Laurel Lane, Haverford
It’s the third of three buildings by flamboyant Philadelphia architect Frank Furness in the Hall of Fame, the most important architect the Philadelphia region has ever produced. Furness and his partner, Allan Evans, began designing this home in 1881, and then continuously modified and re-modified the house over a 14-year period until 1895. Built for shipbuilder Clement A. Griscom, president of the American Steamship Company and the Red Star line, and a director of the Pennsylvania Railroad, it was laid out in a characteristically asymmetrical Victorian Gothic revival style. The house includes Furness’s trademark ornate brick chimneys and wildly original roof and window treatments. Of special note is this home’s ballroom, measuring some 40 feet by 50 feet. Abandoned at one point in its recent history, this house rose from the ashes to become the Vassar show house in 1990, and is now restored to its place in the local landscape and a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.