The Once-Abandoned Mansion In Pennsylvania With Tragic Ties To The Titanic
All across the Pennsylvania landscape sit abandoned places – homes, barns, and buildings crumbling and slowly being reclaimed by nature but revealing little of their pasts. While we can wistfully wonder about the history of many of these abandoned places in Pennsylvania, there’s one majestic mansion that tells a tragic tale of heartache, loss, and hope. This
once-abandoned mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania even has ties to the Titanic.
Some tales were just meant to begin with once upon a time, and that’s precisely the case with Lynnewood Hall, a 110-room mansion nestled in Elkins Park, less than half an hour from Philadelphia.
Construction on this Gilded Age mansion began in the waning years of the 1800s, with the Widener family, led by patriarch Peter Widener, moving into the majestic home in 1900.
Designed by architect Horace Trumbauer, Lynnewood Hall cost $8 million to build. Today, it is considered by many the last of Philadelphia’s Gilded Age mansions.
Within years of moving into the Philadelphia-area mansion, the Widener family faced unspeakable tragedy. Peter Widener’s son George, daughter-in-law Eleanor, and grandson Harry traveled to Paris in 1912.
The Wideners had made the trans-Atlantic journey with the purpose of finding a chef for The Ritz Carlton, at that time a new hotel in Philadelphia.
The photo above is of patriarch Peter Widener.
Together with two servants, the Widener family checked into their first-class accommodation on the Titanic to make the return trip home to the United States. Only two would survive the journey.
Above is a photo of Harry Widener.
After the Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912, Eleanor and her servant sought refuge on one of the lifeboats while George, Harry, and their servant went down with the ship.
Eleanor went on to remarry, continued traveling the world, and died in Paris in 1937 when she was 76 years old.
The above photo is of Eleanor Widener.
Just two years later, Peter Widener would pass away at the age of 80. Ownership of Lynnewood Hall changed numerous times over the years, eventually being purchased by the First Korean Church of New York.
Upkeep of the mansion, however, proved too steep, and Lynnewood Hall was eventually abandoned. Some hoped to have the mansion demolished and the area developed, but that all changed in 2023.
With the Lynnewood Hall Preservation Foundation at the helm, the Gilded Age mansion has been purchased. Plans, including fundraising, for restoring the home and gardens are currently underway.
Take a virtual tour of Lynnewood Hall with this
YouTube Video, shared by Bros of Decay.
Have you heard about Lynnewood Hall, a once-abandoned mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania? Let us know in the comments! If abandoned places fascinate you, how about setting off on this
road trip to the most abandoned places in Pennsylvania?
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Address: Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, PA, USA