Lynnewood Hall is a 110-room Neoclassical Revival vacant mansion in Elkins Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. It was designed by architect Horace Trumbauer for industrialist Peter A. B. Widener and built between 1897 and 1900. Considered the largest surviving Gilded Age mansion in the Philadelphia area, it housed one of the most important Gilded Age private art collections of European masterpieces and decorative arts, which had been assembled by Widener and his younger son, Joseph.
Peter A. B. Widener died at Lynnewood Hall at the age of 80 on November 6, 1915, after prolonged poor health. He was predeceased by his elder son George Dunton Widener and grandson Harry Elkins Widener, both of whom died when RMS Titanic sank in 1912. The structure changed hands a few times over the subsequent decades, with large portions of the estate grounds sold off in the 1940s, and has been predominantly vacant since 1952, when it was purchased by a religious group that started selling off the interior detailing.
Built from Indiana limestone, the T-shaped Lynnewood Hall (dubbed "The last of the American Versailles" by Widener's grandson) measures 325 feet (99 m) long by 215 feet (66 m) deep. In addition to 55 bedrooms, the 110-room mansion had a large art gallery, a ballroom large enough for 1,000 guests, swimming pool, wine cellars, a farm, carpentry and upholstery studios, and an electrical power plant.
A 2014 Philadelphia Inquirer article described the mansion as "dripping with silk, velvet, and gilded moldings, the rooms furnished with chairs from Louis XV's palace, Persian rugs, and Chinese pottery, the halls crammed with art by Raphael, Rembrandt, El Greco, Van Dyck, Donatello." TIME magazine published an account of a lavish party held at Lynnewood Hall in 1932
Peter A. B. Widener was an investor of RMS Titanic, having invested in International Mercantile Marine, owner of the White Star Line, with J.P. Morgan.
George Dunton Widener and Harry Elkins Widener, the eldest son and grandson of Peter A. B. Widener respectively, both died in the 1912 sinking of Titanic. George and his wife, Eleanor Elkins Widener, had traveled to Europe with their son Harry in 1912, booking a return passage on the ship's maiden voyage. George hosted a grand dinner party aboard the world's most luxurious ocean liner. The ship's captain, E.J. Smith, had to leave the party early to check on reports of icebergs ahead. George, his valet, Edwin Keeping, and Harry died in the sinking, while Eleanor and her maid survived by boarding a lifeboat with other First Class women.
The library in Lynnewood was turned into a ballroom after the sinking of Titanic. Peter A. B. Widener died in his bed at Lynnewood Hall just three years later. The New York Times reported that he succumbed to "old age and deep sorrow caused by the loss of his son and his grandson in the Titanic disaster." - Wikpedia
The mansion has been abandoned for years and is currently for sale for $11 Mil.
ExteriorPhoto by Andrew Goldman
Ballroom / library