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13 Comments

  1. 1

    Daniel

    The last one reminds me a lot of the Soffer residence on Indian Creek Island, especially from the rear:

    http://www.dlgvarchitects.com/projects/architecture/indian-creek-residence

    Reply
  2. 2

    ZigZagBoom

    The Michigan place is revolting. A roundhouse shaped garage in a pseudo-french medieval chateau style. Yeehaw! BUT, kudos to the place in Potomac for being built to commercial building standards. Although the DC suburbs generally pail in comparison to the Main Line, North Shore LI, Westchester Co., Weston, MA etc. when it comes to having real, tastefully designed and solidly built mansions, I can imagine there might be a few buyers in a place like Potomac who would demand that quality. (the interesting thing about DC versus those other places is that, because of its relative provinciality, it seems many more mansions were built in the city, right up to the 1920s. However, as the city grew in the 20th century, many of those were torn down. Supposedly a long stretch of Connecticut avenue that’s now apartments, was a row on mansions at one time. Now, there were stand-alone mansions in NYC that were swept away with history too – but I think those cities had more well developed suburban mansions even by the start of the 20th century. While there was only 1 Merrywood on the Potomac, in the other northeastern cities there would have been many, many such mansions built by the 1920s.)

    Reply
    1. 2.1

      NOVA Ben

      Those are some good points, and I’ve often puzzled over the relative lack of “old-money”-quality mansions in the DC area. There are certainly some impressive estates, but not in the same numbers as the Main Line, LI, etc etc. Northwest DC itself has some absolutely BEAUTIFUL mansions, but indeed many others have been lost to time. Some of the most beautiful historic residences (at least from the outside) in DC are actually embassies. I’d love to see a big coffee-table book dedicated to the embassies of DC (perhaps one already exists, I don’t know)

      Reply
      1. 2.1.1

        ZigZagBoom

        It’s not a big book, but there is a book from the well known photographer Carol Highsmith of embassies. As I’ve said, a lot of them got destroyed because of the demographic factor I already mentioned. Washington, DC was not even in the top ten US cities in population until 1950. There wasn’t nearly the amount of industrial wealth that there was in NYC, Philly, Boston, Chicago, or even Detroit, Baltimore or Cleveland. Philly, Baltimore, NYC, Boston, Charleston were the 5 major cities of the colonies when the location of DC was chosen as a compromise between the north and south.

        Or, somewhat relatedly, there’s the fact that the sort of people who respect history enough to preserve such old mansions wouldn’t have been in DC anyhow. It never attracted the old money because it had that slightly provincial reputation. They’re quite happily ensconced in Greenville, DE, Bucks County, Riverdale in the Bronx, whatever. (I couldn’t believe there was a section of NYC that looked like that, the first time I went there) So, as late as the mid 1990s I remember a huge 1920s Tudor mansion – probably near Foxhall Rd. – being purchased by some nouveau riche idiot, who knocked it down and then decided the lot wasn’t big enough for whatever he wanted to build there.

        Reply
    2. 2.2

      marc22

      Also to touch upon what has been said, NYC, Chicago, Philapelphia, Detroit, Boston, etc have surrounding old world mansions built at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century because they were business centers, major ports and/or financial centers. DC has always been what it is today, a city dedicated more to government and the business of government. It would not be the place to live if you were from a prominent business family, although some built there to have influence and make a name for themselves on the DC social circles, but the Vanderbilts, Pratts, Carnegies, Wideners, Astors, Goulds, Rockefellers, Fricks, etc, were wise enough to live elsewhere. There are a few books covering the great DC mansions built, the survivors most often being converted to embassies.

      Reply
  3. 3

    ZigZagBoom

    Notice too that the Potomac mansion has very, very controlled and minimal landscaping in front. Only 2 types of plant in a permanent plantings that complement, rather than distract, from the architecture. There’s a forecourt with plenty of room for cars if 5 ambassadors arrive at the same time for a reception. You don’t make them wait LOL. Would love to know who’s building that place.
    As I’ve noted before, the design firms that can do an “authentic mansion” seem to specialize in commercial work.

    Reply
  4. 4

    ZigZagBoom

    Oh jeez, I didn’t look carefully enough! The last 3 are in Edina! I thought they were completed pictures of the place in Potomac. Well – good for Edina…it redeems the upper midwest in my mind after that horrible place posted a few days ago.

    Reply
  5. 5

    Sam

    i like mansion #2 the best out of these but i would never buy a house like that. the rest of these are boring.

    Reply
  6. 6

    Dan Bach

    New pictures of the house in Edina on the architects website.
    http://www.tea2architects.com/newhomes/new40.htm

    Reply
    1. 6.1

      Kenny Forder

      WOW, amazing!!

      Reply
    2. 6.2

      ZigZagBoom

      Great. Thanks for the link.

      Reply
  7. 7

    Hunter

    Living in MN, and being a fan of mansions, I’ve driven around the Rolling Green neighborhood a number of times. It’s pretty spectacular, as it’s full of very large as well as some mega mansions. Very pretty as well. You guys who don’t think MN has big homes would be in for a shock if you ever visit. We have plenty of 10,000 sq ft plus mansions in the state.

    Reply
  8. 8

    marc22

    # 2 has got alot going on but #4 is the stunner. Seems to be a beautiful property.

    Reply

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