May 08 2013

Inspiration for the Mansions of “The Great Gatsby” & The Hempstead House Screening Gala

Literary scholars believe two inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby may have been William K. Vanderbilt Jr.'s mother's Beacon Towers and John Scott Browning, Sr.'s Land's End, both located in Sands Point.

In celebration of the The Great Gatsby film opening on Friday, May 10, 2013 and The Great Gatsby Screening Gala held on Wednesday at Hempstead House in Sands Point, unique views of these two mansions are presented below.


Howard Kroplick

Beacon Towers: Built by Alva Vanderbilt Belmont. Inspiration for Jay Gatsby's West Egg mansion.

View looking north

View looking east. Sands Point Lighthouse is to the north of the mansion.

View looking south.

View looking southwest

View looking north west

Alva Vanderbilt Belmont with suffrage leaders in front of Beacon Towers on September 10, 1920

Beacon Towers gatehouse

Beacon Towers gatehouse

Land's End. Built for John Scott Browning, Sr. Inspiration for Daisy Buchanan's East Egg mansion.

Courtesy of John Meehan, Photographer, Town of North Hempstead

Courtesy of Photographer Jen Ross ( and Composer Samuel Barber.

Lands End: The Sands Point Gatsby Connection by Chris Bain

Lands End photos by Chris Bain

New York Times, March 11, 2011 "Daisy's Green Fades to Black"

Mail Online March 9, 2011 Farewell to a golden age: Crumbling $30million 'Great Gatsby' mansion faces demolition... because no one will buy it

The Great Gatsby Gala, May 8, 2013, Hempstead House, Sands Point

Port Washington Patch May 8, 2013: Gatsby Director Baz Luhrmann In Port Washington


May 09 2013 Ariejan Bos 4:09 AM

It’s impressive to look at these astonishing houses, which were once part of a world that is so far away now. Beautiful and very informative videos as well. I enjoyed them very much!

May 09 2013 Ted 3:58 PM

I’ve been to Sands Point,knew about the old buildings,not connected with the Vanderbilt though,how interesting is that. I have to go check it again,but a little more closely this time.Never enough to know about Vanderbilt and you’ll always find something about it somehow.

May 09 2013 Mab 6:43 PM

Beautiful pictures!!!!!

May 10 2013 Kathy Ryan 11:37 AM

Thanks for the pictures that connect me to the book we read in high school. Also, another nostalgic link is that my grandfather built the sets for the first Gatby movie.

May 14 2013 Alex C 2:08 PM

Wonderful pictures - does anyone know why Beacon Towers was torn down? If Hempstead House wasn’t demolished - it’s so sad that such beautiful architechture was reduced to rubble.

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