'Great Gatsby house' demolished on Long Island
Wednesday 20 April 2011
A spectacular columned mansion on Long Island that is believed to have inspired the setting for F.Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby" has been demolished to make way for a development.
Local media and a Long Island architectural historian said the huge house at Sands Point was knocked down over the weekend. Five separate houses priced at about $10 million each will be built in place.
"It is sad because it was sort of a landmark," Paul Mateyunas, a Long Island real estate agent and historian, told AFP. "It was one of the largest columned houses of that style on the waterfront."
Historians believe that Fitzgerald used the house as inspiration for the lavish backdrop to his 1925 book of money, love and broken dreams set in the Jazz Age of the 1920s.
"It's certainly something Fitzgerald, who was renting a house, would have been able to see if he went out on a boat or attended some of those parties. It was very much in his area," Mateyunas said.
Newsday, a local newspaper, said the house was the site of parties featuring everybody from Winston Churchill to the Marx Brothers in the 1920s and 30s.
However the building fell into disrepair during a period of vacancy and the prime land was seen as having greater value than the historic house itself.
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