The History of Gateways Inn
Harley Procter, of Procter & Gamble, built the Gateways Inn, originally named Orleton, in 1912. Mr. Procter had purchased the land from the Lenox Club at the cost of one dollar. Like many mansions or “cottages” of the era, the Orleton estate was built in grand style, and for the sole purpose of vacationing and entertaining. It is said that Mr. Procter wanted the mansion to be rectangular and white, as was his company’s famous product: the Ivory Soap Bar and was based on the designs of McKim, Mead and White, the renowned New York architects.
Post-Victorian in style, the design is highlighted with neoclassical elements including the white clapboard exterior, the roof top balustrade, corner pilasters and Doric cornice. The main entrance, flanked by Tiffany-style windows, opens into a beautiful hallway and a spectacular freestanding stairway and second floor balcony.
The Procter’s owned the Orleton for just a short time, selling the estate in 1919. After that time the home went through several changes being used as an office, a girl’s finishing school, a dance school, and a private members club, until it was purchased in 1937 by Ms. Lulu Wands and transformed into an inn, naming the property The Gateways.
Of it’s several owners over the years as an inn and a restaurant, most notable were Lillian and Gerthard Shmidt whoowned and operated it in the 70’s. Gerthardt was, at the time, the only Michelin star chef in the entire US, a celebrity chef before the term was even invented, and the restaurant was one of the most famous in the country.