By William G. Scheller
March 01, 2006
Michael Luppino

Diane and Steve Akseizer
Legend Yacht and Beach Club
Glen Cove, New York

When F. Scott Fitzgerald needed a locale for The Great Gatsby, he chose the north shore of New York's Long Island, focusing on a stretch of mansion-studded beachfront called the "Gold Coast." When Steve and Diane Akseizer went looking for a new home four years ago, they found Gatsby's old haunts just to their liking. They settled on a sumptuous, new, 46-home gated community called Legend Yacht and Beach Club, in Glen Cove, less than 25 miles from Manhattan.

"The property had been the Loew estate, belonging to MarcusLoew, of the theater and motion picture family," explains Steve, adentist who serves as a trustee for the Academy of GeneralDentistry. "He built a 100,000-square-foot mansion here andentertained people from Helen Hayes to the Prince of Wales." Loew'smansion was torn down in 1968, but the acreage on Long IslandSound, with water views that stretch from New York to Connecticut,made the perfect setting for a new community.

As with many of the Gold Coast's golden-age householders,residents of Legend Yacht and Beach Club find it easy to take tothe water. "This is the only community in the Nassau-Suffolk Countyarea with its own marina on the sound," Steve points out, "and eachhouse has its own slip."

Homes at Legend stand on half-acres of land. They range in sizefrom 3,200 to 6,000 square feet, not counting basement space.(There's also one 10,000-square-foot residence that originallyserved as the mansion's carriage house.) "There were four basicmodels to choose from," says Steve, "but by now each has beenmodified, so there are quite a few differences among them."

Modifications can't be made at will, though. If residents wantto change the color of their siding, extend their driveway, or putin a basketball court for their kids (the Akseizers' four sons aregrown), the Legend homeowners' association first has to review theproposed alterations.

"When you look for a home in this type of community, you have tomake sure that your needs as an individual are in line with therules," says Steve. He notes that while some similar developmentspermit fences as high as 6 feet, "here, no fences are allowed. It'sall open, and it looks like you own everything. You can't doanything that blocks the view of the sound."

Legend has set aside 26 acres as communal property, including a1½-acre pond with two fountains. Egrets, herons, andcormorants nest nearby. Classic gas lighting in common areasminimizes nighttime light pollution. There's nothing old-fashionedabout maintenance, though, unless it's sheer attention to detail."In the winter, snow is shoveled right up to your front steps by 6a.m.," says Steve. "The docks are beautifully maintained, there's alifeguard at the pool, and the gatehouse is staffed 24 hours aday."

Then there are the intangibles. "Ever since we've lived here,I've felt like we've been in paradise," says Diane Akseizer, whoworks for the department of radiation and oncology at Long IslandJewish Hospital. "I don't know what I've enjoyed most―thespectacular sunrises and sunsets, gazing at the bright stars on aclear night, or smelling the salty air while looking out over thesound. When I've had a particularly difficult day at work, I remindmyself that this is really what it's all about."