The 17,000-square-foot Dolobran Estate will be up for auction on October 6. The starting bid? Just $750,000, far below owner Amy Nislow's original asking price of $3.9 million and sinfully less than the $15.9 million it sold for in 2000. The Victorian Gothic revival home was built for shipbuilder Clement Griscom in the late 19th century by the region's preeminent architect of the period, Frank Furness. Furness began its design in 1881 but was unable to stop tinkering for another 14 years—perhaps it was his white whale. Dolobran has a number of Furness hallmarks, like the scalloped shingles on the exterior, the brick chimneys that flare outward, and the unique roofing. Inside, woodwork repeats the scalloping and fireplaces are surrounded by ornate carved mantlepieces, one of which has a Shakespearean theme. There's an enormous ballroom and a Morrocan-styled solarium. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Long & Foster's Gary Gestson told the Philadelphia Business Journal that people in the market for a home like this are different than the average Joe:
These buyers, for example, get excited about moldings and nine-over-nine window panes that may have names from a bygone era etched in them. Our people, in other words.