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“A sea of green, a splash of blue”—the landscape of Coe’s Hall, a Gilded Age estate

Planting Fields Arboretum State Park, New York

The Gilded Age in the United States generally referred to the post-Civil War period from the 1870s to the turn of the 20th century, when vast industrial fortunes led to lavish lifestyles for those relatively few families. Newport, Rhode Island came to be seen as the most fashionable resort for many wealthy industrialists, with such “summer cottages” as the Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff, The Elms, and others. Eventually, as Henry Flagler extended the railroad down the Atlantic coast of Florida, St. Augustine became a winter destination with the opening in 1888 of the Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College), before the winter resorts farther south at Palm Beach, Miami Beach, and the Florida Keys became popular. But Long Island, New York also saw its share of Gilded Age mansions being constructed, particularly on the North Shore—known as the Gold Coast—until the Hamptons further east on the South Shore became fashionable.

Planting Fields Arboretum State Park, located in Oyster Bay on Long Island’s North Shore is the result of a bequest to the state of New York by the estate of William Robertson Coe, a former railroad executive. His estate, known as Planting Fields, included 400 acres of landscaped grounds surrounding a Tudor-style mansion. The house and gardens were developed in the first decade of the 20th century, and William Coe purchased the property in 1913. Today the grounds are publicly available as a state park and the mansion is operated as an historic house museum. Planting Fields Foundation helps preserve the place as a public park. (The 2007 photo of the gardens by GK Tramrunner229 is shared here under CC BY-SAS 3.0)


A Gilded Age Treasure

By CBS News

July 30, 2017

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