The U.S. doesn’t have the medieval castles that you find in Europe, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some remarkable houses in the states. Many of the historic homes in the United States were built by barons of industry like the Vanderbilt’s, Carnegie’s, and Rockefeller’s. Here are ten houses that you might want to stop and visit if you’re ever in the area.
Built between 1908-1912, Fonthill Castle was the home of Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930). Mercer was known as an archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramist, scholar and antiquarian. Mercer himself designed the castle with a mix of Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles. Read More
Asheville, North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate is the largest private estate in the U.S. Completed in 1895, ownership of the home is still in the Vanderbilt family. The estate was complete with a winery, dairy farm, exquisite gardens, restaurants, and more. For an added treat visit during the Christmas season.
San Simeon, California
When newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst set out to build himself a castle, he did just that. Don’t be surprised if you see zebras and other herds on the estate, descendants from Hearst’s private zoo.
Kykuit, New York
This New York estate is also known as the Rockefeller Estate and looks like something straight out of a movie. Here you can also appreciate a stellar collection of sculptures, art, and fine tapestries, including works from Picasso.
James Deering was an industrial executive in the family Deering Harvester Company. Deering and his lead designer toured all over Italy to gain inspiration for this amazing estate. This home is absolutely stunning and many believe it is the most beautiful home in America.
Newport, Rhode Island
The Breakers is another American mansion built by the Vanderbilt family. An international team of craftsmen created this stunning 70 room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo.
San Jose, California
The Winchester Mystery House was the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester. This home is long rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles. Mary did not use an architect and added on to the building in a haphazard fashion, so the home includes oddities such as doors and stairs that go nowhere, windows overlooking other rooms and stairs with odd-sized risers.
The Vanderbilt Mansion
Hyde Park, New York
The Vanderbilt’s Hyde Park mansion was constructed between 1896 and 1898 and is small compared to the other Vanderbilt family homes. The bedroom of Louise Vanderbilt was inspired by The Marie Antoinette chamber at The Palace of Versailles and the rest of the home is every bit worthy of kings and queens as well.
Westbury, New York
Old Westbury Gardens is the former estate of John Shaffer Phipps, heir to a U.S. Steel fortune. This gorgeous estate is furnished with fine English antiques and decorative arts from more than fifty years of the family’s residence.
Huntington, New York
In 1917, construction began on what would become the second largest private residence ever built in America. The estate served as a summer home for German financier and philanthropist Otto Kahn and his family. The library and grand staircase are breathtaking and makes you feel like Jay Gatsby or Daisy Buchanan may wander in at any given moment.