Front facade of Beacon Towers in 1922
|Location||Sands Point, New York|
Beacon Towers was a Gilded Age mansion on Sands Point in the village of Sands Point on the North Shore of Long Island, New York. It was built from 1917 to 1918 for Alva Belmont, the ex-wife of William Kissam Vanderbilt and the widow, since 1908, of Oliver Belmont. 
Architectural historians[who?] have described the mansion as a pure Gothic fantasy, although it did owe some of its design elements to the alcázars of Spain and to depictions of castles in medieval illuminated manuscripts. The interior contained about 60 primary rooms and upwards of 140 in total. The entire structure was coated in smooth, gleaming white stucco.
In February 1924, Belmont purchased the adjoining Sands Point Light property at auction for $100,000 ($1.5 million in present value) to add more privacy to her estate.
Acquired by Hearst
Three years later, the estate was sold to William Randolph Hearst. While Hearst owned the estate, renovations were made; the roof was raised and dormers were added, windows were expanded or removed, and the entryway was remodeled, changing the entrance to a recessed doorway.
In popular culture
A factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin bead of raw ivy, and marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of land.— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
The Beacon Towers estate in 1922, showing the western elevation of the mansion. View from the Sands Point Light to Prospect Point in the background
- MacKay, Robert B.; Baker, Anthony K.; Traynor, Carol A. (1997). Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects, 1860–1940. New York: Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities in association with W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 231–232. ISBN 978-0-393-03856-9.
- "Ruins and Remnants". Long Island's Gold Coast. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
- "Beacon Towers, Sands Point, Long Island, New York. First floor plan". Hunt & Hunt. Library of Congress. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
- Randall, Mónica (2003). The Mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast. Rizzoli. pp. 275–277. ISBN 978-0-8478-2649-0.
- Whitlock, Cathy. "Designer Catherine Martin Teases the Decadence of Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
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Spinzia, Raymond E. and Judith A. Long Island's Prominent North Shore Families: Their Estates and Their Country Homes. vol I. College Station, TX: