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Lavish Mansion Commissioned by an Industrialist Asks $2M

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Location: Birdsboro, Penn.
Price: $1,990,000
The Skinny: Designed by famed Victoria-era architect Frank Furness, whose surviving works include the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Fisher Fine Arts Library (which, opined Frank Lloyd Wright, is "the work of an artist"), this beautiful 42-room mansion sits on three bucolic acres just outside Reading, Pennsylvania. The home was built in 1888, a typically lavish wedding present from a Gilded Age industrialist to his bride, outfitted with all manner of cutting edge 19th-century technologies, including an elevator, a central vacuuming system, and even a fire-extinguishing contraption. Sprawling over 13,890 square feet, the rosewood, oak, and cedar manse has 1,500-plus square feet of wraparound porch alone, bigger than many modern apartments. The estate once encompassed 87 acres and numerous outbuildings in the same style, but time and changing needs have done their work, whittling the holdings down while—thankfully—still preserving the home itself. Over the 125-year span of the home, which is asking $1.99M, it's been a B&B and a retirement home, and it's still zoned for all kinds of commercial uses, including fine dining and corporate offices.

· 301 Washington Street, Birdsboro, Penn. [Redfin]
· All House of the Day posts [Curbed National]