Long Island Estates – from the Vanderbilts to the Guggenheims  
Visiting two meticulously preserved historic summer mansions of Long Island provides a perfect way to experience the Gold Coast lifestyle of luxury and opulence in the era of “The Great Gatsby.” Join tour leader Justin Ferate as we visit Eagle’s Nest, the former home of William K. Vanderbilt II and Falaise, the former home of Harry F. Guggenheim.

In the summer of 1910, William K. Vanderbilt II bought 20 acres on a wooded hill above Northport Bay. There, he commissioned the renowned New York City architecture firm of Warren & Wetmore to build him a summer house. The partners had designed and built Grand Central Terminal in New York City (1903-1913) for his great-grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt’ s (1794-1877) New York Central Railroad.

Between 1910 and 1936 the architects expanded the house into a stunning Spanish-Revival style mansion Vanderbilt called Eagle’s Nest. Over the years, Vanderbilt purchased more land and expanded the estate to 43 acres. Perhaps acting as namesakes, two cast-iron eagles from Manhattan’s former Grand Central Depot guard the entrance to the estate.

A notable feature of the 24-room mansion – in addition to its distinctive Spanish architecture – is the elegant decorative ironwork created by Samuel Yellin, considered the greatest iron artisan of his time. His virtuoso craftsmanship can be seen in the window grilles, door handles, light fixtures, railings, planters, gates, and weather vanes for the house. Yellin’s work can be found in 45 states, and adorns the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City, Yale University, private homes, significant buildings, and other Gold Coast mansions.

Eagle’s Nest mansion offers an intimate look at the life of a privileged family from the Jazz Age through the Second World War. The rooms are as William and Rosamund Vanderbilt left them, filled with priceless art, furnishings and personal possessions. When visitors walk through the Vanderbilt mansion, they enter a “living museum” – an enchanting time capsule of a vanished era.

Following the tour of Eagle’s Nest, we will lunch at Louie’s Oyster Bar & Grille. Situated on beautiful Manhasset Bay, the restaurant’s magnificent location serves up a panoramic view of the New York City skyline and Long Island Sound. Louie’s has been voted Long Island's #1 Seafood Restaurant for five years in a row! We’ve arranged for a Buffet Bunch with an array of dining options – including vegetarian items.

After luncheon, we will travel to visit Falaise – one of the few intact historic summer mansions from the Jazz Age remaining on Long Island’s North Shore. In the 1920s, this region was known as “The Gold Coast” and was noted for its opulence, when prominent families built great mansions and large estates as summer retreats on Long Island. Falaise was built for Harry F. Guggenheim and his wife Caroline Morton in 1923. The architecture is based on a 13th century Norman French manor house.

Distinctive features of the house include an enclosed cobblestone courtyard, thickly mortared brick walls, steeply pitched red ceramic tile roofs, and a circular stone tower. The medieval atmosphere is maintained inside the house with handsome arches, thick wooden beams, textured plastered walls, and carved stone mantels. Falaise is furnished with antiques, many from the 16th and 17th centuries. There are wood carvings, sculptures, Renaissance paintings and several important pieces of modern art.

Harry Guggenheim had a strong commitment to public service. He was Ambassador to Cuba during the Hoover administration. A Navy pilot, he served in both world wars. He had a lifelong interest in aviation. Charles Lindbergh was a close friend and frequent visitor to Falaise. Harry was also instrumental in securing funding for the research of rocket pioneer Robert Goddard. 
In 1939, Harry Guggenheim and Alicia Patterson were married. Shortly afterward, they founded Newsday, Long Island’s daily newspaper.

Harry Guggenheim was an avid horseracing fan. He raised and raced thoroughbred horses, and he helped establish the New York Racing Association. His trophies, awards, and racing memorabilia are on display at Falaise. The mansion is a treasure trove of history!

THE BUFFET LUNCHEON AT LOUIE’S OYSTER BAR & GRILLE WILL INCLUDE:
Tricolore Salad | Spinach & Cheddar Quiche | Prosciutto & Artichoke Stuffed Chicken | Penne with Shrimp and Lobster Cream Sauce |
Pan-Seared Salmon with White Beans & Fennel | Hash Browns | Yogurt & Granola | Family Style Dessert Platters
Coffee, Tea & Unlimited Soft Drinks
REGISTRATION:
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Date: Sunday November 16, 2014
Time: 8:45 AM  to approximately 6:30 PM
Cost: $ 140.00 (There are no discounted rates for Bus Tours and no on-site registration.)
Meet: Waldorf=Astoria, located on East 49th Street, between Lexington and Park Avenues. Look for the Yellow, White & Black Passaic Valley Coach.
Train: 6 Train to 51st Street (at Lexington Avenue)
Tours operate rain or shine. Please dress appropriately. For more information or to confirm meeting locations please call (212) 223-2777. Please note that tours sometimes run late. While tours are rarely cancelled you can call the number above to confirm, or join our mailing list to keep informed of cancellations due to extreme weather conditions.
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City | www.justinsnewyork.com
 
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City    |    (212) 223-2777    |    
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