosted our country's largest concentration of great country estates. These palatial country homes inspired by European castles, Italian villas and French chateaux once numbered close to six hundred. By the early 20th century the North Shore estates were being designed by such renowned architects as Walker & Gillette, Delano & Aldrich, Charles Adam Platt and Richard Morris Hunt. Millionaires such as F.W. Woolworth, Harry P. Whitney, the Guggenheims and J.P. Morgan spared no expense surrounding their great estates with such luxuries as extensive formal gardens, polo courts and elaborate pavilions. The era of great estate building came to an abrupt end in 1930s. Today the few remaining estates represent a bygone era of great architecture not to be forgotten.


The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America has arranged an exclusive two-day weekend tour of Long Island's magnificent North Shore. Included on the tour is a two-night stay at Harrison House located in Glen Cove and just a few minutes walk from a delightful neighborhood of Pratt homes. Built in 1910, Harrison House is a classic Georgian mansion designed by Charles Adam Platt and secluded on 55 tranquil acres. Exclusive dinners and receptions, along with lectures and tours from leading Long Island architectural historians, will grace this unique excursion.

Tour highlights:
A cocktail reception and a dinner in privately owned North Shore homes.

Behind -the- scenes tours of Old Westbury Gardens, once the estate of Mr. and Mrs. John S. Phipps. This grand Georgian mansion was created by the London architect George Crawley and includes many original period furnishings and extravagant gardens.

A private tour of Falaise, the great country estate of Captain Harry Guggenheim. Designed by Frederich Sterner in the Norman style, this mansion is set above Long Island Sound where its turrets and elaborate dormers can be seen from afar.

A visit to Oheeka, Otto Kahn's castle and America's second largest home ever constructed. The castle was designed by the renowned William Adams Delano in 1921.The property also boasts elegant gardens designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead in the spirit of Andre Le Notre with reflecting pools and a broderie parterre.

A tour of Mille Fleurs designed by Polhemus & Coffin in 1932 for Mrs. Daniel Guggenheim. The house offers a pleasant contrast to many of the other Long Island mansions with its intimate scale and decidedly French character.

A visit to Villa Carola, designed by H. van Buren Magonigle in 1916 for Isaac Guggenheim. This Italian inspired villa displays a restrained fašade flanked by a pair of well balanced wings.

An introductory lecture by architect and author Gary Lawrance on Long Island country houses.

home about us our tours mailing list contact us