#4: Blairsden, New Jersey: 56,000 sq ft
The New Jersey home of the late C. Ledyard Blair, a banking heir and sportsman, sits on 34 acres of land overlooking the Somerset Hills. Only 47 miles away from the city of New York, it was designed by Carrere & Hastings and took five years to complete, being finished in 1903. Today it is owned by T. Eric Galloway, a New York Developer, who purchased it for $4.5 million (£3.5m).
Entering the front doors is like taking a step back in time. The tapestry-draped walls of the grand hall are made of stone, while marble entrances lead to various reception rooms. A sumptuous red carpet leads up to the first floor, which C. Ledyard Blair and his family used as their living area.
Taking more from grand stately homes than modern mansions, the interior uses marble columns, detailed moldings and elaborate fireplaces that wouldn’t be out of place in a castle. On the ground floor there are around 10 rooms, including a large living room and a reflection room. The centre features a huge entertainment room with three sets of doors leading outside to the courtyard.
Outside, you’ll find tennis courts, extensive rose gardens and an ornate stone and brick staircase, which is linked to a mosaic ramp that leads to the lake. This is where C. Ledyard Blair held the elegant weddings of his four daughters. The mansion also hides a basement, which houses a pool, Turkish baths, and a squash court.