Located in Burlington, NJ
Photo © 2007 Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
McNeal Mansion History
The stately home of industrialist Andrew H. McNeal, nestled in a bend of the Delaware River, was constructed in 1894 to serve as a home for himself, his wife, and four daughters. The Colonial Revival style three-story mansion was built using a wealth of money acquired from his successful McNeal Pike and Foundry Company, which was located on the same tract of land as the home. At 10,000 square feet of living space, the mansion was deemed as the largest private residence in the entire county, and also featured a separate carriage house for maintaining horse-drawn vehicles.
McNeal's company was acquired by a large conglomerate called the United States Cast Iron Pipe and Foundry Company in 1899 (now known as U.S. Pipe Company). When the McNeal family left the mansion, U.S. Pipe used the building as the company's corporate office and expanded it to include three more wings in the 1920s and 1930s, creating a total of 24,000 square feet of space. When the corporate office vacated the mansion in 1953, the building seemed to continue to be used as a regional office for the company until it was finally shuttered in 1974 and left to decay.
The mansion was nominated for the federal Registry of Historic Places, but was not approved due to opposition from U.S. Pipe. Numerous plans to renovate the structure into hotels, condos, and restaurants have come and gone since the 1980s, either canceled due to the large estimated rehabilitation costs or rejected by local government. A fire in 2001 gutted much of the mansion, and it is now considered a total loss by developers (restoration has been quoted at $7-$10 million), however the carriage house listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places has been deemed as salvageable.
As of 2015, developers working under the name McNeal's Harbor Redevelopment LLC plan to demolish the mansion as well as a nearby electrical supply house, and to construct 98 town homes, 128 condominiums, a park, and a 8x6 foot monument.