Updated: Will Someone Please Buy Lynnewood Hall Already?

The majestic 110-room mansion has cut another $1 million off its asking price.
Photo credit: Ty via Flickr.

Photo credit: Ty via Flickr.

Update (July 17, 11:00 a.m.): Frank Johnson, listing agent from BHHS Fox & Roach, got back to us about the prized property. According to Johnson, the new, lower asking price of $16.5 million “is actually a good sign to finalize a sale.”

There have been “approximately five offers” on the property that are a mix of “creative ideas for the site.” Due to it being one of the last remaining Gilded Age mansions of its scale, the intrigue in the property has been from around the globe, garnering interest from South Africa and England. “We’re getting close.”

Interestingly enough, he said the estimated $50 million renovation cost that has been floated out there is “out of orbit.” The cost would depend on what a developer ends up doing with the property. “It lends itself to being developed,” said Johnson, who listed the site could have a wide range of uses, including multiple wedding venues, hotels, 5-star restaurants, boutique shops or even condos and housing.

“It takes time to get the right party,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we’ll get renewed interest and additional interest [with the new asking price.]”

Original: $2o million: that’s how much Lynnewood Hall originally asked when it hit the market in July 2014. One full year and three price cuts later, you can now have it for $16.5 million.

Sadly, the Elkins Park mansion is a shell of its former self, a 110-room, 34-acre masterpiece designed by the Horace Trumbauer at the turn of the 20th century as the private compound of Peter A.B. Widener and his extended family. It used to house one of the largest and most impressive private art collections in the world, host Gatsby-esque parties in its grand ballroom and even had its own power plant. It’s a bold statement, but some have even called it one of the finest houses ever built in America.

What exactly you’d be getting in the deal is a bit of a mystery. The listing on Zillow simply reads “Seeking developers and entrepreneurs……..” It’s slightly more detailed on Frank Johnson’s, the listing agent from BHHS Fox & Roach, site: 

Seeking Developers and entrepreneurs……..
Majestic Lynnewood Hall, Peter Widener and Horace Trumbauer’s Dream. offers endless possibilities for developers to convert into Hotel, Business Campus or Retail/housing Condo’s. 70,000 glorious interior square feet with a 33.85 acre gated compound.

Little else is known about the secluded property in its current state. When it first hit the market in July 2014, Johnson told The Inquirer that he had several serious inquiries from developers about the property, including a potential buyer who wanted to own it as a personal residence.  Later on, an architect who specializes in historic restoration suggested $50 million would be needed to return the mansion to its former glory. At this point, we’d take a buyer with some semblance of a plan to save the building, let alone return it to the pomp of its hey-day. Johnson could not be reached for comment.

Here’s a pretty stunning drone video from August 2014 by Home Jab that provides an aerial view of the enormous home and its grounds:

• A1 ASHBOURNE RD, ELKINS PARK, 19027 [BHHS Fox & Roach]

Get at us:

  • Send all tips (including fancy Philly area houses like this and this) to property@phillymag.com
  • Like Property on Facebook!
  • Follow along on the Twitter machine @PropertyPhilly
  • Get pin-happy on our fun Pinterest boards Phillyscape and Philly Home
  • Don’t forget to use the hashtag #phillyscape on your cool Instagram and Twitter pictures. We might just pick yours to be Property’s next Photo of the Week!