It’s a reminder of the “Gilded Age”, a time of opulence in America; two stately homes fit for the wealthiest citizens of the US.

The first is Shadow Lawn mansion, a 90,000 square foot estate in West Long Branch.

The estate’s history dates back to the early 20th century when it was first developed by John A. McCall, president of the New York Life Insurance Company. The original mansion served as the summer White House for President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, where he planned his reelection campaign.

After a devastating fire in 1927, Hubert T. Parson, president of the F.W. Woolworth Company, commissioned the construction of the current Shadow Lawn Mansion as a replacement.

It is the eighth largest home in the US.

It’s now part of Monmouth University and was used in the movie, “Annie.”

The other massive New Jersey home is a mansion called “Florham” and it was built by a Vanderbilt,

It was constructed during the 1890s for Hamilton McKown Twombly and his wife, Florence Adele Vanderbilt, a member of the illustrious Vanderbilt family.

Here are some of the pertinent facts about the mansion:

🏡 Architectural Style: The mansion is designed in the English Baroque Revival style.

🏡 Architects: The renowned firm McKim, Mead & White, known for designing notable buildings such as the original Penn Station and the Rhode Island State House.

🏡 Landscaping: The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the co-designer of New York City’s Central Park.

🏡 Construction: The mansion was built between 1893 and 1899.

According to 24/7 Wall Street, it cost $5 million to build, which translates into $146 million in today’s dollars.

New Jersey / Money

Don’t worry if you think you can’t afford it; it’s not for sale. In the 1950s, the estate was broken up and Fairleigh Dickinson University acquired the house and 138 acres of the grounds.

The mansion is now the centerpiece of the campus.

The estate originally spanned over 1,200 acres, meticulously assembled through 37 separate purchases to create a contiguous property on Madison’s “millionaire’s row.” This area was also home to other Gilded Age luminaries such as the Rockefellers, Dodges, and Mellons.

When used as a residence, it had 110 rooms. Thomas Edison, a close associate of the family, personally designed the mansion’s heating system and boiler.

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