From book-keeper to president, one man’s quest for unrivaled success was the same investment that would one day cause him to lose everything.
Hubert T. Parson, the original owner of the still-standing Shadow Lawn Mansion, unexpectedly fell upon the fortune that would one day afford him one of America’s most opulent, yet tragic architectural marvels. Soon after purchasing the original estate located on the grounds in 1918, Hubert and his wife Maysie were informed that their 52-room summer “cottage,” built for John A. McCall in 1903, had burned to the ground leaving only the chimney of one of the many fireplaces erect. The devastated grounds did not remain as such for a long period of time with Parson calling upon the best to design the now world famous, Shadow Lawn Mansion.
For full history and more photos, click the links below.
–Shadow Lawn Mansion– –Additional Photos– –Shadow Lawn Winter–
Northern Facade of Shadow Lawn Mansion.
Great Hall of Shadow Lawn. Main three out of five levels surround the massive room with large, marble staircase made famous in the 1982 movie, Annie.
Grand staircase up to second floor.
Large space joined with the Great Hall. Monmouth University uses this space for large events such as fundraisers and fashion shows.
Looking towards the southwest portion of the Great Hall.
One of two fireplaces in the Great Hall. A large button panel hangs from the wall with the original playlist still printed beside each button for music to play throughout the house. It as close to an Ipod as one could get in 1927.
The smaller skylight over the hidden, marble stairwell that connects the second, third, and fourth floor.
Second floor hall surrounding the Great Hall.
Eastern side of the second floor hall. Behind this wall is a private hall that connects Mr. Parson’s bedroom, bathroom, lounge, master family room, master foyer, Mrs. Parson’s bedroom, bathroom, and lounge. The entire master suite is larger than most houses.
Mr. Parson’s private lounge.
Mr. Parson’s Marble bathtub. Fixtures in the bathrooms throughout the home were gilded in 14 Karat Gold.
Looking form the second floor west balcony towards the east side.
100-foot-long Venetian stained-glass ceiling over the Great Hall. The sun lights the colorful ceiling during the day, but at night 165 bulbs illuminate the magical window.
One of the most impressive ceilings from the Gilded Age/1920s. 165 bulbs give the 100-foot Venetian window a warm glow at night.
Written and Photographed by Matthew J. Niewenhous