What a great picture this is!  This is the 30,000 square foot Stone Mansion located in Alpine, NJ that is currently on the market for $56 million. I took the picture on the left a month into its construction back in mid 2008 when I first started my blog. Construction took about a year and a half I believe. I walked throughout the whole home and I would never have thought that I would be touring it 4 years later!! It’s crazy to think it once was just a shell. Now it’s one of the most impressive homes ever built in the last decade! ♥

  • ZigZagBoom

    Kenny obviously likes this house, and that’s fine. As I’ve said before I have some issues with it but it’s pretty respectable for a house in that market. It’s not going to be winning any awards from the “Society of Historical Revival Architects” if such a thing even existed, but that’s OK. Google my previous comments about it and its retaining wall if you must.

    But we criticize here, and someone has to be the big bad wolf and be willing to say this: a big bad wolf might not be able to blow this house down, but a small F1 tornado could. It’s basically “stick framed” with stone veneer. IF I had the kind of money these people do…and I don’t and I never will…I would build my house as a commercial building, with block walls, steel posts and beams, and poured concrete subfloors/floors. That was probably the standard for “mansions” up until about the 1960s…for example I know of a large house outside Richmond, VA, built in the 1940s in that manner. Yes, even the 2nd story was a concrete subfloor, to totally stop noise from the entertainment areas coming up.

    My father was an attorney who worked mainly for European clients, so I grew up with Europeans frequently visiting our house and spending time with my family. Whenever the subject of homes came up they would laugh and say how big American’s houses were, but that they were poorly built. That’s the stereotype. A german fellow in particular would always say that every house in Germany has to be built with masonry blocks. That was quite a few years ago (I hate to date myself!) and I don’t know if it’s still true. But it shows that at least back in the cold war era they built for longevity there, not merely the biggest size for the buck. (or mark!)




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    • Guru

      Agree with the sentiment but concrete block should be obsolete.

      ICF is the way to go. Take a look at what they are using on Pensmore (http://www.pensmore.com).




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      • Iemand

        Let’s say about 95% of the houses here (Netherlands, and in general: Europe) are build with bricks and concrete, including our own (not that I would call our home a mansion…).

        And yes that’s also how I think about the houses in the U.S. They look like they’re made out of bricks and concrete while in fact they’re completely build out of wood. It’s cheap and easy but I have my doubt’s about quality and other things.
        Not to say wooden houses are bad by definition but still…




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        • marc22

          we do forget that a major reason homes in Europe are still built of block and stone is because vast renewable forests are non-existent in Europe. For them concrete block and brick is logical. In a country with sizeable forest reserves and available lumber, wood framing will always be the easiest and most logical solution for us. That being said, a home of this magnitude, should have been built with a steel frame and concrete subfloors and a true block and stone exterior wall, not typical platform framing. That’s why old mansions are so hard to demolish, they were built to last for centuries. This home will sag and have dry rot and termite damage long before its time.




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          • Iemand

            True, true…




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  • alex

    The Stone Mansion just hosted the Welcoming Ceremony of the NEW RANGE ROVER to North America:

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/for-2013-range-rover-a-stage-as-monumental-as-the-vehicle/




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  • Brian

    I have to agree with ZZB on the construction issues. Most period mansions were built to far higher construction quality than today, leaving aside design quality which ZZB also mentions. But I have a question on the actual floor plan of this mansion, Kenny. In the NOW photo, we have a main block with symmetrical flanking wings, but in the 2008 photo, the matching left-hand wing is missing. Framing indicates that this was the external wall initially. So does it appear to you that the left-hand wing was an afterthought?




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  • Tony

    Hey KENNY did they change the design of the exterior after you took the first pic because the front facade has a completely different shape in the first pic than how it looks in the finished pic???




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    • Kenny Forder

      Not that I’m aware of




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      • Tony

        the photo you took is completely different from the finished home. You don’t see the difference?




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        • Lonnie

          @Tony I see exactly what you’re talking about. It looks as if they added another wing or something.




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    • Al Robinson

      I see it too. You can tell where the front door is, but left of the before picture is another triangle than has disappeared in the after picture. I think they built out from that spot.




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      • Tony

        I’m glad someone else see’s it. I was beginning to think i was the only that had a good eye.




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  • Orlando

    The two pictures are the same, it’s just that the angle of the first one makes the left wing appear flush with the rest of the house……and I could never get sick of seeing this house, it is perfection…aesthetically speaking




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  • Tony

    No there’s is a huge difference, it is not the angle. Click the pic to make it big, you may have to click a few times but eventually you get a huge image. It is completely flat to the left of the entry but comes out at the right of the entry door. But in the photo once the construction is finished it is not flat at all to the left of the entry, it comes out just as far on the left of the entry as the right. It is very obvious.




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  • ARob84

    Nothing changed. Just the angle. At first glance it looked like the original photo was just a front facade. The triangle didn’t disappear, that’s the left wing end. The original photo was also taken at a further distance. The finished photo was taken smack in the middle of the driveway.




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  • Sam

    Lol the STONE mansion is made out of WOOD.




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    • Tony

      Everything is made like that now. Everything is made cheap. Even these $50 million plus mansions. Its sad. But at least it has a stone veneer over the wood. But if this was built 80 years ago or whatever it would have been built entirely of stone.




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  • Adam

    The left side of the house is definitely different in the first picture. That dormer(?) on the far left isn’t there in the finished picture. I view this site daily and have never posted, but felt compelled to do so after some people couldn’t see the differences?!




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    • Kenny Forder

      Yeah. It’s different, but they didn’t change the original style they were going for.




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  • Michele

    It’s the angle. Definitely.

    Notice the pile of lumber in front of those two windows in the before picture – they are on the end of the extended wing (NOT flush with the front door).

    Look at this view of the house:
    http://www.real-estate-tourist.com/2012/01/nj-new-build-is-listed-at-56-million/

    See how the left wing continues to the left.




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  • Skippy And Frank

    I am somehow familiar with Big Houses just in a different Zip Codes and I wonder what, if anything, can be done to sell this house …

    6 years down the road you can’t even call this house a New House. You can only say “nobody lived there” …

    I mean after next 6 we STILL going to say “New Home” … ???

    Times of making quick $20M are over ( maybe some ppl just didn’t get the msg and keep on dreaming … Cut the loses and move on … )




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  • Anita

    I would buy it, live in it with my family, and cherish it for years to come!




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  • Mike

    It’s a very nice house don’t get me wrong, but if you are going to call it a stone house at least use Concrete blocks + Stone Siding. Not Wood Frame + Stone Siding. Looking at the house and the land, this property worth about half of what the seller is asking for.




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