Gatsby Inspires in Hamptons Real Estate

Grandeur and opulence best describe F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary painting of his most famed novel, The Great Gatsby.

Last week, Douglas Elliman participated as one of the sponsors in a star-studded preview screening of Hollywood’s latest blockbuster film, The Great Gatsby. “The festival brings a lot of national and international attention to the North Shore, and we’ve supported and believed in it since the beginning,” said Ed D’Ambrosio, Elliman’s North Shore Vice President who helped spearhead the partnership with Gold Coast International Film Festival.

This second film version (the first starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow and Bruce Dern, debuted in 1974) earned more than $50 million the first weekend–proving that the vision of director/writer Baz Luhrmann and star performances by Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey McGuire, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton, have really paid off.

The Great Gatsby may be part of our American Literature studies in high school, but who knew 88 years after its publication that we would still be as fascinated or perhaps even mesmerized by these fictional characters, the homes in which they lived and the decadence of their grand-scale parties. Perhaps it can be attributed to representing the illusive hope for the American Dream.

Fitzgerald was said to have been inspired to model the Gold Coast Mansion of Jay Gatsby after attending parties and visiting North Shore historic mega-mansions; the likes of Beacon Towers, Oheka Castle and Lands End. The idea of living during this time evokes a sense of mystery, intrigue and lavishness that is perhaps not so different from what the Hamptons represents today.

Architecturally, these extravagant homes were designed with the finest details and interiors, some influenced by a neoclassical style—gold filigree detailing, serpentine staircases, lavish furnishings and artwork. The sets for the film were created by designer Catherine Martin, who happens to be the wife of the film’s director.

Upon entering the new millennium, billionaire and business mogul, Ira Rennert built his own version of the American Dream. Noted as being the largest home in America, Fairfield Pond in Sagaponack is a mere 110,000 square-foot mega-mansion, nestled on 63 acres of oceanfront beauty. The main house boasts 29 bedrooms and 39 baths, a 91-foot formal dining room, two tennis courts, a basketball court, bowling alley and its very own heliport (just to note a few highlights.) One can only imagine the parties at this oceanfront gem. Valued at nearly $200 million, Rennert’s Hamptons palace is certainly something for the history books and considered to be the most expensive home in America.

Although the Gold Coast of Long Island is quite different from the Hamptons, there are parallels. In fact, there are many North Shore residents who also own homes in the Hamptons. Perhaps they just want a little “home away from home” retreat.

Douglas Elliman is currently representing several properties with ties to The Great Gatsby as the novel’s “West Egg” and “East Egg” were fictionalized versions of the North Shore villages of Kings Point and Sands Point. One such property, 8 Sands Light in Sands Point, a 5-bedroom, 4,800-square-foot waterfront home, sits on the former Gold Coast estate known as Beacon Towers. Property records show that the current home was built over the estate’s former tennis court. This impressive property in Sands Point can be yours for $5.9 million.


For more information on Douglas Elliman and a detail list of properties for sale, please visit or visit one of their local offices here on the East End in Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Westhampton Beach. For more information on 8 Sands Light in Sands Point, please contact Maggie Keats at 516-883-5200.

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