The Grandest Historic Mansion in Each State

March 4, 2019 by Grant Suneson

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Before neighbors could show off their wealth by purchasing the latest sports car, wealthy people in America flaunted their money by building opulent mansions. Because of modern advancements in building technology, erecting mansions is easier than ever. But in the early days of America, commissioning a grand homestead was a luxury very few could afford. Many of these homes cost millions of dollars to build at a time when spending that much money on a home was practically unheard of.

There are massive homes in each U.S. state — from plantation homes in the South, to sprawling British-inspired castles in New England, to mansions out in the deserts of the West. These massive single-family homes are now steeped in history, telling the stories of the people who built them and the time when they were constructed.

24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of the largest historic mansion in each state by reviewing information from media sources, historical societies, and museums.

Though each state has historic mansions, some mansions are considerably larger than others. The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina is a gigantic 135,280 square feet — the largest historic mansion in the country. For comparison, The White House is just 55,000 square feet. Arkansas’ largest historic mansion appears to be the relatively small 6,000 square feet Clayton House.

When a structure is that small, it can be tough to determine for certain whether or not it is truly the largest historic mansion. It is possible there is a larger mansion that does not have its size publicly available and has not been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Though the people who commissioned the houses have long been dead, many of their names and legacies live on. The famously wealthy Vanderbilt family built two of the homes on the list: the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and The Breakers in Rhode Island, located in Newport, one of the oldest towns in America. Matilda Dodge Wilson was left with a fortune when her husband John Dodge, co-founder of the Dodge motor company, died. She used some of the money to build Meadow Brook Hall, an 88,000-square-foot mansion in Rochester, Michigan.

But it is not just titans of industry who commissioned a state’s largest homes. Often, governors’ mansions rank as the largest historic homes in their respective states. In states like Kentucky, Maryland, and Mississippi, here are no historic mansions still standing larger than the governor’s mansion.

Many of these mansions are quite old. In Alaska and Hawaii, the mansions listed were built before those states joined the Union.

Click here to see the grandest historic mansion in each state.
Click here to see our methodology.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

1. Alabama: Shorter Mansion
> City: Eufaula
> Built In: 1906
> Commissioned by: Eli Sims Shorter II
> Size: 8,700 sq. feet

[in-text-ad]

Source: Lordkinbote / Wikimedia Commons

2. Alaska: Russian Bishop’s House
> City: Sitka
> Built In: 1843
> Commissioned by: Bishop Innocent
> Size: 21,530 sq. feet

Source: Google Maps

3. Arizona: McCune Mansion
> City: Paradise Valley
> Built In: 1963
> Commissioned by: Walker McCune
> Size: 52,000 sq. feet

Source: Hakbak / Wikimedia Commons

4. Arkansas: The Clayton House
> City: Fort Smith
> Built In: 1852
> Commissioned by: William Henry Harrison Clayton
> Size: Over 6,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: King of Hearts / Wikimedia Commons

5. California: Hearst Castle
> City: San Simeon
> Built In: 1947
> Commissioned by: William Randolph Hearst
> Size: 68,500 sq. feet

Source: Robert Cutts / Flickr

6. Colorado: Byers-Evans House Museum
> City: Denver
> Built In: 1883
> Commissioned by: Byers-Evans families
> Size: 10,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad]

Source: Noroton / Wikimedia Commons

7. Connecticut: Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
> City: Norwalk
> Built In: c. 1864
> Commissioned by: LeGrand Lockwood
> Size: 44,000 sq. feet

Source: Derek Ramsey / Wikimedia Commons

8. Delaware: Winterthur
> City: Winterthur
> Built In: 1932
> Commissioned by: Henry Francis du Pont
> Size: 96,582 sq. feet

Source: maralagoclub.com

9. Florida: Mar-A-Lago
> City: Palm Beach
> Built In: 1927
> Commissioned by: Marjorie Merriweather Post
> Size: 62,500 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation / Wikimedia Commons

10. Georgia: Hay House
> City: Macon
> Built In: 1859
> Commissioned by: William Butler Johnston
> Size: 18,000 sq. feet

Source: Arjunkrsen / Wikimedia Commons

11. Hawaii: Iolani Palace
> City: Honolulu
> Built In: 1882
> Commissioned by: King Kalakaua
> Size: 7,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad]

