Thome described the mansion as the “last American Versailles.”
Lynnewood Hall was originally built in 1897 for Peter A.B. Widener, who was an avid art collector, especially of Rembrandt’s.
The mansion’s art galleries will be a big focus of the restoration project spearheaded by the nonprofit Lynnewood Hall Preservation Foundation. The foundation bought the property back in June with the mission to restore the home and make it open to the public.
“This is arguably the most important preservation project in America right now,” facility site manager Tyler Schumacher said. “The opulence, the incredible history, the architecture of this building. Losing a building like this is something you can never get back.”
The foundation estimates that they will need $100 million to complete the restoration project. The plan is to open the grounds of the estate next year and eventually host public tours. The vision is to make the estate a cultural center for education, architecture, and art.
Step inside Lynnewood Hall in Elkins Park with CBS News Philadelphia.
More on the Gilded Age Mansion.