Yes, Lynnewood Hall — in all of its 110 room, Trumbauer designed glory — is still on the market. You've seen what the majestic mansion looks like on the inside, now it's been confirmed that it would take a hefty sum of money to restore it to its former pomp. Mary DeNadai, an architect specializing in historic restoration, is quoted in an article on Philly.com as putting the number at around "$50 million" in repairs. That eye-popping price would push the total investment anywhere between $70 - $100 million, should an investor come along and pay the $20 million asking price to owner Richard S. Yoon. And even then, as the article states, the uses would be limited for the property that spans nearly 34 acres. DeNadai mentioned that the spectacular homestead of Peter A.B. Widener could be "beyond salvage" in five to ten years should the neglect continue. In a word: Damn.
Check out this brief history lesson of the opulence once seen at Lynnewood Hall:
Lynnewood Hall, completed around 1900, was a Georgian-style mansion large enough to house Widener, his two sons and their wives, five grandchildren, one of the nation's largest private art collections, carpentry and upholstery studios, a power plant, and a ballroom large enough for 1,000 guests to waltz without bumping elbows. The hallways and galleries were filled with art that Widener had acquired "like a greedy boy plundering apples from an orchard," Fortune magazine wrote in 1932. The house was 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.
The decor left no doubt as to the Wideners' money. One writer called the rooms "suffocating in their over-decorated intensity."
Hopefully, time isn't running out for Lynnewood Hall. Apparently, a "number of parties" are "on the fence" about the property, according to real estate agent Frank Johnson. Which probably isn't too comforting to those who envision the mansion's revival in some form.
· A1 Ashbourne Rd, Elkins Park, PA 19027 [Zillow]
· The clock is ticking for Lynnewood Hall [Philly.com]
· Lynnewood Hall Coverage [Curbed Philly]