The (Not So) Secret History of Great Neck


Cari Raphael

Once upon a time, the Vanderbilt family decided to buy a summer home. These famous industrialists, who built their wealth by capitalizing on railroad and shipping, built this estate right here in Great Neck named Deepdale, the summer home was located on a 43-acre estate (roughly 33 football fields), and still partially stands in Great Neck’s village of Lake Success.

Deepdale is famous for its Georgian-Colonial design by Horace Trumbauer, a Gilded Age architect who designed much of Duke University and many Philadelphia buildings. The house has 17 rooms, and its dining room features rare hand-carved paneling and Italian marble mantel—it feels like a Gilded Age time capsule. 

William Vanderbilt II, one of Long Island’s most devoted sportsmen, chose to convert some of his acreage on his Deepdale summer estate into a private golf course in 1924.  It was a historic moment considering the course and club would become one of the most prestigious private clubs in our nation. 

The estate also housed a golf course with a clubhouse, which is now owned by the Village of Lake Success. The original Deepdale golf course and clubhouse has been split, and what is presently called  Deepdale is not what the village owns. Although decades later in 1954, the region began transitioning into suburbia, and the Long Island Expressway embedded itself right through the northern part of the course. After a failed attempt to reengineer the course, the club purchased the W.R Grace estate, which was located in close proximity. The current Deepdale course and club in Manhasset is the relocated Deepdale, but the Lake Success course and club will forever stand as a reminder for what once was.