Around the turn-of-the-last-century, scores of wealthy Americans seeking a retreat from urban industrial life built grand country estates for themselves. These magnificent mansions were surrounded by acres of landscaped grounds. Often modeled after English country houses, many of these properties were the work of America's foremost architects and landscape designers. The North Shore of Long Island was a popular location for the country estates of wealthy New Yorkers, which became an important part of Long Island's architectural history.
These estates are an important part of Long Island's architectural and cultural heritage, creating the storied Gold Coast. Only a few remain today, however, as post-war inflation, the advent of property and income taxes, the expense of maintenance and large staffs and the need for higher density use of prime land brought about the destruction of large estates during the past few decades.
Originally known as The Manor, the 1910, 55-acre estate of John Teele and Ruth Baker Pratt was considered by Country Life Magazine as one of the best twelve country houses in America. Designed by the noted architect Charles Adams Platt (1861-1933), the brick Georgian mansion set in pastoral surroundings was an integral part of the many glamorous estates, which once comprised Long Island's Gold Coast.
Entering the stately two-story portico entrance, visitors are greeted by an elegant, baronial double staircase, imported paneling and antique fixtures that impart a feeling of being enveloped in a wonderful bygone era.
The gracious lifestyle is still available at The Manor, now known as Glen Cove Mansion, as each guest is greeted with the same warm tradition set forth by the Pratt family in 1910. John T. Pratt, who passed away in 1927, was an attorney and an executive with Standard Oil Company. Ruth Baker Pratt was the first Republican Congresswoman from the state of New York. She represented New York City's Silk Stocking district. Mrs. Pratt and her family maintained the estate until her death in 1965.
Movie producers have also discovered over the years that the Mansion is a delightful location to use as the setting for their films. Pictures such as North by Northwest, Sabrina and Where's Poppa and others were partially filmed here with a great success. The ambiance has also proven to be magnificent setting for weddings and social affairs.
The scenic area surrounding Glen Cove Mansion
is delightfully scattered with former Pratt estates. John Pratt's brothers were also his neighbors. George developed Killenworth, a gothic Tudor mansion, which is currently the Russian Consulate's quarters. Frederic's stone mansion, Poplar Hill, is now a home for seniors. Herbert's waterfront home, The Braes, is now the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, and Harold's Neo-Georgian mansion is Nassau County
's Welwyn Preserve.
The patriarch of the Pratt family, Charles Pratt, was a pioneer of the U.S.
petroleum industry, forming Charles Pratt and Company in 1867, which became part of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil in 1874.
Mr. Pratt founded and endowed the renowned Pratt Institute.
Since 1967, when Glen Cove Mansion became one of the very first conference center hotels in the United States, additions and conservation under skilled supervision have succeeded in creating one of the premier properties in the country. Since 1985, Glen Cove Mansion Hotel and Conference Center has been recognized nationally as one of the Ten Best Conference Centers in the United States by the readers of Corporate Meetings & Incentives magazine, and has also been the recipient of Corporate Incentive & Travel magazine's Award of Excellence. In addition, Glen Cove Mansion Hotel and Conference Center has been honored with the Pinnacle Award by Successful Meetings magazine, the Planners Choice Award by Meetings Media magazines, and the Gold Key and Gold Platter Awards for excellence in hospitality and food & beverage by Meetings & Conventions magazine.
John Pratt believed that there should be no inharmonious note to throw the whole out of tune. His Mansion and gardens formed an aesthetically well-balanced country estate. Fortunately, the property is preserved with much of the original charm and integrity that uniquely bridges the gap between great architecture, nature and time. The entire complex greets all of its visitors with a warm feeling that says, Welcome to Glen Cove Mansion.