Source: Nancy Reilly Young / Wikimedia Commons

12. Idaho: Clark House
> City: Hayden Lake
> Built In: 1910
> Commissioned by: F. Lewis Clark
> Size: 15,000 sq. feet

Source: Katherine Johnson / Flickr

13. Illinois: Illinois Executive Mansion
> City: Springfield
> Built In: 1855
> Commissioned by: Gov. Joel Matteson
> Size: 45,120 sq. feet

Source: Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons

14. Indiana: Culbertson Mansion
> City: New Albany
> Built In: 1867
> Commissioned by: William Culbertson
> Size: more than 20,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

15. Iowa: Brucemore
> City: Cedar Rapids
> Built In: 1886
> Commissioned by: Caroline Soutter Sinclair
> Size: 15,000 sq. feet

Source: kansastravel.org

16. Kansas: Seelye Mansion
> City: Abilene
> Built In: 1905
> Commissioned by: Dr. A.B. Seelye
> Size: 11,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad]

Source: Matthew Beck / Wikimedia Commons

17. Kentucky: The Governor’s Mansion
> City: Frankfort
> Built In: 1914
> Commissioned by: James B. McCreary
> Size: 18,428 sq. feet

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. Louisiana: Nottoway Plantation and Resort
> City: White Castle
> Built In: 1859
> Commissioned by: John Hampden Randolph
> Size: 53,000 sq. feet

Source: JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD / Wikimedia Commons

19. Maine: East of Eden
> City: Bar Harbor
> Built In: 1909
> Commissioned by: Walter G. Ladd
> Size: 15,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Ostranox / Wikimedia Commons

20. Maryland: Government House
> City: Annapolis
> Built In: 1870
> Commissioned by: Gov. Oden Bowie
> Size: 38,000 sq. feet

Source: Djmcrenn / Wikimedia Commons

21. Massachusetts: Castle Hill
> City: Ipswich
> Built In: 1928
> Commissioned by: Richard T. Crane Jr.
> Size: 56,881 sq. feet

[in-text-ad]

Source: Wm. Chris Rowland, II / Wikimedia Commons

22. Michigan: Meadow Brook Hall
> City: Rochester
> Built In: 1929
> Commissioned by: Matilda Dodge Wilson
> Size: 88,000 sq. feet

Source: McGhiever / Wikimedia Commons

23. Minnesota: James J. Hill House
> City: St. Paul
> Built In: 1891
> Commissioned by: James J. Hill
> Size: 36,500 sq. feet

Source: Ken Lund / Wikimedia Commons

24. Mississippi: Mississippi Governor’s Mansion
> City: Jackson
> Built In: 1842
> Commissioned by: Gov. Tilghman Tucker
> Size: 11,448 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Melissa Kothe / Wikimedia Commons

25. Missouri: Vaile Mansion
> City: Independence
> Built In: 1881
> Commissioned by: Harvey Vaile
> Size: N/A

Source: DAN / Wikimedia Commons

26. Montana: Daly Mansion
> City: Hamilton
> Built In: 1886
> Commissioned by: Marcus Daly
> Size: 24,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad]

Source: Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

27. Nebraska: Joslyn Castle
> City: Omaha
> Built In: 1903
> Commissioned by: George Joslyn
> Size: 19,360 sq. feet

Source: Tonywiki09 / Wikimedia Commons

28. Nevada: Thunderbird Lodge
> City: Incline Village
> Built In: c. 1936
> Commissioned by: George Whittell Jr.
> Size: 16,000 sq. feet

Source: David Kolifrath / Wikimedia Commons

29. New Hampshire: Searles Castle
> City: Windham
> Built In: 1915
> Commissioned by: Edward Searles
> Size: 30,000-35,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Zeete / Wikimedia Commons

30. New Jersey: Shadow Lawn / Woodrow Wilson Hall
> City: West Long Branch
> Built In: 1929
> Commissioned by: Hubert Templeton Parson
> Size: 90,000 sq. feet

Source: Primeromundo / Wikimedia Commons

31. New Mexico: Villa Philmonte
> City: Cimarron
> Built In: 1927
> Commissioned by: Waite Phillips
> Size: 28,400 sq. feet

[in-text-ad]

