Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
4 Jun 2013

St Patrick's Seminary at Manly transformed as Long Island Mansion for The Great Gatsby
One of the most outstanding landmarks in Sydney, the Archdiocese of Sydney's former seminary at Manly is one of the undisputed star's of Baz Luhrmann's hit movie, The Great Gatsby.
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel as American imploded on excess on the eve of the depression, the film centres around the mysterious Jay Gatsby, his enormous, enigmatic past, his fabulous parties which he never attends and his ongoing obsession with Daisy, the girl he fell in love with as a young man who is now married to an arrogant, rich philandering husband.
Although set in the US director Baz Luhrmann filmed the entire movie in Australia with the former seminary, now the International College of Management, taking centre stage as the Gatsby's home on Long Island where the fictional hero threw his fabulous Jazz Age parties.
According to Luhrmann, the Gatsby Mansion was created at the former Seminary with fountains and a pond added to the grounds for filming and ivy clustered over the first two floors of its sandstone Gothic exterior.

Cardinal Moran Responsible for St Patrick's College, Australia's first Catholic seminary
The front stairs and entrance way were also changed and gravel put down to create a sweeping driveway.
Originally conceived by the second Archbishop of Sydney, Roger Bede Vaughan, the Church applied for and was granted 12 hectares of land on North Head Reserve in 1859 on which to build a seminary. For almost 30 years the land stood vacant but finally work began in 1885 under the direction of Sydney's third Archbishop, Cardinal Patrick Moran who had arrived in Australia the previous year and was taken with the land and what must be one of the most spectacular sites in Sydney.
Well known 19th century architects, Joseph Sheerin and John Hennessey designed the seminary in a blend of neo-Gothic and Romanesque styles. Using stone quarried from North Head and finer stone sent by barge from Pyrmont, along with cedar and kauri, the four storey seminary with its six storey belltower was eventually finished winning wide praise worldwide.

Former Seminary becomes mansion of Great Gatsby where the fictional hero threw lavish jazz age parties
Hennessy and Sheerin designs were outstanding and before the building was even finished, they were awarded a medal for the architecture at the London's Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886. They would later go on to design other well known Catholic buildings including St Joseph's College, Hunter's Hill, the Cathedral of Joseph and Mary at Armidale and were responsible for finishing William Wardell's designs for Sydney's much loved St Mary's Cathedral.
However despite all the praise and their meticulous attention to detail, when the seminary at Manly finally opened on 23 January 1889 there was also considerable controversy over its grandiose size.
"Some may think a seminary on so large a plot is not required. But I look to the future. In erecting this seminary I shall meet the want of all Australian dioceses," Cardinal Moran responded.
Over the next 100 years, 1714 men who studied at St Patrick's Seminary were ordained priests. Many of the nation's outstanding church leaders also trained there, including Cardinals Gilroy, Freeman, Cassidy and Clancy together with more than 41 bishops.

Archdiocese's former St Patrick's Seminary at Manly where much of The Great Gatsby was filmed
In 1995, after a modern purpose built seminary was constructed at Homebush, the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Australian Tourism Group undertook a major refurbishment of the nineteenth century building which was reopened in 2002 as the International College of Management, Sydney.
Although no longer used as a seminary, St Patrick's Estate as it is now called remains one of the most spectacular and historic areas of Sydney. The Hennessy and Sheerin-designed Cardinal Cerretti  Memorial Chapel in the Estate grounds remains a favourite with those planning weddings and on 25 June 2006 is where actress Nicole Kidman chose to wed Keith Urban.