Historic Homes Real Estate News: New Jersey Mansion Has Ties to Lincoln Memorial

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One of America's spectacular mansions with ties to the Lincoln Memorial is for sale and featured this week at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.

Darlington mansion is one of the most notable examples of artisan craftsmanship in the United States.

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“New Jersey Mansion Has Ties to Lincoln Memorial”

An English Gothic Revival mansion that was built in 1907 in New Jersey for railroad heir George Crocker was designed by James Brite. According to the listing agent, Brite, along with his partner, Henry Bacon, also helped design the original Madison Square Garden, American University and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. At 50,000 square feet, the New Jersey mansion is one of the largest on the East Coast - about 5,000 square feet smaller than the White House. It has recently been listed for sale at $48 million.

Located in Mahwah, New Jersey, where wealthy New Yorkers went in the early 1900s to escape the big city heat and congestion, the land originally belonged to Alfred B. Darlington who had a smaller mansion on the property. Darlington was a New York City hotelier who made his fortune as the senior proprietor of the luxury Fifth Avenue Hotel which catered to wealthy Americans and Europeans. The hotel took up an entire block of Fifth Avenue and was where Ulysses S. Grant kicked off his presidential campaign in 1864. By 1872, Darlington had acquired enough wealth to pay $50,000 for 1,100 acres in the Ramapo Valley where he built a 27-room home, raised cattle and trotting horses, and developed a racetrack that came to be known as Darlington.

George Crocker, vice president of the Southern Pacific Railroad, purchased the estate from Darlington in 1901. He and his family lived in the original mansion while building the new Darlington on a hill 185 feet above the original home after choosing what he felt was the perfect site. He modeled it after Bramshill House, a Jacobean mansion in Hampshire, England. By 1909, both Crocker and his wife had died and the estate passed into the hands of banker Emerson McMillin, who lived there until his death in 1922. In 1927, the estate was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Newark that housed the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology there until 1984, then sat empty for the next 40 years until purchased by a local business owner who has invested millions in the home’s restoration and updated features.

Listed as a New Jersey historical landmark, Darlington was also listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The massive home includes 58 rooms, 29 bedrooms and 21 baths and houses a century-old, 45-foot-tall Aeolian player organ which may be the last remaining in the world. Also the grand hall with 30-foot ceilings, a library with 15-foot ceilings painted by muralist James Wall Finn, formal dining and tea rooms, commercial kitchen, double master wings, wine cellar/tasting room, cigar room, beauty salon, theatre, multiple recreation rooms and a luxury spa with the works. Outside are a pool and tennis court, both with cabanas, gate house, eight-car garage and large staff quarters with lounge.

Darlington mansion, the Gilded Age beauty built from railroad wealth, is one of the most notable examples of artisan craftsmanship in the country. Now sited on over 12 manicured acres and only 40 minutes from Manhattan, it is for sale asking $48 million. Co-listing agents are Sonja Cullaro of Special Properties Real Estate Services, and Kathleen Coumou of Christie’s International Real Estate.

Visit TopTenRealEstateDeals.com for more historic, spectacular and celebrity homes and real estate news.

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Terry Walsh
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