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Location: Vermilion, Ohio
The Skinny: This one is a doozy. Built by the man who revolutionized office interiors with the drop ceiling, Don Brown, this 38,000-square-foot Ohio estate sits on 170 acres on the shores of Lake Erie. Brown and his wife, Shirley, died last year in a tragic plane crash and now his Florida-based heirs are aiming to sell the massive spread. Hugh Newell Jacobsen collaborated with Brown on the design, hence the similarity to the Knapp family spread in Bel-Air, Calif. The duo spared no expense in constructing this personal palace back in the mid-'80s and spent $20M on construction—that's almost $40M in today's dollars. Brown, who had fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, enjoyed the high life for more than two decades in this lakefront mansion, using the private helipad to head off to dinner and employing an estate manager who was, conveniently, also a helicopter pilot. The manse, which resembles a collection of oversized cottages, houses five bedrooms, 16 baths, three kitchens, nine fireplaces, a sauna, an elevator, and two indoor swimming pools. That makes it one of the Midwest's most extravagant homes. However, it is not, as some news reports have claimed, the largest house in Ohio. That honor goes to Limited Brands billionaire Les Wexner's 45,000-square-foot Georgian outside of Columbus.
· The Waterwood Estate [Sotheby's via Homes of the Rich]
· Former Arch Digest Owners' Hugh Newell Jacobsen in Bel Air [Curbed LA]
· Estate Sale [Lake Erie Living]
· Mr. Wexner Builds His Dream House [Fortune]