A Ghost of the Gilded Age Found

The lavish estate we see featured in Houdini's The Man From Beyond, has finally been identified. The Gilded Age mansion of Prof. Crawford Strange (played by Albert Tavernier) was actually known as Pembroke. The Pembroke estate was located at Glen Cove, Long Island in New York.

In the 1922 film, we are first introduced to Pembroke with the arrival of a newly thawed-out Houdini driven through the famous front gates of the estate. This residence is also the backdrop for Houdini's 'human fly' climb where he confronts Jane Connelly's Felice after escaping from the asylum.

Built in 1916 by C.P.H. Gilbert for the prominent mine owner and financial speculator, Captain Joseph Raphael DeLamar,  Pembroke contained 82 rooms and 60,000 square feet of living space. This Gold Coast mansion was one of the largest in the United States and featured numerous long party rooms to entertain hundreds of guests. Filled with all the luxuries found in the over-the-top mansions of the Gilded Age, Pembroke also had one of the most impressive swimming pools on the East Coast.

The mansion was also connected to a "tropical house" which contained exquisite indoor gardens, wildlife, and rare birds that freely flew the interior spaces. It is on the steps of the Pembroke tropical house that we see Houdini return to speak with Felice.

After the death of Captain DeLamar, Pembroke was sold in 1920 to motion picture pioneer, Marcus Loew of Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Loews Theater fame.

Sadly, like many of the estates from the Gilded Age, Pembroke did not survive the times. It was demolished in 1968 with only the 10-story water tower still remaining today. The original plot has since been reincarnated into a 46 home, gated community called Legend Yacht & Beach Club.

While we will not be able to stand in the footsteps of Houdini at Pembroke (or scale its walls!) we can add this ghost of the Gilded Age to Houdini history!

A huge thanks goes out to author, architect, and Gilded Age mansion aficionado, Gary Lawrance who verified this location. 
Thank you Gary!

For more on Gilded Age mansions check out Gary's Instagram account @MansionsoftheGildedAge


  1. It's always a gut-punch when you find these places don't exist anymore. But still very cool that you were able to locate and identify it!

    1. Total gut-punch! I went from extreme excitement to utter disappointment in literally 5 minutes, once I realized it no longer exists.

  2. Spectacular, what a shame that it was torn down. No single family can live in a place like this any more, but can be used as a club, or museum, or some other public functions. Concours d'elegance ! We are too quick to destroy buildings that have historic value. Yankee Stadium is the most tragic example.


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