Future Research

As I learned while working on this project, the history of Long Island’s Gold Coast is complex, nuanced, and deserves more attention than this project was capable of. The following are several areas of research that I believe would benefit from future research.

First, I would like to do a better job tracking the change in estate size and ownership over time. As I was collecting my data, I found that estates changed hands multiple times, and many were given new names by each owner. For the purposes of this project I only tracked the first name the estate had, and the information about the financier who built the house originally. But even within the time frame of 1890-1930 these houses had multiple owners, and it would have been interesting to track its later inhabitants as well.

In a similar vein, studying the size of the estate over time would also be an interesting way to see how the financial situations of the wealthy changed. I found many estates that got smaller as time went on, but there were several that added to their acreage following the Great Depression. This might be due to cheaper land prices or being in an industry unaffected by the economic collapse, but I believe there would be some valuable insights here as well.

I would also liked to have devoted more time to filling in the gaps in my research – the information about the current use of the estate, missing acreage information, etc. However, this would require on the ground research in libraries and archives that was not possible for the scope of this specific project.

Finally, at the core of this project is the people who built and lived on these estates. A more in-depth look at the people who populated the North Shore of Long Island could give insights into how they affected culture at large, the development of Long Island, and our perceptions of this time period. Looking at census data, staff lists for the larger estates, and other sociologic data could prove more definitively how estate owners impacted and contributed to Long Island’s development in the latter half of the twentieth century.

Website edits

In addition to the research aspect of this project, there are also several areas of the website I would like to tweak but was unable to. I would have liked to have a smaller video on the About page and adjust the ratio of the map; unfortunately the theme selected for this site did not allow for the width of these elements to be changed. I would have also liked to add a full screen button on the map, but similarly was not given the option to do so by ArcGIS.

I would also like to add images to more of the estates on the map. There are several added currently as a proof-of-concept, but more images could be scraped in the future and added to the entries.

Data accuracy and feedback

The data included in this project is, to the best of my knowledge, correct. Since not all of the historic sources are verified, however, there is a chance that some information might not be entirely accurate. Additionally, information about the current status of an estate could change with time. I welcome feedback and edits on data reliability, which can be sent to ecarr4@ur.rochester.edu.

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