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Demolition crews raze Gatsby mansion

Bulldozers continued to raze the sprawling Gold Coast mansion in Sands Point yesterday that many believe was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s inspiration for the grand estate in “The Great Gatsby.”

Bulldozers continued to raze the sprawling Gold Coast mansion in Sands Point yesterday that many believe was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s inspiration for the grand estate in “The Great Gatsby.”

Preservationists, scholars and Long Islanders lamented that what they consider a landmark was destroyed to make way for a five-lot subdivision.

“No one is as sad about it as I am. There was a tear in my eye when I saw that demolition crew on Saturday,” Bert Brodsky, the home’s owner, told Metro. “A 20,000-square-foot home in Long Island that costs $4,000 a day in taxes, insurance and maintenance just doesn’t work anymore.”

Four chimneys are what was expected to remain on Thursday morning at Land’s End, the house that once hosted lavish prohibition-era parties and attracted Winston Churchill, the Duke and Duchess of York, Groucho Marx, Dorothy Parker and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“It’s a shame,” said Alexandra Wolfe, director of the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. “This house is a part of Long Island’s legacy. It’s a part of the Gold Coast. It inspired great literature.”

She added, “The notion of a subdivision is banal. Long Island doesn’t need another big house with a few acres.”

During its heyday in the ’20s and ’30s, the 25-room estate that juts out into the Long Island Sound at the tip of Hoff Stott Lane featured marble and parquet floors, hand-painted wallpaper and Palladian wallpaper.

“It’s a shame that you lose something that at one time was very pretty,” said Sands Point town clerk Randy Bond. “But we’ve been having town meetings about the demolition of the house since 2006 and no one came. Now that it’s getting torn down, everyone is upset.”

Owner Brodsky echoed these sentiments. “Not once since I bought the property seven years ago did anyone approach me about turning the house into a library or museum,” he said. “Now everyone is up in arms that it’s being demolished.”

Ties to literary classic a fiction?

Developer Bert Brodsky purchased Land’s End in 2004 for $18 million dollars from Virginia Kraft Payson, wife of former Mets owner Charles Shipman Payson. Brodsky paid $20,000 to a historian, who told him the house had no connection to the novel “The Great Gatsby.”

 
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