Source: OhekaCastle / Wikimedia Commons

32. New York: Oheka Castle
> City: Huntington
> Built In: 1919
> Commissioned by: Otto Kahn
> Size: 109,000 sq. feet

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

33. North Carolina: Biltmore Estate
> City: Asheville
> Built In: 1895
> Commissioned by: George Vanderbilt
> Size: 135,280 sq. feet

Source: Podruznik / Wikimedia Commons

34. North Dakota: Chateau de Mores
> City: Medora
> Built In: 1883
> Commissioned by: Marquis de Mores
> Size: 8,600 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Ohio Office of Redevelopment from Columbus, Ohio, USA / Wikimedia Commons

35. Ohio: Stan Hywet Hall
> City: Akron
> Built In: 1915
> Commissioned by: F.A. Seiberling
> Size: 64,500 sq. feet

Source: Landry76 / Wikimedia Commons

36. Oklahoma: Marland Mansion
> City: Ponca City
> Built In: 1928
> Commissioned by: E.W. Marland
> Size: 43,561 sq. feet

[in-text-ad]

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

37. Oregon: Pittock Mansion
> City: Portland
> Built In: 1914
> Commissioned by: Henry Pittock
> Size: 16,000 sq. feet

Source: Shuvaev / Wikimedia Commons

38. Pennsylvania: Lynnewood Hall
> City: Elkins Park
> Built In: 1900
> Commissioned by: P.A.B. Widener
> Size: 70,000 sq. feet

Source: UpstateNYer / Wikimedia Commons

39. Rhode Island: The Breakers
> City: Newport
> Built In: 1895
> Commissioned by: Cornelius Vanderbilt II
> Size: 62,482 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: KudzuVine / Wikimedia Commons

40. South Carolina: The Lace House
> City: Columbia
> Built In: 1855
> Commissioned by: Thomas Robertson
> Size: 16,500 sq. feet

Source: JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD / Wikimedia Commons

41. South Dakota: Mellette House
> City: Watertown
> Built In: 1885
> Commissioned by: Calvin Mellette
> Size N/A

[in-text-ad]

Source: Irishjames2909 / Wikimedia Commons

42. Tennessee: Belmont Mansion
> City: Nashville
> Built In: 1853
> Commissioned by: Adelicia Acklen
> Size: 19,000 sq. feet

Source: Google Maps

43. Texas: Crespi-Hicks Estate
> City: Dallas
> Built In: 1938
> Commissioned by: Pio Crespi
> Size: 28,996 sq. feet

Source: David Jay Fullmer / Wikimedia Commons

44. Utah: McCune Mansion
> City: Salt Lake City
> Built In: 1901
> Commissioned by: Alfred W. McCune
> Size: 22,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Wilson Castle / Facebook

45. Vermont: Wilson Castle
> City: Proctor
> Built In: c. 1885
> Commissioned by: John Johnson
> Size: N/A

Source: dhr.virginia.gov

46. Virginia: North Wales
> City: near Warrenton
> Built In: 1781
> Commissioned by: William Allison
> Size: 38,500 sq. feet

[in-text-ad]

Source: Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

47. Washington: Thornewood Castle
> City: Lakewood
> Built In: 1908
> Commissioned by: Chester A. Thorne
> Size: 27,000 sq. feet

Source: Enrichyourmind / Wikimedia Commons

48. West Virginia: Governor’s Mansion
> City: Charleston
> Built In: 1925
> Commissioned by: William MacCorkle
> Size: 21,000 sq. feet

Source: Stephen Matthew Milligan / Wikimedia Commons

49. Wisconsin: Taliesin
> City: near Spring Green
> Built In: 1911
> Commissioned by: Frank Lloyd Wright
> Size: 37,000 sq. feet

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: IreneWyo / Wikimedia Commons

50. Wyoming: Trail End
> City: Sheridan
> Built In: 1913
> Commissioned by: John B. Kendrick
> Size: 13,748 sq. feet

Methodology

In order to determine the largest historic homes in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed media sources, local and state historical societies, tourism boards, and the National Register of Historic Places. Only homes built before 1966 were considered. The buildings had to serve as single-family homes at some point in their history.

Most of these buildings no longer serve as homes, and many have been converted into museums. To be considered, the homes must have publicly available information about their size, or they provided that information to 24/7 Wall St. Houses were ranked on square footage, unless that information was unavailable, in which case the homes were ranked based on the number of rooms they have.