The Long Island mansion rumored to have inspired The Great Gatsby has been demolished:
(Image Credit: Misadventures in Procrastination)
The 25-room mansion in New York which some scholars believe inspired “The Great Gatsby” is being demolished for a subdivision, several international news sites reported on Monday.
The demolition was said to have started on Saturday. As reported earlier, the mansion will be replaced by five houses each with a $10 million tag price.
Just what the world needs: more overpriced McMansions to sit, sullen and empty, on the market.
From CBS News:
Lore has it that this house - called Lands End - fired Fitzgerald's imagination:
"It's exciting; people in town think it's exciting," said its owner, real estate developer Bert Brodsky. "They come by boat. They look at the house. They say, 'This is the 'Great Gatsby' house."
Built by a newspaper editor in 1902, the 21,000 square-foot house in the village of Sands Point hosted the likes of Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein. It's said the grand parties caught Fitzgerald's attention.
I first heard about the house a few weeks ago. At that time I had intended to post about it, suggesting that the great mansion be purchased by the state and declared a landmark, or perhaps made into a plush bed-and-breakfast hotel, staffed with butlers, chambermaids and waiters in period garb, each of them pampering the guests while authentic Jazz Age music played in the background.
I was going to suggest that concerts could be held there on weekends, perhaps even regional ballroom dancing tournaments.
Imagine winning First Prize in a Tango competition held in the ballroom of the "Gatsby Mansion."
Dreams can come true again
'Cause everything old is new again...
Gone forever now.
I have to wonder what kinds of ghosts fly out of such a collapsing house. I suspect these ghosts might seem familiar- like the DotCom Boom and the recent Housing Bubble, the Jazz Age was a brief, fevered period marked by conspicuous consumption- conspicuous to the point of vulgarity in some cases- and delusional belief in a false prosperity.
Now we are demolishing the landmarks of that era even as we finish reliving it. Is this because the backward glance such places represent now makes us uncomfortable?
After all, Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear.
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
F. Scott Fitzgerald