A Gilded Age treasure

A sea of green, a splash of blue, and a grand landscape for a gilded way of life. We're on New York's Long Island, at a manicured estate of gardens, greenhouses, trees and pathways ... all centered around a stately mansion known as Coe Hall.

Planting Fields State Historic Park is a 400-acre park that was created by William Robertson Coe, who gave the park (it was his country home and private garden) to the State of New York in 1955.

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New York's Coe Hall, a 100-year-old mansion-turned-state park, is a splendid example of a Gilded Age estate.

CBS News

Coe, who built the house 100 years ago, made his fortune in insurance. His wife, Mae Rogers Coe, was the daughter of Henry Rogers, who (along with John and William Rockefeller) founded the Standard Oil Trust.

Clearly, money was not an issue.

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The dining room at Coe Hall.

CBS News

"It is as though Queen Elizabeth lived here in the late 16th century," Henry Joyce, the executive director of the Planting Fields Foundation, told Jane Pauley. "It's big and glamorous. It's almost like a movie set of house."

There's the Entrance Hall; the Great Room, where the Coes would greet guests; and also a few surprises, such as a speakeasy. Coe Hall was completed in 1921, at the height of Prohibition -- hence the secret bar.

"He stocked up on massive amounts of scotch and a lot of champagne," said Joyce. "And no one even knew that there was a bar here."

And while there's plenty to see inside Coe Hall, for many, the most stunning views are OUTSIDE ... take the Italian Gardens, complete with reflecting pool; and the estate's Rose Garden.

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The gardens at Planting Fields.

CBS News

Planting Fields ... an unusual name. But from the ground up there's nothing strange about this spectacular escape.

       
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