Fabulous luxury on the water at Sands Point
On the Sands Point Peninsula, a mainstay of Long Island’s legendary Gold Coast, is a waterfront estate that, like the area, has a history that speaks to a very different time. From the luxurious amenities of a separate cinema room, original to the property when a notable investment banker built it, to the enviable views of the waterfront home for sunsets, this estate of nearly four acres is a world unto itself.
After all, Sands Point was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “East Egg”. Gatsby the magnificent, representing the crowd of “old men” in the novel. That, Sands Point certainly was. The area, surrounded by water on three sides, was originally owned by just three families: the Sands, the Vanderbilts and the Cornwells.
Even today, the 3.86-acre estate at 16 Plum Beach Point Road is where “luxury comes to life,” according to Maggie Keats of Douglas Elliman, who represents the exclusive listing with Grace Chang for $7.495 million. . Along with the 16-room main house, the substantial grounds offer a swimming pool, pool house, tennis court with tennis house, deep-water dock, and even a doghouse with a dog run.
It’s “your ticket to a luxurious, serene retreat without ever leaving home,” the listing says.
Robert Lehman, who succeeded his father as head of investment bank Lehman Brothers, built the house in 1935, according to Keats, who said he chose the area because the Nassau County location was a commute easy to Manhattan.
An avid art collector, his private collection was worth at least $50 million by the time of his death in 1969, according to The New York Times. He had been chairman of the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and after his death the Robert Lehman Foundation donated approximately 3,000 works of art to the Met, including works by Henri Matisse and Auguste Rodin.
Some other statues from Lehman’s collection, although of lesser value, are still on the property today.
The 8,074 square foot main residence has been expanded several times over the past nearly nine decades.
The 16 rooms include seven bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and three shower rooms.
As for the master suite, it is gigantic and offers views on three sides. “It feels like you’re on an ocean liner—the views are so panoramic,” says Keats.
In addition to the oversized sleeping quarters, there is a large living room and office divided by a gas fireplace – one of five in the house. There is a walk-in closet and a bathtub on one side of the bedroom. A walk in suite leads to a dressing room with a second bathroom.
Above the three-car garage there are additional guest quarters.
The house also has a wine cellar and a complete spa including a sauna/hammam, a massage room with bathtub and a gym. Among other interior amenities, Keats points to a lovely garden room with plumbing, making it easy to water plants, a music room, and a home office with a fireplace.
“The kitchen is terrific,” says Keats. “It has its own breakfast room which opens onto the pool.”
The oversized heated gunite pool overlooks the water and is surrounded by a brick patio. The pool house offers two changing rooms, a complete bathroom and a kitchenette with a bar.
Water is really what it’s all about, says Keats.
The house is “incredibly located on the property,” says Keats. “It’s set back from the street, you can’t even see it.”
There’s 225 feet of waterfront along Manhassett Bay and a coveted deep-water dock, one of 19 docks in Sands Points, a village of 900 homes.
“On this side of the peninsula you have deeper water which is lovely and you get the sunsets facing west,” says Keats.
In addition, a seawall makes the property less vulnerable to storms.
Also on the property is a real rarity: a separate cinema room.
“The movie theater was actually part of the original estate and it was a screening room,” Keats explains. “It is a separate structure. After dinner, you walked down the aisle and watched movies,” she says. Today it contains a large-screen TV and individual chairs, along with “vintage fittings that have been kept for flavor”.
The only other dedicated movie house Keats knows of was at Sands Point, the home of Nicholas Schenck, a prominent 1930s movie executive, who built there in 1942.
The property also contains some very unusual canine equipment. While the entire estate is gated and fenced, the dogs enjoy their own run here, with “separate quarters for canine guests,” says Keats. “I’ve never seen a dog guest house.”
The visit to the estate ends with a tennis court and a tennis house, which offers a cloakroom, a shower room and storage for equipment.
This article appeared in the September issue of Behind The Hedges inside Long Island Press. Click here and skip to page 41 to read the digital version of Hedges. For more on Behind The Hedges coverage of West Suffolk County and Nassau County, click here.