Georgian Court, located in Lakewood, New Jersey, was the home of George Jay Gould I and his family–which included wife Edith Kingdon, a former actress and owner of a set of famous pearls, and his seven children, Kingdon, Jay II, Marjorie, Helen Vivien, George Jay II, Edith, and Gloria. Gould purchased 156 acres of land in 1896, and commissioned the noted architect Bruce Price to design and build a magnificent home in “the famous ‘pine belt’ of New Jersey.” Lakewood was a fashionable winter resort before the Gould’s took up residence, but the presence of this extremely rich and extremely well-known family in town lifted the area to rival Tuxedo Park and the Berkshires as an “in” spot for the sociable American upper classes.
Georgian Court was the Gould family’s kingdom, being fitted up with every equipment of country sport, including three polo fields, an immense riding ring, golf links, playing courts for squash, tennis, and racquet ball, a gymnasium, and a 56 x 26 foot swimming pool, next to which was access to a Turkish and Russian baths, steam room, bowling alley, automobile room, club parlor, a breakfast room, kitchen, and some thirty bedrooms. Equally impressive were the extensive gardens, three of which were designed by Bruce Price–the Italian Garden, the Sunken Garden, and the Formal Garden–,while the Japanese Garden was designed by Takeo Shiota. So grand was Georgian Court, a visit to Lakewood to take part in the sporting and social events was added to the Social Calendar for spring, where the greatest novelty was a living chess game held at the Georgian Court Casino.[book id=’4′ /]