Before there was Kings Point, there was the estate of John Alsop King, Jr. at the tip of the peninsula. The surrounding area later became a village that took his last name.
Author Liz Mathewson will trace the history of the fabled estate at the next meeting of the Great Neck Historical Society, to be held Wednesday, April 25, at Great Neck House.
Mathewson, a local author, lived and worked on the 14-acre estate, known as “The Point,” from 2006 through 2012. The program—free and open to the community—begins at 7:30 p.m. It includes an anecdotal tour of the buildings and grounds, photos, historical facts, unsubstantiated tales, tidbits of fun facts about the historic property, and answers to questions from the audience.
The estate is said to be one of the inspirations for the West Egg mansion in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” With 1,600 feet of waterfront, the property offers panoramic views of the New York City skyline, Long Island Sound and Manhasset Bay. The grounds have 60,000 square feet of gardens, including a koi pond, a pool, a terrace, and rolling lawns that surround the property.
The original owner of the estate was George Hewlett, of the South Shore Hewletts. In 1851 it was sold to King, the son of a governor of New York.
In 1913, the estate was sold to Richard Church, heir to the Church & Dwight Company, the makers of Arm & Hammer baking soda. Church was known to throw Gatsby-like summer parties.
Richard Brickman, who was living in a nearby converted barn, saw the property in 1951. “It was such a wonderful magnificent place that I brought my father and mother to look at it, whereupon they bought it,” Mr. Brickman said in an interview at the time. Although the Brickmans intended to make it a family compound, it became entangled in a family dispute and was tied up in legal battles for years.
In 2010 the property was sold by the Coldwell Banker Great Neck office for $39.5 million. Speaker Mathewson extensively researched the property and took most of the photos that will be displayed.
For further information about the program visit www.greatneckhistorical.org.
A recent aerial view of the Brickman estate, known as “The Point.” It will be the subject of the next presentation of the Great Neck Historical Society Wednesday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Great Neck House.