Thornewood is located in Lakewood WA and comprises 31,000 sq. ft. Starting in 1908, construction took four years at a cost of $1,000,000 ($10,000,000 in today’s dollars). Four-hundred-year-old bricks from an English castle were used. Later development reduced the acreage from 110 to just 4; however, restoration has brought back much of it’s previous splendor. A … Continue reading
Rhodes Hall is one of the last great original homes on Peachtree St. in Atlanta. It was completed in 1904 and built by a successful furniture retailer who offered reasonably priced furniture and installment plans–both innovations at the time. It cost $50,000 ($700,000 in today’s dollars) to build and boasted over 300 light bulbs at … Continue reading
Snyder Castle in Camdenton AR is also known as Ha Ha Tonka (“laughing spirit” in Osage). It was built in 1905 also utilizing local stone materials. Unfortunately, Snyder did not enjoy his new home for long as he was killed in one of Arkansas’ first auto accidents. It sat unfinished for 16 years, then tragedy … Continue reading
The last castle isn’t really a castle at all–it was a “summer cottage” built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II. It has 70 rooms and 125,000 sq. ft., of which 62,000 is living area. The Breakers was built between 1893-95 at a cost of $11,000,000 ($110,000,000 in today’s dollars). Almost half of the 70 rooms were for … Continue reading
Oheka Castle was built between 1914 and 1919 by financier Otto Herman Kahn (hence, Oheka) on 443 acres on the highest point on Long Island, NY. It cost $11,000,000 ($110,000,000 in today’s dollars) making it second only to the Biltmore Mansion in Ashville NC as the most expensive home ever built. It has 127 rooms and … Continue reading
Far less imposing is Bryan Castle built in Idaho Springs CO in 1880. It was acquired in 1965, and the new owner built a moat and a draw bridge and put in extensive landscaping which now all but hides the home. The first photo is dated 1895 and the third shows it as an apartment … Continue reading
Melrose Castle was built on 50 acres in Casanova VA in 1853. During the Civil War it was occupied by both Union and Confederate forces. Melrose Castle has 9,000 square feet and, after years of neglect, is now privately occupied. It is seen here in two pictures from 1863.
Located 50 miles north of New York City on a six-acre island in the Hudson River sits a spooky, hulking relic known as Bannerman Castle. It was built by Frank Bannerman VI who, at 13 years of age, took over his father’s military supply business in New York City when his father left to fight … Continue reading