The Once-Abandoned Pennsylvania Mansion With Tragic Titanic Connections

Abandoned homes, barns, and other structures may be found all throughout Pennsylvania; they are deteriorating and gradually being reclaimed by nature, but not much about their former lives is visible. While many of these abandoned locations leave us wondering nostalgically about their past, one magnificent location tragically recounts a narrative of heartbreak, loss, and hope. This is the only abandoned home in Pennsylvania with a connection to the tragic Titanic expedition.

Certain stories were just intended to start with “Once upon a time…”

… and Lynnewood Hall, a 110-room estate tucked away in Elkins Park, less than 30 minutes from Philadelphia, is just that.
With the Widener family, headed by patriarch Peter Widener, moved into the opulent residence in 1900, construction on this Gilded Age palace started in the closing years of the 1800s.

Horace Trumbauer, the architect, spent $8 million designing and constructing Lynnewood Hall. Many people now believe it to be the final remaining house from Philadelphia’s Gilded Age.
Soon after settling into the home in the Philadelphia region, the Widener family experienced an unimaginable tragedy. In 1912, George, the son of Peter Widener, Eleanor, his daughter-in-law, and Harry, his grandson, visited Paris.

The Wideners had traveled across the Atlantic to locate a chef for The Ritz Carlton, a brand-new hotel in Philadelphia at the time. Peter Widener, the patriarch, is shown above.
The Widener family boarded the Titanic and found themselves in first class, along with two maids.

The intention was to travel back to the United States. Only two would make it through the trip. A picture of Harry Widener is seen above.In April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg. Eleanor and her servant managed to escape in a lifeboat, but George, Harry, and their servant perished along with the ship.

Eleanor Widener (shown above) proceeded to tour the world, was married again, and passed away in Paris in 1937 at the age of 76.
Peter Widener, eighty years old, would die in less than two years. Over the years, Lynnewood Hall’s ownership changed many times until the First Korean Church of New York finally acquired it.

Over the years, Lynnewood Hall’s ownership changed several times until the First Korean Church of New York ultimately bought it.
However, the mansion’s upkeep proved to be too costly, and Lynnewood Hall was ultimately abandoned.

In 2023, plans to destroy the historic home and develop the surrounding area were abandoned.
The Gilded Age home has been acquired by the Lynnewood Hall Preservation Foundation. The restoration of the house and grounds is presently in the planning stages, including funding.

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