The Lynnewood Hall Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit which officially acquired the estate on June 30, recently posted photos of the ballroom and the outdoor “Rockery,” and Untapped New York published an extensive article titled “10 Secrets of Lynnewood Hall, ‘The Last American Versailles’” which includes its own set of original photos.
From Lynnewood Hall Preservation Foundation’s Facebook post on Thursday, August 31:
Here we present a striking before and after of The Ballroom.
This room was so much more than just a space for hosting guests and grand events, it was also a display room for many of the precious artifacts collected over the years by the Widener Family.
The first photo is a colorized black and white photo taken in 1942 by LIFE. The second photo shows the same angle of The Ballroom as it appears today.
The accompanying photos are pictured above.
Their post from August 29 regarding “The Rockery”:
When it pertains to the variety of garden designs at Lynnewood Hall, we often are asked, “what is a Rockery?”
Most do not realize that the overgrown miniature forest on the East side of the property actually contains one of the most magical spaces on the estate. Unlike the formal gardens, The Rockery is a natural garden comprised of several spiral walkways, hundred of trees, dozens of which are old growth, and two steel and concrete bridges faced in beautiful hand cut stone. The white pea gravel walkways, lined with giant granite boulders, culminate at the apex of a small hill which provides a scenic, yet secluded, vantage point over the estate.
The main gate and driveway for the estate cuts along the base of this natural garden with a lovely rock wall made of wissahickon schist that bends in and out along the road. Right before the main drive reaches the home, it crosses a granite and limestone bridge flanked by two gorgeous staircases. These lead down to the main pathway that connects the main formal gardens to The Rockery.
For decades the main driveway has been used as a dumping ground for brush and other debris by previous owners, hence why it is currently rendered unusable. Once this area is cleaned up we intend to reinstate the original driveway which will provide future guests with the intended approach and first impression of Lynnewood Hall. We have found many old and important artifacts buried out in the Rockery including hand cut Indiana Limestone balusters, an original J.L. Mott toilet from the Hall, and a myriad of other odds and ends. Our very own archeological site!
Did you know The Rockery existed? Tell us what the perfect afternoon in this area looks like to you!
Untapped New York’s article covers the art gallery’s lighting system, a hidden room full of safes, underground tunnels and buried gardens, secret doors, ties to the Titanic, the ballroom/library, a bowling alley and billiards room, furniture, and the Grand Hall.
The Lynnewood Hall Estate didn’t just include the 100,000-square-foot mansion and the nearly 35 acres of land it sits on today. It originally covered 300 acres. On that land were two structures that still exist – Lynnewood Lodge (the former stables) and the Gatehouse – as well as a lost farm, a Normandy-style village for the staff, a powerplant, greenhouses, a polo field, and more. Snaking below the property is a large system of underground tunnels. VanScyoc told Untapped New York that the tunnel system may be even larger than they know. One branch of the tunnel system definitely goes from the basement of the main house to the central fountain in the front yard. A few manhole covers have been found around the property, but there may be more to uncover.
For the full article, you can click here.
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Photos courtesy of Lynnewood Hall Preservation Foundation