Sep 30 2009

Film: “Willie K’s Eagle Nest Mansion"and a Request for Feedback

As part of the LI News Tonight series on Long Island Gold Coast mansions, Chris Collora produced this 3-minute tour of Wiliam K. Vanderbilt, Jr's Eagle Nest mansion located in Centerport. Stephanie Gress, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the museum, provides a wonderful comentary on the manison. Watch for Willie K. and his wife Rosamund also make an appearance on their yacht "Alva".

Would you like to see a museum dedicated to Long Island auto racing and the Long Island Motor Parkway at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum? If so, please leave a comment below which I will forward to the museum.


Oct 04 2009 Frank Krawiecki 10:47 AM

A Long Island Auto Racing and the Long Island Motor Parkway Museum are long overdue for Long Island! Let’s make it happen.

Oct 04 2009 Art K. 9:16 PM

What better place to maintain the legacy of racing on LI and the Motor Parkway.  Definitely a no brainer.

Oct 04 2009 Earl Gandel 11:02 PM

I have to comment on Guy Frost’s remembrance of Bridgehampton.  In case anyone reads it, they should be aware that Guy ignores completely the 14 years between the last TransAm (1970) and when Bob Rubin took over.  I was partners with first Dick Gary and Bob Bochroch, then Bill Conlon in Bridgehampton Racing Group.  We leased the track from BRRC for very little, which increased every year with the taxes, to operate it and promote races.  During that time, we introduced pro AMA and other motorcycle road racing, motocross, Formula Atlantic and the Jim Russell Racing School to fill out busy programs of SCCA, EMRA and other club events. That was the era of lawsuits over noise with the town and county, which BRG defended in court many times, at our expense, without assistance from our weekend tenants. True, we operated on a shoestring, but we kept the place alive for 14 years after it was pronounced dead.
The so-called “Save The Bridge” movement was too litle, too late, and ineffective.  Bob Rubin may have had racing in mind for the first few years, but it should not be forgotten that he’s the one who plowed in the track and built a very expensive (and I hope profitable) golf course.  The attempt to memorialize the track with video in the clubhouse for the private viewing of his members should not be seen as a memorial but a tombstone.
Many of the things Guy, on behalf of the weekend racers, takes credit for were the results of BRG’s hard work, money, and sacrifice.  It doesn’t matter that this is forgotten, but the record should at least be made straight.
Thanks,  Earl Gandel

Oct 05 2009 Kenneth Granieri 1:42 PM

I think your efforts toward a permanent museum space for all things Vanderbilt cup and auto racing on Long Island are spot on.  The association with the Vanderbilt museum is a perfect fit. Willie K’s Passion for the sport speaks for it self. There is no greater endorsement than his.
  When visiting the museum the public would get a chance to see the connection between the Vanderbilt cup and all the racing that followed on Long Island. Long Island was truly the birth place of auto racing in the united States. A fact that would make Willie K smile .

Oct 06 2009 Tom 9:24 AM

This seems to make total sense. If the museum can accommodate this and support it, that would be great. With WKV being the driving force and support of racing on L.I and America, it really would be very fitting.

Oct 10 2009 Ellie Mandel Karin 10:55 PM

What a fabulous idea, Howard!  Your tireless research in learning everything about the Vanderbilt Cup is nothing less than extraordinary.  It would add significantly to the Long Island Museum experience.

Oct 10 2009 Philip Pfersching 11:47 PM

This would be wonderful ! This is an important part of Long Island history that most people don’t even know about. The only reason I knew anything about it is because of my interest in old cars, and having grown up in Dix Hills and ridden on a local stretch known only as Venderbilt Parkway. The beginning of which is just West of the Dix Hills Library.

Oct 12 2009 John Tures 1:01 PM

There are no tributes to the rich racing heritage that existed here on Long Island. One man, Marty Hines is working to keep the memories of the circle track days alive but there is no one else. The tracks on Long Island, except Riverhead, are all gone where at one time there were over 30! Bridgehampton is almost unrecognizable today and the only tribute to this historical racing landmark are rotting flag stations, crumbling asphalt, a golf course that poisons the local water supply and a movie that is bad, you serious would walk on in an airplane (it is that pathetic). It is up to us to tell the story of racing here on Long Island for all generations. On Sunday I took my grandson to a hanger where they restore old aircraft at Floyd Bennett field and told him that the Grumman Goose landed in water. He looked at me in surprise and said, “Hair-planes don’t land in water.” Count me in; I already have research on some LI events and graphic resources to help support the effort.

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