Locust Valley-Oyster Bay: Last Redoubt of the Social Register

Locust Valley-Oyster Bay: Last Redoubt of the Social Register

Locust Valley-Oyster Bay

View Larger Map of Higley 1000 neighborhoods in Locust Valley and Oyster Bay
The area I call Locust Valley-Oyster Bay evokes the sylvan past of the Gold Coast much more richly than the more densely populated Great Neck. The zoning requirements of these contiguous “golf villages” insure large lots surround the large homes. Many of the villages have 5 acre minimum zoning to keep the riff raff out. The landscape of this area is a rich mixture of remnant mansions and many more impeccably maintained very large and tasteful older homes. There are also any number of gargantuan edifaces of nouveau riche residential architecture built over the last twenty years that grace virtually all of the neighborhoods in this gilded section of Long Island.

The geographic area of Locust Valley-Oyster Bay extends from Old Westbury, through the Brookvilles (Upper, Old, and plain), to Lloyd Harbor and Huntington Bay in Suffolk County along Long Island Sound. This area remains the epicenter of upper class society, or what is left of it…. My 1988 study found 745 Social Register residences in the Locust Valley-Oyster Bay cluster versus a mere 29 in both Great Neck, Port Washington, and Manhasset. Although my study is now 20 years old, there is a tendency for the upper class to stay residentially rooted and therefore I believe it is still accurate. The area remains opulent and still has much of Long Island’s priciest real estate and largest mansions. Even the former “tradesman” railroad stops such as Locust Valley and East Norwich now feature million dollar homes that are well out of the reach of the army of landscapers, retail workers, and sycophants that sustain the second Gilded Age of George W. Bush.

Posted in Metro Briefs on Jun 4th, 2008, 10:22 am by Stephen Higley   

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