7. Elm Court

Elm Court was the Berkshire “summer cottage” of Emily Thorn Vanderbilt (granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt “The Commodore”) and William Douglas Sloane. The sprawling, 106-room estate was designed by the renowned architectural firm Peabody and Stearns, while the landscaping was done by the eminent Frederick Law Olmsted.

While the estate was originally constructed with the purpose of being used as a summer home for family and friends, Elm Court’s use evolved into an Inn, and Elm Court Club, Inc. was inaugurated in 1948. However, the estate eventually failed as an inn and the house was locked up in 1957. Over the years the unoccupied mansion was plagued by vandalism, some arson, and looting.

Finally, restoration plans were contrived in 1999 by family descendants to open the estate as a luxury hotel. Throughout the 2000s the estate went on and off the market, with the asking price decreasing, until in July 2012, the entirety of the estate was sold for $9.8 million to a Colorado-based group affiliated with luxury hotel operations. The Berles, rhe previous owners, who are descendants of William Douglas Sloane and Emily Vanderbilt, retain a small percentage of ownership in the property.

Front Yard LLC. however, is currently in a legal battle over plans to open a resort at the 112-room Elm Court estate.