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Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park is the former Gold Coast estate of William Robertson Coe and his second wife, Mai Rogers Coe. Of the hundreds of opulent estates built in the Gold Coast area of Long Island, Planting Fields was one of the largest and is today one of the most intact of the grand estates. The park includes Coe Hall, the family's former residence, as well as 409 acres and numerous smaller buildings. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The grounds viewed from the air

Plant, Plant community, Ecoregion, Natural landscape

Coe Hall

Flower, Plant, Sky, Building

Part of the gardens

Water, Plant, Property, Sky

In the decades betwen the Civil War and the outbreak of World War II, almost a thousand lavish estates were built along what is known as the Gold Coast, along the north shore of Long Island. During that time, the Gold Coast was reportedly home to the greatest concentration of wealth--as well as opulent homes--in the United States, with many of them concentrated in just 70 square miles.

Among the largest of these Gilded Age properties is Planting Fields, the estate of William Robertson Coe, who made his fortune in the marine insurance industry. He shared the home with his second wife, Mai Rogers Coe, who was the daughter of Henry Huttleston Rogers, a cofounder of Standard Oil. Construction of the home, known as Coe Hall, began in 1913. The mansion, which consists of 65 rooms, was built to resemble a Medieval English country house. The massive home was completed in 1921, and--appropriately for the time--even featured a hidden bar.

As lavish as the home is, many people believe the grounds to be the real star of Planting Fields. The estate consists of 409 acres, making it one of the most impressive of the Gold Coast properties. Coe had an interest in horticulture and rare plants, and used 160 acres of the estate as a garden. There are two greenhouses on the property, where a wide variety of plants and trees were grown and nurtured. The grounds feature more than 600 varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas as well as a large rose garden. In all, the park now includes more than 10,000 kinds of plants. Like several of his Gold Coast neighbors, Coe commissioned the Olmsted brothers for the landscaping of the estate.

Planting Fields was the Coe home until Coe's death in 1955. The estate had been deeded to the state of New York in 1949 and is maintained by the Planting Fields Foundation. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

History and Mission , Planting Fields . Accessed April 14th 2021.

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park , New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation . Accessed April 14th 2021.

A Gilded Age Treasure , CBS News . July 30th 2017. Accessed April 14th 2021.