Frank Furness and his partner, Allan Evans, began the design of Clement Griscom's Dolobran in 1881, and continued with ever more grand modifications until 1895. Griscom was president of the American Steamship Company and the Red Star Line of ships, and a director of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
We had a chance to see the first floor of this house on a tour sponsored by the Lower Merion Conservancy this week. Although the house looks large, the inside is even larger, because it slopes on a hillside in back. Located originally on 150 acres, grounds contained formal and informal gardens, farm buildings and pastures, and a golf course. The house shows Furness working in the "stick style." It has been neglected through the years, and although it was a designer's show house in 1990, still needs much restoration. The most spectacular space was the ballroom, which is at the bottom level at the back. It has large skylights on each side, which can be seen from above by standing on a grand piazza overlooking the grounds. There is a grand staircase leading down to this room which reminds me of the one in the Titanic movie.
Griscom lived in the house for 30 years, but upon his death, the contents and land were quickly sold off. It is now in an exclusive residential area with large old homes on large lots. It is currently on the market for $4.5 million and there are pictures of the interior when it was a show house on Realtor.com, just in case you are curious.