180 Little Neck Rd.
Centerport, NY 11721
Description: It's the summer of 1932 and William K. Vanderbilt II has just circumnavigated the globe in his new 264-foot yacht, Alva. He's purchased a mummy in Cairo and brought it back to display in his museum -- coinciding with the opening of Boris Karloff's latest horror movie, The Mummy. The famous fashion designer Coco Chanel is coming to New York to open a show of her first jewelry designs, and is a guest of the Vanderbilts at their Eagle's Nest estate on the Long Island Gold Coast. Also on the guest list is Elsa Maxwell, the notorious gossip columnist, an intimate friend of the Vanderbilt women. For more than a decade, Living History tours of the Vanderbilt Mansion have given summer visitors a kind of time-machine trip to the 1930s. Museum staff member-actors, in costume and in character as household servants and famous guests, take visitors through the sprawling 24-room, Spanish-Revival waterfront mansion and regale them with stories about the family, its guests and its adventures. Saturdays and Sundays through September 2, 2013.
Venue Description: Designed by architectural firm Warren & Wetmore, the designers behind Grand Central Station in New York City, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is located in the former summer estate of William K. Vanderbilt II. The 24-room mansion houses 1,369 pieces of fine and decorative arts and 5,698 miscellaneous and naturel history specimens on display.
Living History tours give visitors a taste of what life on Long Island was like nearly 100 years ago and also sheds light on the history of the Vanderbilt family and their estate. The Natural History portion of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has been called a museum of museums. It displays much of William K. Vanderbilt II's collection, including a 3,000-year-old mummy from Egypt. By the main building is the Vanderbilt Planetarium, the largest of its kind on Long Island. The planetarium, open since 1971, has a 60-foot-wide Sky theater. In July and August, the museum offers summer workshops for children ages 3-4 and students in kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Note: The Vanderbilt Planetarium is closed for extensive renovations.