The Lavish Estates of America’s Wealthiest Families

Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina

The Lavish Estates of America’s Wealthiest Families

It should come as no surprise that some of America’s wealthiest families live on lavish estates. In some cases, these homes might have been passed down through generations, or they were built from mega wealth.

In either case, these homes show off a family’s ability to live in a way only a handful of people will ever experience. With this in mind, let’s look at the most lavish estates of some of America’s wealthiest families.

Kennedy Compound

Kennedy Compound
The Kennedy Compound is one of the most famous homes in America.

The most famous of all the properties in the Kennedy family is the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Originally purchased by family scion Joseph Kennedy in 1941, it would officially become the family’s legal residence. The compound consists of three buildings, with the main house serving as John F. Kennedy’s campaign headquarters in 1960 and Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter’s wedding in 2023.

Biltmore Estate

The Biltmont Estate in Asheville, North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate was once the largest private home in America.

America’s largest home, the once super-wealthy Vanderbilt family still owns the 178,926 square foot Biltmore Estate. During the Gilded Age, George Washington Vanderbilt II fell in love with the Asheville, North Carolina area and wanted to call it home. The mega-mansion has since become a major tourist attraction after being opened to the public.

Mount Vernon

Now a museum, Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington.

At the time of his death, it’s surprising to learn George Washington was worth north of $500 million. While he’s mostly remembered for his role as a General and America’s first President, it’s easy to forget Washington was very wealthy. Washington’s plantation estate, Mount Vernon, totaled up to 8,000 acres of land including the main mansion and 30 other buildings.

The Breakers

The Breakers is a Vanderbilt Mansion in Gilded Age with Neo Italian Renaissance style in Newport , Rhode Island RI, USA. This mansion is the largest building in Newport.
The Breakers is one of many summer homes built for the Vanderbilt family.

Once the summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt III, The Breakers was built in 1893. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, this Gilded Age mansion includes the main home with 62,482 square feet of living area. The Breakers remains the most opulent house in the Newport area, though it is now owned and operated by the Newport Preservation Society as a museum.

Hickory Hill

Hickory Hill Kennedy
Hickory Hill was another large estate where members of the Kennedy family lived.

The one-time home of Robert F. Kennedy and his wife, Ethel, who lived there until 2004. The 5.6-acre property was also once owned by future President John F. Kennedy, who sold the 7,850-square-foot home to his brother in 1956. The Kennedy home on Hickory Hill with its 13 bedrooms was the family’s second most used residence after the Kennedy Compound in Maine.

Meadow Brook Hall

Meadowbrook Hall
The heir to the Dodge fortune built Meadow Brook Hall as a palatial estate.

Owned by the heir to the Dodge automaker fortune, the 110-room Meadow Brook Hall was the fourth-largest mansion in U.S. history. Classified as an American castle, Meadow Brook Hall was finished in 1929 with a total square footage of 88,000 square feet. Sold off after Matilda Dodge Wilson died in 1961, the home is now used by Oakland University.


Florham Vanderbilt
Located in New Jersey, the Florham home was another Vanderbilt mansion.

Totaling 80,000 square feet, the Florham home in Madison, New Jersey, was formerly owned by Florence Adele Vanderbilt. Granddaughter of family scion Cornelius Vanderbilt, Adele built Florham in the 1890s. With 110 rooms, the estate was designed by the same team that built the Biltmore home. Today, the estate is now used by Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Marble House

Marble House
A summer home in Rhode Island, Marble House was built for the Vanderbilt family.

Now a popular museum, the Marble House was a Vanderbilt property in Newport, Rhode Island. Used by members of the family, this Gilded Mansion was a summer cottage. William Kissam Vanderbilt owned the home, which included 50 rooms and a staff of 36 servants. In today’s dollars, the home would have cost $373 million to build.

Rough Point

Rough Point Home
Another Rhode Island home built for the Vanderbilts, Rough Point was later bought by Doris Duke.

Originally built by Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt, Rough Point in Newport, Rhode Island, is best remembered for another resident. Now open to the public, the home’s last owner was Doris Duke. Heir to a billion-dollar tobacco empire, Duke was often called “the richest girl in the world.” The Rough Point home was finished in 1892 and has since grown in size to 39,000 square feet.

