Lynnewood Hall

Oooh, how the mighty have fallen. To say Lynnewood Hall is massive would be a massive understatement.

Indeed, it’s the twelfth largest historic house in the U.S. It features a whopping 110 rooms (like a ballroom that can accommodate 1,000 guests) outfitted in neoclassical architecture, and it once held the most important private art collection of European masterpieces in the country.

Unsurprisingly, it’s from the Gilded Age. It was built in 1900 for Peter Arrell Brown Widener, a businessman who became wealthy from investing in public transit and meat packing, among other things. He had three sons (one of whom died on the Titanic) and lived in the house until he passed in 1915.

His son Joseph inherited the mansion and lived there until he died in 1943 and no surviving members of his family, even his children, wanted to take on the responsibility of the place. By 1945, Widener’s estate was valued at $98,368,058!

A developer later tried to sell Lynnewood, but the only taker was a fundamentalist preacher, Carl McIntire, who bought the home in 1952 for $192,000. It went into foreclosure in 2006 when the McIntire organization couldn’t pay the mortgage.

About Author