PHOTO: Titanic tragedy house
A $256 million mansion built by one of America’s richest men and tied to the Titanic tragedy has been left in ruins as these stunning photos show.
Peter Widener was one of the richest men in America about 100 years ago after winning big on public transportation.
He invested some of his incredible wealth — which would have been in the tens of billions in today’s money — in lavish properties.
None were more extravagant than Lynnewood Hall, which was built on a 34-acre plot near Philadelphia in 1900 by architect Horace Trumbauer and known as “The Last American Versailles”.
The home cost $8 million in 1900 – about $256 million today with inflation. Picture: Abandoned southeast/mediadrumworld/Australscope
Widener retired there in his later years, which were rocked by personal tragedy.
Widener, a 20 per cent investor in the Titanic, declined his spot on the ill-fated ship in 1912 because of his age. He was 77 when it launched at Southampton.
But the JP Morgan associate’s son, daughter-in-law and grandson — George, Eleanor and Harry Widener — were overseas in France to hire a French chef for their new hotel, the Ritz Carlton, according to a Widener University professor’s research.
So the family patriarch decided to bring his family home to their $8 million Elkins Park home — about $256 million today with inflation — in style.
The estate is said to have played host to Spanish royalty, the Crown Prince of Sweden and the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia. Picture: Abandoned southeast/mediadrumworld/Australscope
Only his daughter-in-law would survive the trip; George and Harry perished at sea.
Widener himself would pass three years later, willing the 70,000-square-foot mega-mansion, which has 55 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms, a great hall with a grand staircase, an indoor pool, an art gallery and a 1,000-person ballroom, to his youngest son Joseph, who died there in 1943.
The First Korean Church of New York, which still owns the property, took ownership in 1996 for a sale recorded at $0, according to Montgomery County property records. Picture: Abandoned southeast/mediadrumworld/Australscope
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