A Look Inside The Former Home Of A Famous Art Collector - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

A Look Inside The Former Home Of Famous Art Collector Albert Barnes

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The outside of the former home of Albert Barnes. The 16-room Tudor mansion built in 1914 is on the market. The outside of the former home of Albert Barnes. The 16-room Tudor mansion built in 1914 is on the market.
A look inside the 16-room mansion in Merion Station, Pa. A look inside the 16-room mansion in Merion Station, Pa.
MERION STATION, Pa. -

In the market for a new home? Got $2.99 million to spend? We may have just the place for you.

The 16-room Tudor mansion built in 1914 for Philadelphia's most famous art collector, Albert C. Barnes, is now on the market.

The home, at 379 N. Latches Lane in Merion Station, Pa., took four years to complete.

But it took just five minutes for Dr. Michael Toaff to fall in love with it when it went on the market seven decades later.

"I had already with me a contract with $5,000 more than the asking price," Toaff told FOX 29s Bruce Gordon. "I said, 'I'll take it.'"

Realtor Beth Samberg agreed to give us a sneak peek, showing off the grand foyer, complete with a huge, carved stone fireplace from Paris.

"In the daytime," says Samberg, "the light that comes through the (stained, leaded) windows is spectacular."

The millwork is what stands out: delicately carved moldings and beautiful wainscoting.

All of it, red oak.

And on the roof?

Belgian brick tiles.

The home reflects the earliest days of modern technology, featuring buttons in every room that allowed the owner to silently call to servants upstairs, and the servants to know to which room to report.

And hidden away under a first floor staircase, an early telephone- no dial, just a button to push to connect to the operator.

Toaff says he's downsizing-- that he no longer has need for a 10,000 square foot home.

But he says he won't sell to just anyone.

"You are getting her, on loan, a tremendous beauty," he says of the house, carriage home and 1.8 acres of land. "Your job is to guard it, to keep it in good shape and give it to the next connoisseur."

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