A massive 65-room mansion once owned by the Vanderbilt family is one of the most expensive homes in the Berkshires — take a look inside

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The summer cottage has 65 rooms and has an asking price of $US12.5 million. Anthony Acocella
  • A Massachusetts mansion once owned by the Vanderbilt family is on the market for $US12.5 million, the New York Post reports.
  • The 65-room home sits on 89 acres of land and has 65 rooms in total.
  • The property is so large that it straddles two towns.
  • The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same man who designed New York City’s Central Park.
  • John Barbato of Compass holds the listing.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A property that once served as a summer “cottage” for the Vanderbilt family is now on the market for $US12.5 million, the New York Post reports.

In a 2014 profile, Forbes reporter Natalie Robehmed dubbed the Vanderbilts “American royalty” known for their vast wealth and lofty social stature in the Gilded Age.

Per Robehmed, the family made their money from a lucrative railroad empire and went on to produce notable businessmen, philanthropists, and socialites. One current-generation Vanderbilt, Anderson Cooper, is a prominent CNN journalist.

According to the listing, Elm Court was first built for Emily T. Vanderbilt, who was one of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt’s granddaughters, and her husband. The Post notes that the couple was unhappy with how humble the original summer cottage was and expanded it to the current, enormous, 65-room mansion on a plot of land that spans two different Massachusetts towns.

Take a look inside the sprawling property.


A Massachusetts summer home once owned by the Vanderbilt family is on the market for $US12.5 million.

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An aerial view of the property. Gavin Preuss

Source: Compass


Located in the Berkshires, the massive 89-acre Elm Court was in the Vanderbilt family from the time it was built in 1886 until 2012, when it was sold to a Denver-based resort developer (though plans to turn it into a resort never materialised).

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An exterior shot of the house. Gavin Preuss

Source: The New York Post, Compass


The home was only used as a private residence by its original owners. One Vanderbilt descendant turned it into an inn from 1948 until 1957, when it was shuttered due to high costs. After that, it laid abandoned until 1999, before another Vanderbilt purchased the estate and renovated it into an event space.

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An aerial view of the property. Gavin Preuss

Source: Compass


According to the listing, the house was first designed in the 1800s by Peabody and Stern, a top architecture firm at the time.

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One of the 65 rooms in the house. Anthony Acocella

Source: Compass


The property’s lavish grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted — the same man who designed Central Park in Manhattan, per the Post.

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The house seen at a distance. Gavin Preuss

Source: Compass


The large home has a whopping total of 65 rooms, which includes 13 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms.

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One of the many rooms in the house. Anthony Acocella

Source: Compass


The 65 rooms, which include one eat-in kitchen, are spread out over three levels.

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The kitchen. Anthony Acocella

Source: Compass


The kitchen has a large island, multiple stovetops, and several walls devoted to storage space.

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The kitchen. Anthony Acocella

Source: Compass


In addition to the eat-in kitchen, the home also has a separate formal dining room, big enough to entertain many guests.

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The formal dining room. Anthony Acocella

Source: Compass


Kussin wrote for the Post that the house has features reminiscent of the Gilded Age era in which it was first built, like wood-burning fireplaces, parquet floors …

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One of the many indulgent fireplaces in the home. Anthony Acocella

Source: The New York Post, Compass


… and coffered ceilings.

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Carpeted floors and coffered ceilings in a hallway. Anthony Acocella

Source: Compass


The home’s significance has been formally recognised as well — the listing notes that it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The rooms all have high ceilings and ample space. Anthony Acocella

Source: Compass


There are plenty of opportunities to take in the surrounding 89 acres on which the house sits. The main residence has multiple balconies and a porch that look out onto the lawns.

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A balcony in the home. Anthony Acocella

Source: Compass


Once you step outside, you’re greeted by the property’s ample grounds that include gardens, woods, and open fields.

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The property grounds. Gavin Preuss

Source: Compass


Though it’s certainly the biggest, the main house isn’t the only structure on the property. It also has carriage houses, stables, a caretaker’s house, two barns, and two smaller cottages.

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The stables. Gavin Preuss

Source: Compass


There’s also a free-standing greenhouse.

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The greenhouse. Gavin Preuss

Source: Compass


The property underwent significant renovations in 2000 when it was rescued from abandonment and turned into an event space. “You can imagine during the Vanderbilts’ time, that was quite a spectacular space,” listing agent John Barbato told Tiffani Sherman of Realtor.com.

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The house pictured at night. Gavin Preuss

Source: Compass, Realtor