Blairsden Mansion – New Jersey

 

Blairsden is a historic 62,000 square foot, 38-room mansion located in Peapack-Gladstone, New Jersey. Set high on a hilltop overlooking Ravine Lake, the mansion is part of what was originally an estate of 550 acres (2,200,000 m2). In addition to its 38 rooms, the mansion has 25 fireplaces and 19 bathrooms.

Blairsden was built between 1897 and 1903 for Clinton Ledyard Blair.

C. Ledyard Blair:

Blair was born in Belvidere, New Jersey on July 16, 1867. He was the son of DeWitt Clinton Blair, a philanthropist and industrialist, and Mary Anna (née Kimball) Blair. His paternal grandfather was John Insley Blair, one of the wealthiest men of the 19th century.

He attended the Lawrenceville School and then Princeton University, graduating in 1890 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

While still a senior at Princeton, Blair joined his father and grandfather in founding the banking firm of Blair & Company, primarily to manage railroad interests linked to the Gould family. The firm underwrote a $50 million bond issue of the Western Pacific Railroad and helped in the financial management of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad and the Western Maryland Railroad.

After Blair & Company merged with the firm of William Salomon & Co. in April 1920 (under the name of Blair & Co., Inc.), Ledyard Blair was named chairman of the board of directors. He was also the director of several railway companies, including the Clinchfield Railroad, the Sussex Railroad, and the Green Bay and Western Railroad.

Blair & Co. was active in assisting with the mergers of oil companies.

In 1924-1925, the firm arranged a deal in which Standard Oil of Indiana obtained control of the Pan American Petroleum and Transport Company and Lago Petroleum Company in Venezuela.

House in Early 20th century

Foyer & Staircase

Marble columns and doorways, unique and elaborate mantels for the 25 fireplaces, and exquisite moldings accent the home. Designed to accommodate the prestigious list of visitors and weekend guests, the second floor was for the family and special guests while the third floor was largely dedicated to staff.

Italianate gardens were created, extensive rose gardens added by the tennis courts, and a stone and brick staircase linked to a mosaic ramp that once led to Ravine Lake.  Elegant weddings for his four daughters took place in this exquisite setting overlooking the countryside. Inside, the basement then held a pool, Turkish baths and a squash court.  Expansive public rooms on the first floor opened to terraces or the veranda that joined the tea house, or Belvedere.

Billiard Room & Dining Room

When Blair died in 1949¸ much of the land was divided and sold off, and Blairsden sold in 1950 to the Sisters of St. John the Baptist who owned it until 2002.  The grandeur of Blairsden remains wonderfully intact with recent renovation and will benefit from continued refinement.

The mansion was subsequently listed for sale and sold in 2012 for $4.5 million to a holding company named Blairsden Hall, LLC. Local officials identified the new owner as T. Eric Galloway, a New York developer and president of the Galvan Foundation and the Lantern Organization.

In May 2014, Blairsden was the site of the 2014 “Mansion in May” Designer Showhouse and Gardens. This designer showhouse was presented by the Women’s Association of Morristown Medical Center, and it attracted over 33,000 visitors, giving the public to take an inside look at the restoration of the Mansion.

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