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GATSBY is in the house; a look at Chez Jay.

Gatsby's mansion was inspired by Long Island's majestic estates
Update -1/23/2014: Now that Catherine Martin has received an Oscar nomination for both the costume and production designs for last year's Great Gatsby, I'm republishing this post as a mini-refresher course on why the work deserved the recognition. This piece was originally published on 4/3/2013.

Oh, Wow! Architectural Digest has an article on GATSBY, including gorgeous images of the extraordinary sets designed by Baz Luhrman's wife and long-time collaborator, production and costume designer, Catherine Martin. According to AD, Martin's designs for the residence were based on the great early-20th-century houses of Long Island’s North Shore—places like Oheka Castle, La Selva, and Beacon TowersWhile GATSBY was shot in Australia, Martin and Luhrman toured Long Island's Gold Coast for inspiration.

Beacon Towers, Long Island
Oheka Castle

Looking at images of Beacon Towers, there’s something that gives it the feel of the Disneyland castle, and Baz referenced that—the idea that Gatsby was building a fantasy,” Martin says.
St Patrick's Seminary, Manly, Australia
Adding ivy

For the exterior shots of Gatsby's estate, I wanted to show you how how Martin transformed the former St. Patrick’s Seminary in Sydney, a stunning example of Gothic revival, into the dazzling Gatsby mansion. I found the two above images, which aren't part of the AD article to show you. As you can see the roof line of the real structure (Above, left) is completely different from the final -and dazzling - cinematic image shown at the top of the page.  AD reports that those stunning Disney-esque turrets were added digitally while fake ivy was actually applied to the first two floors.  In the image (Above, right), a crew member works from a crane, doing just that.
Did you notice the fountain in front of Gatsby's place?  It doesn't exist in front of St. Patrick's
and was constructed in the courtyard for the film. I don't see the palm trees in 'real life' at all; they may have been physically removed unless the effect was done digitally; hard to say at this point.

You can check out the entire article here  

Don't you love Daisy and Tom's sitting room? It's a cross between European Deco and Hollywood Regency. That gorgeous rug is one of a series of deco inspired rugs designed by Catherine Martin for the film; apparently the talented designer is well known in Australia for her rug and wallpaper designs.
Her collection, CM Deco Rug Collection, in collaboration with
Designer Rugs is due out June 6th.

You can see all the designs at Martin's web site talk about brilliant cross-merchandising!

I'll be cross-posting this to my Gonzo for Gatsby page where I'm gathering all the GATSBY goodies I can find; including an upcoming look at the costumes coming out of the collaboration between Prada and Martin.
That's Martin (L)standing in front of one of her wallpaper designs.
If you want to check out the original inspiration up close and in person, visit Discover Long Island; you can even request a free travel guide to start planning your trip.


  1. I can't wait to see this new adaptation. The set looks amazing! It's hard for me to imagine a better Jay Gatsby than Robert Redford but the release has definitely generated interested in the the great Fitzgerald novel again which is always a good thing. Thanks for sharing!
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

    1. I have to watch that one again. I generally think Redford is a god; (I should share my fan letter story one day!) I saw it back in the day and was satisfied merely to watch. I've avoided seeing it since then; I'm terrified I'd be disappointed. :)

  2. Of course all these look glamorous and magnificent... worthy of J. Gatsby's wealth. But that's what I'm afraid of, with this new Luhrman rendition... that he's going to focus on the showy, the glam, the 3D glory, all that the eyes can see, but forget about why the book is an all time classic ... it depicts the heart and soul of an unrelenting lover. Thanks for all these heads up though. I look forward to it since I'm a Carey Mulligan fan. BTW, do you know the popular novel Before I Go to Sleep is being filmed now, with Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth?

  3. I agree he's going to go all out to dazzle us - should it be 'bazzle' us? (Sorry I couldn't resist) but the new trailer and the soundtrack gives me hope that he's going to capture all that heartsick passion and pathos too. Check out my next post. I'm loving the Lana del Rey song!


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