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle
The Hearst Castle is a massive piece of property once owned by William Randolph Hearst.

Built by publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, Hearst Castle was finished in 1947. While the palatial home is a public museum today, it originally cost around $11 million to build. The home was built for Hearst and his family and was frequented by Hollywood stars. The main home features 68,500 square feet and 42 bedrooms.

Duke Farms

Duke Farms
Duke Farms was built for James Duke, father of Doris Duke and a tobacco company chairman.

Established by James Buchanan Duke, father of Doris Duke and American Tobacco Company chairman, Duke Farms is a massive estate. The 2,700-acre estate includes 45 buildings, 9 lakes, and 18 miles of road. Upon her father’s death in 1925, Doris moved into the home and would eventually open it to the public in 1964.


Winterthur Museum
Still owned by the du Pont family, Winterthur is home to a large antiquities collection.

One of the largest private homes in America, Winterthur was the lavish estate home of Henry Francis du Pont. Founder of the Du Pont chemical company, Winterthur’s main home was 96,582 square feet of lavish estate. Now open to the public, the home is said to have one of the largest antiques collections in the entire country.

Andrew Carnegie Mansion

Andrew Carnagie Mansion
The Andrew Carnegie Mansion was one of the largest homes in America.

One of the wealthiest men in American history, Andrew Carnegie, was a scion of the American steel industry. Building his fortune in the late 19th century, Andrew Carnegie would go on to build his namesake mansion. With over 56,368 square feet of space, the 64-room home also has huge gardens on two sides.

Xanadu 2.0

Xanadu 2.0
Home to Bill Gates, Xanadu 2.0 is one of the most technologically advanced homes in America.

The mansion famously owned by Bill Gates, the Media, Washington home is said to be over 66,000 square feet in space. Famous for its use of technology, the home only has seven bedrooms and two kitchens. What’s most fun about the Gates home is that lighting and climate controls are all monitored by a high-tech sensor system that changes for every person who walks into a room.


James Madison's Montpelier
Once home to James Madison, Montpelier is now owned by the du Pont family.

A lavish estate with a unique heritage, Montpelier was once the Virginia plantation home of James Madison. The fourth President and founding father lived in this home for a short period. After six more owners, the home finally became the property of the wealthy du Pont family in 1901. The du Pont’s created a horse estate and still own the home today, though it now operates as a public museum.

Rockwood Hall

Rockwood Hall
Rockwood Hall was built by William Rockefeller, co-founder of Standard Oil.

Another lavish estate from the Gilded Age, Rockwood Hall was once owned by William Rockefeller. Brother of John D. Rockefeller, the brothers co-founded the Standard Oil Company. At the time of its completion, the home had 204 rooms and was the second-largest home in America. Today, the home is part of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve.


The Riverside home of Charles M. Schwab was one of the largest homes in New York City.

The former home of Charles M. Schwab was once one of the largest estates in New York City. Costing $6 million, it was finished in 1906 and had over 50,000 square feet of space. Schwab, who was the President of U.S. Steel and later founded Bethlehem Steel, went broke in the 1929 Wall Street crash.

Nemours Estate

Nemours Estate
Another home for the du Pont family, Nemours Estate has one of the best gardens in America.

Located in Wilmington, Delaware, the 105-room, 47,000-square-foot Nemours Estate was built for Alfred I. du Pont in 1910. As a second gift for his wife, the lavish estate is famous for its 18th-century French furniture. The home is also well known for having the largest French formal garden in North America.

Hyde Park

View of historic Vanderbilt Mansion at Hyde Park, New York
With 45 acres of space, the Hyde Park home of Frederick Vanderbilt was finished in 1898.

Sitting on 45 acres with 45,000 square feet, the Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park, New York offers a beautiful view. Built by Frederick Vanderbilt between 1896 and 1898, the home has 54 rooms in total. The home is one of the oldest Hudson River estates and now lives on as a National Historic Landmark owned by the National Park Service.


Kykuit Rockefeller
America’s first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller built the Kykuit home in New York.

Also known as the John D. Rockefeller estate, Kykuit is a 40-room lavish estate in Mount Pleasant, New York. Built by America’s first billionaire, this home passed through generations including former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Today, this home is a National Historic Landmark with regular Historic Hudson Valley tours available.

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