Mansion linked to "The Great Gatsby" demolished

Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:26pm EDT
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By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bulldozers have razed a storied mansion where F. Scott Fitzgerald partied and which some say inspired his classic 1925 novel "The Great Gatsby"

The Colonial Revival-style Lands End mansion was built in the early 20th century in Sands Point, New York, overlooking the waters of Long Island Sound.

In the 1920s it became the home of Herbert Bayard Swope, the executive editor of the New York World and an acquaintance of many of the luminaries who came to define the Roaring Twenties, including Fitzgerald.

But in recent years it had stood empty. Bulldozers arrived on Saturday and by Monday all that stood were a few brick chimneys, with demolition to be completed on Tuesday.

Bert Brodsky, the founder of a healthcare technology company, bought the mansion in 2004. He hoped to move into the huge property with its two dozen or so rooms, but his family thought otherwise.

"My wife felt the house was far too big for us at our stage of life," he said. It soon went back on the market but found no serious takers. "People would say, 'I don't want to live in an enormous house.'"

Brodsky later won permission to divide up the 13 acres of property and build five houses on the site.

It remains open to debate whether Fitzgerald was thinking of Lands End when he described the "cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay" in "The Great Gatsby."   Continued...

<p>The Lands End mansion, after it was demolished, is seen in Sands Point, New York in this handout taken April 16, 2011. REUTERS/Brodsky Development/Handout</p>