21. Idle Hour in Oakdale, Long Island
Idle Hour is a former Vanderbilt estate in Oakdale, Long Island, completed in 1901. Idle Hour was built for William Vanderbilt, who also lived at his Petit Chateau on Fifth Avenue. Their beloved architect Richard Morris Hunt designed the 110-room home on the Connetquot River, which continued to grow until an 1899 fire. The estate was also once part of Dowling College, which was open from 1968 to 2016.
After the fire, Idle Hour was rebuilt using red brick and gray stone and was designed by Hunt’s son Richard Howland Hunt. After Vanderbilt’s death, the home changed hands many times, and gangster Dutch Schultz even stayed there for a bit. A bohemian artist’s colony called the Royal Fraternity of Master Metaphysicians operated out of converted cow stalls and pig pens. It is now tied with Woodlea as the 14th largest house in the U.S. Idle Hour was sold in a bankruptcy proceeding in 2018.