Falaise is one of the few intact historic houses remaining on Long Island’s North Shore. The Gold Coast period of the 1920s was a time of opulence, when prominent families built great mansions and large estates as summer retreats on Long Island.
Falaise was built for Harry F. Guggenheim and his wife Caroline Morton in 1923. The architecture is French Eclectic. The design is based on a 13th Century Norman manor house.
Docent-lead tours are offered from late-May through mid-November. This historic home has limited handicap access.
Distinctive features of the house include an enclosed cobblestone courtyard, thickly mortared brick walls, steeply pitched roofs of heavy tile, and a round tower. The medieval atmosphere is continued inside the house by the arches, thick wood beams, textured plastered walls, and carved stone mantels.
Falaise is furnished with antiques, many from the 16th and 17th century. There are woodcarvings, sculptures, Renaissance paintings and several important pieces of modern art.
Harry Guggenheim had a strong commitment to public service. He was Ambassador to Cuba during the Hoover administration. A Navy pilot, he served in both world wars. He had a lifelong interest in aviation. Charles Lindbergh was a close friend and frequent visitor to Falaise. Harry was also instrumental in securing funding for the research of rocket pioneer Robert Goddard. In 1939, Harry Guggenheim and Alicia Patterson were married. Shortly afterward, they founded Newsday, Long Island’s daily newspaper.
Harry Guggenheim was an avid horse racing fan. He raised and raced thoroughbred horses, and he helped establish the New York Racing Association. His trophies, awards, and racing memorabilia are on display at Falaise.
Tours of Falaise
The magnificent Falaise mansion is open for docent-led tours – it is the perfect way to experience the Gold Coast lifestyle of luxury and opulence in this meticulously preserved historic home. Please note that no indoor photography is allowed.The magnificent Falaise mansion is open for tours led by expert docents – it’s the perfect way to experience the Gold Coast lifestyle of luxury and opulence in this meticulously preserved historic home.
Docent-lead tours are offered from May 14 through November 22 for 2015, Thursdays through Sundays, four times daily: 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the gatehouse entrance to the preserve.
Tours are $10 per person. Parking is an additional $10 per car, $20 per van or $30 per bus. Parking is free with an Membership Pass.