Coindre Hall, a former Gold Coast mansion, is a local favorite for every season. The tranquility of the property nestled deep into Huntington and overlooking the water makes it a hidden treasure. This county park is 33 acres with an 80,000 square foot mansion overlooking Huntington Harbor.
George McKesson Brown built this medieval french chateau in 1906-1912. The mansion represents the height of the Gold Coast era. However, the stock market crash of 1929 concluded his ownership. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart purchased the property to establish a boarding school and summer retreat, founded in 1939 and in memory of Father Andre Coindre. Sacred Heart operated until 1971 and then it reopened in the mid 80’s as the Eagle Hill School. Currently, the property uses the gym to host soccer and basketball only.
If you grew up in Huntington, you have sled down this sloping property at least once in your lifetime. These hills are not for the weak of heart, but that’s what makes them so much more fun. You can find sections from beginner to intermediate as you check out the landscape and direction of the other sledders. It’s a long beginner slope down from the parking lot to where the majority of the action occurs. This is great for pulling younger or first time attendants. You may get a good slide based on the snow conditions. When you reach the crowd, just where the slope drops more aggressively, you can scope out the area. Sledders can get a nice long run with some bumps and turns for fun. Although you can pick areas that are pretty clear, watch out for trees. Today’s sleds don’t always come with steering capability (helmet suggested for safety). Local residents that frequent the park usually pack snow against the trees for extra cushion if the snowfall allows it. And, of course, you get some more thrill seeking kids that build sledding jumps and courses, but they do this off to the side. There is no security or first aid here, so it is sled at your own risk. Be careful. Have fun. It’s quite a hike getting back up the hills and then back to the parking lot since it is all uphill. Leave some extra time to pace yourself. Don’t forget to dress in warm layers and bring gloves!
In the warmer months residents come for picnics, hikes, some fishing, and the oversized dog park. At the top of the hill, behind the main house, is the large open property where dogs can freely run around. Keep in mind that the property is vast and not fenced. As you stroll down the hills towards the water, you can see the boat house sitting on the harbor. You can’t go inside the boathouse, but you can walk on the dock. I don’t suggest this as a prime fishing spot, but people have been known to fish off the dock. If your interest is more on the main house, you can contact www.splashesofhope.org for a free guided tour of the estate during summer months. Splash of Hope also has an art studio inside the main house and hosts Paint Nights for charity (murals for local hospitals).
Location: 101 Browns Road, Huntington, NY 11743
“Suffolk County acquired the estate in 1973. In 1989 this magnificent example of French chateau architecture was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and dedicated to the Suffolk County Historic Trust.”- Suffolk County Dept. of Parks
Suffolk County Department of Parks Recreation & Conservation since 1973.
The mansion is also a popular venue for weddings and holiday celebrations.
For some great background on this gold coast mansion visit: http://www.goldcoastmansions.com/CoindreHall/CoindreHallMansion.html